I categorically do not understand the idea that pain and/or disability is some sort of competition as to who has it worse.
I once had somebody tell me that they understood my condition because they had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and there is “no pain worse than RA.” I had to take a few Cleansing Breaths, lest I respond like this:
“Really? RA pain is the worst pain in the world? How do you know that? Ever been shot? How does that compare to RA? Or had a limb amputated?
Or, in my case, had neuropathic pain flares in your legs?”
Until and unless you have experienced all those sorts of pain — and many more that I won’t bother to list here — just do of me a courtesy and Shut Yer Piehole about how RA pain is the worst pain imaginable.
I am not so self-centered as to consider my pain issues any bettor or worse than those of anybody else with chronic pain. It’s my pain, tailored (for better or worse) to my neuroreceptors. Unique to me. Trying to compare it — let alone rate it — against anybody else’s seems to be not only an exercise in futility but one of arrogance.
You have pain. I have pain. We have pain. Our issues may not be the same, nor how it feels on our skin or in our bodies, but at the end of the day, we both have pain.
And isn’t that what matters more? That we can acknowledge each others hurt, rather than turn it into some sort of twisted competition? Trying to compare our hurts is like attempting to compare oranges to Buicks.