I ran into an old friend the other day, and the first thing she said was, “You look great! Is the Burning Mouth gone?”
Those of you who suffer from this mysterious chronic pain (or others like it) know exactly what I felt in that moment.
In a flash, you decide whether to tell this sweet, well-meaning person that, “No it hasn’t gone away, but thank you for asking.” (Potentially opening yourself up to a protracted conversation about it, right?)
“I am feeling much better, thanks!”
Why would you say the second response?
Because you are tired of pity, tired of explaining that chronic pain is chronic and that even though you have battled this dragon for months, years, or decades, it has no end in sight. You are bored by endlessly explaining BMS and you fear domination of yet another conversation with “your problems.”
I get it.
But today, try thinking about it differently. Think of each of these conversations as the opportunity to open another person’s eyes just a little. I am not saying to get on your soapbox or to think that you have to pound information into your friend’s head.
That will get you nothing but one less friend.
Instead, consider sharing that you are still suffering, even though it doesn’t show. BMS is like many other invisible chronic pain syndromes and you might even mention that having it has made you more aware that many people around may also be in pain. Thank them for asking, because many times, since it is invisible, people simply forget you have it or assume that “you must be better by now!”
You might even consider asking them to keep a lookout for research, studies, or information that you could use and share with others. You never know where help will come from, so don’t miss an opportunity to ask for it.
And if you do find something new…share it!
Go to Burning Mouth Support, use the contact form, and let them know about your discovery. Together, we can help each other through this burning journey, and perhaps we can even discover something that will work for all of us.