My father turned 50 today. (Yes, I'm 26. I have very young parents. Grandparents, too.) Last night dad had a big blow out birthday party at my parents home with over 40 guests. Thankfully, my parents home is plenty big enough for that kind of party, so I could manage to maneuver fine even with the extra width of crutches. I made the rounds, as I knew nearly everyone there, even Dad's work buddies since I briefly interned at his company. I got all the normal "How are you?"'s, as expected, followed by the also expected, "How's the hip?" Breaking your hip 3 times before the age of 25 tends to make you the topic of gossip, so I'm used to that one, too. My standard answer is, "Still attached." Most people chuckle a bit and nod knowingly.
But after the normal questions, I kept getting asked a third question. It was one that blew me away that people actually asked.
"How's the pain?"
Most people tend to have issues acknowledging pain disorders. I get asked all the time about my hip, because broken bones and orthopedic issues are normal enough that even though what I deal with is a bit more extreme than normal (though nowhere near what some people cope with), people can relate. The pain, though? Most people have nothing to relate to it. I barely remember not being in pain, since I've spent 1/3 of my life in bad pain. Yet people almost never ask how I am in that regard. My biggest disability is the elephant in the room. I didn't quite know how to answer and found myself stumbling through.
I've been trying to figure this out. It's just... weird. Kind of unsettling, to be perfectly frank. Now to wrap my brain around all of this.