Pain is what the patient says it is; Every patient has a different pain threshold ; Every patient shows pain in different ways; Pain takes over your body in a variety of different ways….. Just a few points that, as Nurses, we practice everyday, to respect patients’ pain and treat everyone as individual. But when you experience pain yourself, it makes you see things quite differently!
One comment from this week has really stuck in my mind…. I got discharged from hospital on Saturday and then had a really rough weekend at home with lots of pain. I rang my Consultant again Monday to see if she would reconsider waiting 6 weeks to re-scan due to my pain and she replied “well, you didn’t seem to be in too much pain!” I was too shocked to reply to be honest. … Because I wasn’t rolling around my bed crying and screaming, she assumed I wasn’t in too much pain? I know it may shock people to hear, but I am quite a private person when it comes to emotions like crying and I would have to be completely comfortable before I cry in front of someone…..so certainly not a Consultant that I also work with in professional capacity!
Crying makes you vulnerable. Whether you want to or not, you’re letting down barriers and people are seeing a vulnerable side. Just as pain does! I know I shouldn’t let her comment bother me but it makes me wonder….is that what everyone else thinks? “You shouldn’t be in this much pain”…..No I shouldn’t but I am. I have a pretty high pain threshold….. I have been troubled by Endometriosis in the past and it’s a pain that can’t really be explained but I became quite good at covering up the pain I was in. I didn’t like to draw attention to it, it always felt like the more I spoke about it, the more aware of it I became so I got good at just carrying on.
I have been in constant pain, of varying degrees, for nearly 2 weeks now. I am on lots of medications including Oral Morphine….sometimes it’s taking the edge off it, other times it’s not touching it. It’s been a bad day today – I woke up in quite bad pain which didn’t really improve with my morning drugs….then I had to go to the Drs for more prescriptions and take my sick note into work…..it doesn’t sound a lot but all that moving around, getting in and out of the car (thankfully my husband drove) made my pain worse. Now, after dosing up, I do feel a bit more settled…..well my pain score is probably now a 5 rather than an 8 as it was earlier…celebrate the small things eh! 😉
Drugs, drugs, drugs…….nearly 2 weeks since my pain started and almost in a blink of an eye, my life now suddenly revolves around drugs! Clock watching all the time – when can I take the next lot? When is this lot going to kick in? When is this pain going to ease up? What else can I take? And now I have to take even more drugs to counteract the side effects of the other drugs…..a vicious cycle! In only 2 weeks, I find myself reliant on drugs….albeit, a temporary reliance but a reliance all the same! Quite a scary thought, how easily and quickly things can change! 😦
For me, these 2 weeks have felt like forever…pain can be extremely exhausting but it has only been 2 weeks! Makes me think of all my friends who are chronic pain sufferers, those who have had pain all day, every day for years and years! 😦 My friends with Cystic Fibrosis who not only have trouble breathing, but are in pain doing so as well, every single breath! What a horrible prospect! It is easy to see why chronic illness and pain can lead to depression, it really is! So, a shout out to all my chronically ill or disabled friends, whatever your illness or condition may be…I admire your strength – you’re all amazing! ❤
Excuse the cliche but at least, I can see light at the end of the tunnel….an end to my pain…well I hope so anyway. Some people aren’t so fortunate! ❤