This little post popped up again on my Facebook and it was something that I shared years ago. What surprised me most is that nothing had changed!
I still struggle to express and explain pain, even when I need to most. I wondered if anyone else there was similar?
I can talk to my husband openly about pain but he has been the first person, ever. It wasn’t easy to do and I did it in the hope that it would make our relationship stronger and deeper. I believe it was worth the enormous effort. I tell him most of my physical and emotional pain now but it still isn’t easy.
My usual method was either to either bight down, pretend to smile and then privately cry my heart out. Even when faced with enormous physical pain and grief. Almost like a denial method really.
I even do this in front of my doctors!
Talking to a doctor about pain is hard and uncomfortable as often you are telling a complete stranger, or someone you don’t know well, about the most difficult parts of your existence. Unless they really know you they can choose to not believe you, overlook your pleas or dismiss you. It’s incredibly vulnerable position and I don’t believe any patient deserves or likes it.
But isn’t it important that we find better ways of communicating and teach people how to listen?
So much fear and suspicion is circulating about patient drug addicts and drama queens looking for attention, but in my opinion many people are completely over exaggerating the problem for various interests and reasons. It is my experience that there are not hordes of people pretending to be in terrible pain for the purpose of obtaining pain relief, huge medical bills and losing their careers.
The current trend of governments restricting pain relief and medications seems mostly motivated by cost cutting. It hugely benefits governments, medical expenditure and insurance companies. I don’t see them passing laws to restrict government official pay rises and escalating pensions! …That is a much greater cost to the tax payer!!
But I digress… The question is how do we treat those in pain and how do we express ourselves effectively when we are in pain?
My mother once said you can get used to hanging if you hang for long enough and this is certainly true when it comes to emotional pains. If life is filled with suffering and emotional abuse you can actually acclimate to it. But should you? Does that help?
With all the education about freeing yourself from emotional abuse and becoming more empowered how do we do that and teach these same principles for our physical pain?
I can’t help fee that a lot of decisions about pain treatments and strategies are made without any reasonable input from those patients actually in pain and needing assistance. Patient advocacy is still some of the most overlooked and under rated sources of information by governments, policy makers, the medical profession and societies.
Strange how alcohol, tobacco and other drugs don’t suffer the same scrutiny and reputation and are completely socially acceptable however the cost on society for alcohol and tobacco diseases is much higher than chronically ill sufferers pose.
Perhaps we need to stop being silent about our pain? Perhaps we need to make it heard? Perhaps we need to have those difficult conversations and educate more people about what it is really like being in chronic pain?
Many won’t want to hear but, hey, aren’t we used to people not listening and not understanding us? What have we got to lose apart from a great deal of suffering and pain?
I will either not talk about it. Pretend to smile. Or privately cry my heart out. Even with doctors!!! I guess we all handle pain differently. I have always wondered what is the best way