21 Jan Pain Talk and Pain Management
People have different personal relationships to pain and different pain tolerances. This changes their assessment of pain. For example, I spent some years in my twenties working for a migratory beekeeper. When I started, getting stung hurt a lot. A few months later, I was used to it. If someone asked me even later how much it hurt to get stung, I would say, “It’s not a big deal. I just ignore it.” After a while, it felt like getting pinched by a sibling. It made you wince a bit, but you rubbed it briefly and got on with what you were doing.
Talking to your Doctor
Talking to your doctor about pain can be easier. Doctors are there to understand your pain level so they can recommend treatment that decreases pain so you can heal. They have charts or other ways to define the level of your pain. In Colorado Springs, pain doctors have extensive experience and patience when communicating with their patients.
The most critical part of discussing pain with your doctor is, to be honest, so you should do things that help you maintain a consistent, honest approach to your conversations. It is helpful to keep a journal. If your pain wakes you up at night, you can say, “It woke me up three times.” That is more helpful than saying, “It wakes me up a lot.” This helps doctors arrive at treatments that help you manage your pain.
Talking with Friends and Family
Talking with friends and family about your pain can be much trickier. Many people are uncomfortable knowing someone they love is in pain. They might avoid the topic or downplay your complaints – “Oh, it can’t hurt that much,” they might say.
People in pain also feel like a burden when discussing their pain. As such, you also might be motivated to slant your discussion one way or another. Maybe you don’t like asking for help. If that’s the case, you might be putting yourself in jeopardy, because asking for help is a necessity for many levels or types of healing.
Some Helping Points
Discuss with your doctor some ways to talk with friends and family members. Asking for help is your responsibility, not theirs. Furthermore, help can be offered but remain undone. It is up to you to ask clearly for help, to set the objectives and the time expectations for help. Try to be very clear about your needs or people may assume you are asking for the sun, the moon, and the stars. If so, you may come off as being whiny or unrealistic.
Specifics help. It can be extremely frustrating for both parties if you need a specific type of help and the request is botched. People who are looking to help relish the successes they can get. “Oh, she smiled in response … that makes me so happy!” They feel less rewarded if they did not help you out even if that was because of bad instructions.
Keep a journal and take notes. This helps you remain clear about your needs. This is better for you and for those trying to help.
Simple thank you(s). If you need to pay or tip someone, then do so. If you feel the urge to give a present to reward a helper, do so. But be careful not to set up expectations you cannot fill. A simple thank you or a note saying thanks is an enormous reward. If you make it about gifts or money, this could change the expectations drastically. (People are often happy to help, but they do want appropriate acknowledgment.)
Change discussion from subjective to concrete. Instead of saying, “It hurts so much, I can’t stand it,” say, “It hurts so much I cannot lift my arm above my shoulder” or “It hurts so much I can’t read or watch television.” In this manner, people can understand what you are up against and are less inclined to interpret the discussion inappropriately.
Colorado Accident and Injury believe that pain management is an essential part of healing from injuries sustained during a car accident. However, we also acknowledge that it can be difficult for people to talk about pain. The goal is to be as clear as possible, but other social norms sometimes get in the way. Friends and family members are often uncomfortable talking about your pain, as it makes them anxious or makes them feel helpless. They also don’t know how to interpret well-intended statements like, “It hurts a lot.” How much is a lot? This can change from person to person.
Call for an appointment
Have you been in an automobile accident and wish to consult with a pain management doctor? Pain management doctors Colorado Springs is there to help. Dial 719-917-1000 for an appointment.