Pain Management, Part 3

It’s taken me years to learn how to manage my many cancer pains properly…

Partly because there’s no manual for doing so.

Partly because everyone’s journey is unique.

Partly because I had to learn that pain does more than hurt.

Partly because I had to learn how the medical system works.

Partly because my medical professionals and I needed time to get to know each other.

Partly because finding the root cause of certain pains is not always easy.

Partly because finding the root cause of certain pains takes time.

Partly because I was still learning what cancer does to a human body.

Partly because I didn’t want to be a crybaby.

Partly because I didn’t want to be a bother.

Partly because I hoped the pain would just go away.

Partly because I wanted to experience what full on cancer pain really feels like.

Partly because I was worried the cure might be worse than the disease.

Partly because I was afraid of getting hooked on opioids.

Partly because I didn’t realize how many effective interventions are available–medicines, surgeries, and radiation treatments.

And so, I have gone under-medicated and under-treated… sometimes for days and weeks… because I under-reported the nature and the severity of my pain symptoms.

And so, I repeat my only unsolicited advice: Don’t suffer needlessly. Don’t do what I did. Let your health care providers know you are in pain… or in any discomfort whatsoever… and be absolutely honest about your symptoms. They really do want to help. Don’t be a hero.


continue… Google at Your Own Risk

2 thoughts on “Pain Management, Part 3

  1. Your commentary so often seems to click with recent conversations I’ve had with people who have been important in my life. Two days ago, a friend of long standing (we were kids together!) told me about getting off pain meds in her late 20s after surgery (not the first one) to correct a birth defect. She described how a mutual friend would come over and get her to jump up and down so it would hurt MORE, because of his belief — and apparently he convinced her of this — that there was a certain amount of pain she would have to experience and that she just had to get through all of it, and that pain meds would merely prolong that process. This seems nuts to me! I didn’t challenge her belief when we were talking this week, because it was all a long time ago, but it made me feel sad for her younger self, and angry at the friend.

    I rest in the knowledge that she is in fairly good health now, a happy and productive painter of glorious joyful pictures. There is so much beautiful color in her life, as there should be for all of us.

    1. Thank you, Teresa, for the precious time and energy you put into your most thoughtful comments. I hope the lurkers are listening to what you have to share.

      Nuts indeed… but now sufficient and loving to leave the past behind and to celebrate your old friend’s existence here.

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