Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rate your pain level.....

I hate that question. If I say 10, it might be unnecessary, but if I say 2 they won't take me seriously. Then I have to take into account that I went through 32 hours of labor, and while that was hard, sometimes instant pain, like say.....grabbing a hot curling iron, hurts worse at the moment. Labor and burns are two very different types of pain.....why would they ask the same question for both? Ahhh, that question stresses me out.

I had to answer it last night, at the ER, when I broke my toe. Definitely didn't want to be at the ER, and when I get there they put me in a wheel chair, so I felt even more ridiculous. Some guy comes in coughing up blood, and I am sitting in a wheel chair with pain to my pinkie toe. So lame, yet it hurt so so bad. I answered the stupid question with an 8 at the time of being rolled in. Because that's what it felt like. But as I sat there for 3 hours, waiting to be seen, I saw so much pain in the ER. Physical pain from girl with a severe migraine, emotion pain from family members helpless to do anything to speed time up to be seen, mental pain from a very angry lady who looked like she felt awful, but was just told to sit down and wait. Lots of pain. Suddenly the pain in my toe began to drop.

When the doctor FINALLY came in, she apologized, and I told her it really wasn't a big deal. If it weren't for the fact that I have an always moving toddler, I wouldn't have been there at all, but I needed it fixed. She began asking me all these questions, "Do you have any medical allergies? Any existing heath problems? Are you pregnant? Are you on any medications? What is your pain like if I do this?" All I really wanted to know was if it was broken or not, why the whole run around? Why not just come right out and say it? It dawned on me later that she wanted to get a real feel for my pain level before the told me it was broken because I imagine that mentally knowing something is broken may cause you to think you are in more pain than you are, which would cause you to push for pain meds. Makes sense right? Smart doctors. They know what they are doing.

But do we as humans? When someone is in pain, how often do we jump to the rescue or solve the issue with the "answer" to their problem? Sometimes I think stating the obvious to someone might cause the pain the be worse at the moment. Think about the last time you didn't get a lot of sleep, or may have been up all night with the flu? How helpful is it when someone says "Wow, you look like you have been hit by a bus!" Doesn't that normally make you feel worse? (Or maybe in your sleep-deprived mind make you wish that THAT person would get hit by a bus. Obviously not a healthy thought, but we are blaming it on lack of sleep, remember?)

My favorite is when someone says "Oh you think that is bad, just wait until.........!" How the heck is that helpful to my situation? Did you even listen to what I was saying?

Sometimes I think we all could get better at just listening about someones pain. Maybe in listening and asking questions we will be guided to the right way on how to help them.

This is a big lesson as a parent for me. Mikayla falls and I make a big deal out of it, so she instantly panics. But if I wait for her to tell me that something hurts, the boo-boos tend to be few and far between. Sometimes I think pain is caused when someone draws attention to something that should be painful, when in reality it doesn't really hurt that bad. I don't want to point out hurt that may not really be there in the first place.

*** I really don't know if any of this post made sense, just lots on my mind.***