Physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual…. we’ve all experienced pain. Although generally we know what this means, we can only experience pain as an individual. For more than 50 million Americans, pain can linger for months and years. Chronic pain is hard to diagnose. It can’t be examined under a microscope and can’t be sutured; because of this, patients are sometimes told, “it’s all in your head”, “you’re a chronic complainer”. This can lead to anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression. Chronic pain can destroy lives and families. The adjustment for everyone in the family is a major one.
Baltimore’s American Pain Foundation states that, “most pain is untreated, under treated, or improperly treated”. Some people despair or decide they’ll just have to tough it out. What can you do if pain is very real to you, persists, and yet no underlying diagnosis can be made? Scott Fishman, M.D., chief of pain medicine at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento says, “We can impact pain by impacting the mind… treating people for comfort, as well as cure, gives us the best health outcomes”.
Dr. Bennet recommends:
- Become informed. Become your own advocate.
- Be open to complementary (holistic) as well as traditional treatments.
- Check out support groups and the Internet.
Some sources are:
Woods Adult Day Services is staffed from a whole-person perspective. Skilled and compassionate nurses, health aides, and recreational activity aides are in attendance anticipating and responding to participants’ needs- especially that of discomfort and pain.
written by: Rose Yapundich, L.S.W.A.; Social Worker, Woods Adult Day Services