reply to post by InnerTruths
I am so sorry, I guess I just missed it in the column of responses. This is an excellent question, and one I very much want to respond to, and
Pain has become a very important topic in medicine in the last 5-10 years. JCAHO or the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Organizations
(the man) says that pain is whatever the experiencer says it is, and exists when he/she says it does. Healthcare professionals are to treat
Now that is the super simple black, and white version. Life is full of grey. Their are nurses that have never experienced chronic pain, they have no
common ground to empathize with your position. They may understand it clinically, in a text book way of knowing, but they do not KNOW what it is like
to hurt all the time. They may be cognizant that people build tolerances to medications, but don't really realize the full implications of what that
means. Past experience also colors decisions, and attitudes. We run into a lot of drug seekers. People who are looking to get high at their medical
insurance's expense. These people always pose as chronic pain sufferers, and they know how to play the part well.
What blurrs the line further is that even drug seekers are experiencing pain, and it is real, but it is usually not of the somatic, or physical type.
They need a different form of help, but sometimes don't even know it themselves. Owing to what kind of nurse you are talking to, and what type of
setting you are in will also make a difference in responses. An ER nurse isn't tasked with figuring out the subtle details of your personal life they
are just concerned with stabilizing, and transfering, or as we say "treat, and street." There is a ceratin cold efficiency that comes with emergency
medicine, but that doesn't mean ER nurses get a pass to be mean, rude, or heartless. They just have a bigger challenge to not become that way. If you
are seeing a pain specialist, their nurse will want to do a lot of probing, and assessing to get to the root of the pain. Most nurses in specialty, or
hospital settings usually treat first, and figure things out later. That is how it should be. It is better to treat the pain, and then figure out
it's source. Yes a few druggies will get their fix off you, but that is less harmful than leaving a real chronic sufferer in misery based on a bad
Unfortunately their are a lot of opinionated people in the world, and a certain percentage are nurses. A lot of times a doctors pain orders leave
dosing options open to the nurses discretion. I have been on the receiving end of your situation, and yes it makes you mad to feel like someone is
looking at you like a druggy, and all you want is to just not hurt so bad. I had kidney stones a few years back, and I was in excrutiating pain. One
of my many quirks is that when I am in a bad way I pop funnies, and make sarcastic jokes. The nurse didn't believe I could really be in that much
pain if I could make everyone laugh. My wife even told them that it was just my way of dealing with stress. I had a orthopedist rolling on the floor
as he set my broken arm one time. I didn't get anything for pain until the sono came back, and I had a goathead looking stone stuck in a ureter. Then
I got a whopping dose of dilauded, and a gushing appology, and yes I did chew her out for being judgemental, and no it wasn't in a funny way.
It really isn't up to a nurse, or even a doctor to decide in the short term whether you are in pain, or not. We are supposed to treat, and then
figure out what is going on. In a chronic condition with a flare up, usually some extra medication for breakthrough is necessary, and then people
usually go back to their original dosages. In practise though people do get left high, and dry if someone decides they are faking it, or drug seeking.
It is a societal problem that gets reflected in healthcare decisions. It shouldn't happen, but it does. Next time you see a guy peddling Xanax, or
oxycontin etc... on the street, punch him in the face. He's a big reason you get looked at when you ask for more pain medication.