Pain Tolerance


My best friend doesn’t consider me very pain tolerant, so she might get a kick out of this post.  However, I actually am.  I’m disproportionately pain tolerant, which is a problem.  The worse I hurt the less likely I am to make a fuss about it.

The surgeon decided what I needed was physical therapy, which is exactly what my doctor wants to avoid, because he’s afraid it will make me worse.  The surgeon also prescribed me Celebrex despite my telling him 3 different times that it causes me severe stomach pain, like run through with a pitchfork kind of pain…  The nurse told me it was up to me if I wanted to try using it or not.

My blood pressure was fairly high today, thanks to morning pain and I hurt pretty good after being examined… Which is another part of the problem, exams make me hurt worse after I leave than while they are doing them.

What do I mean by disproportionately pain tolerant?  I will cry if I get a paper cut.  However, even when I want to cut off my leg because the pain is so bad, I can’t shed a tear.  I don’t cry over migraines.  I occasionally get nauseated by the pain in my hip and lower legs and things, but I won’t cry or scream or make a scene.

I don’t know why.  Although I do remember once when they were putting my shoulder back into socket and I told them I didn’t need anything for them to do it, but they were putting someone else’s knee back in socket a room or two away from me… she was screaming, literally screaming from the pain.

I know for a fact knees hurt a little more than shoulders, I know because I’ve dislocated my knees.  Aside from an X-Ray showing my knee was dislocated and the fact that I couldn’t walk on it very well, you wouldn’t have guessed it wasn’t where it was supposed to be.  I was a teen when that happened, more than once, just FYI, I didn’t cry then either.  I should have.  At first they didn’t believe me and then they looked at it closely, decided to get an X-Ray and sure enough, they had to put it back in…  It hurt.  But I didn’t scream or cry over it.  it hurt but it wasn’t the end of the world and it certainly wasn’t worth screaming over.

Now, my knee was only slightly out of socket.  I didn’t destroy it or even damage anything other than the cartilage when I knocked it out, multiple times.  I am knock-kneed and for some reason, my knees would come out if I hit them against something just right (or just wrong, depending on how you look at it).  My shoulder comes out because surgery didn’t get the tendons tight enough, certain motions can make it slip out of socket.  Sometimes it hurts more for it to slip out than to go back in.  It’s pretty rare for the dislocated shoulder to hurt more than a what a few Tylenol will fix and yet, I will cry over a paper cut.

After agreeing to physical therapy and leaving the surgeon’s office, I got to thinking about it… The problem is I don’t convey I’m in pain very well.  I need to learn to do that.  I don’t have a clue how though, pretend everything is a paper cut?  Of course everything around my hip is tight, I’ve been babying it since June 14, 2017.  That was the first day of my hip pain.  I have been doing some stretches as well as home exercises, but they aren’t making it looser and they make me want to die.  Which is what I’m going to start telling doctors when they ask me what my pain level is… I don’t know if it counts as a ten, but I want to die I hurt so much.  You tell me where that ranks on your scale of pain.

I feel like telling people I want to die I’m in so much pain is a little melodramatic though.  Which is the reason I don’t tell every doctor that every time they ask.  However, that is how I feel about my pain.  I hurt so bad I just want to go to sleep and never wake up again.  How would you rank that, a ten?  Maybe a nine since I’m not screaming and crying with it?  I don’t know what they expect from me as far as my reactions… My blood pressure is high, I’m obviously in pain because it hasn’t been high in a long time, regardless of where I put my pain on the pain scale or the fact that I’m not screaming or crying from it…  What do they want from me?  I just don’t know.

I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning to discuss how the consult went.  I’m really looking forward to it.

4 thoughts on “Pain Tolerance

    1. I do tell them it’s 10 usually I say 10 or higher at least. However, that doesn’t prove I’m in pain, it just means I’m saying I’m in pain. Also, unless therapy does something that makes me scream and cry, even if I refuse it after a few sessions that doesn’t get me any closer to resolving my pain, because again, all I’m doing is telling them I’m in pain, I can’t prove it. And I’m not reacting like “a person in pain” is expected to react. If I tell them I’m okay with them removing my leg I hurt so much, they expect me to scream and cry and that isn’t how my body or brain reacts to severe pain. See where I’m stuck at? I can tell them this all I want, but unless they have some kind of proof, it’s hard to convey my pain level. I am pain tolerant, although there are times I really wish I wasn’t. So if I’m not emotionally upset or physically showing symptoms of pain other than a limp, they have to take my word that I’m in pain and that’s hard to do anymore because so many people know how to work the system to get pain medications.

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  1. Your posts have brought tears to my eyes because I can relate so much. I have Fibromyalgia, and who knows what else (one screen came back positive for some of the things they check for Lupus but still no diagnosis). I tore my pelvic cartilage when I was pregnant and now it feels like my hips are going to fall right off my body even over a year later, and that caused my spine to curve and domino effect of everything else. I was on Cymbalta for a year but it didn’t help, refused to try Lyrica until more research was done. Doctors just really don’t get it. I’ve had some really stupid and nasty things said to me by doctors too. I finally went off of everything and have just been getting by with acupuncture, chiropractor treatments, and cannabis edibles. Oh, I also have Anxiety Disorder and have just been trying to treat that with 20mg of Lexapro. Honestly the cannabis edibles have been the most help, but I know its not legal in all states (I’ve had a medical req here in California for 4 years). Its the only way I’ve survived really, when the pain is so horrible I don’t sleep for days. Otherwise I just try and struggle each day to focus on getting through each hour at a time. I just try to focus on the things that make me happy. Quality of life sucks. But I still find joy in my family and have great support from my husband. I really hope and pray for some relief for you too. Your books have been such a wonderful distraction, and I’m always blown away by all you have accomplished as an author, with such rich plots and storylines, even with all the pain you have been suffering. Please hang in there and know you aren’t alone!

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