As I sit here writing this blog, I am in pain. Three weeks ago, I had a total knee replacement and I must say, this is the worst pain I have ever had.
I have had other pain, including pain from kidney stones, and broken bones, which would be more intense but it was for a much shorter duration and the cause of the pain being more readily resolved.
I consider this to be the worst pain I have ever had because it is a constant pain that I have really had no relief from since my surgery.
Having experienced this pain, I now have a much better appreciation for what clients tell me they go through when they are in constant pain. Pain can, of course, occur throughout any part of the body and can obviously vary, but there seems to be some commonality when dealing with ongoing, significant, unrelenting pain.
One of the things I have come to appreciate is the fact that clients, when they tell me that the pain medication does not really help with the pain, how difficult that really is. Until this recent surgical procedure, I had never experienced pain that was continuous and did not seem to be affected by some rather heavy pain medications. Not only do I have to continue to live with the pain itself, but with the ever increasing frustration associated with it.
Frustration from the fact that I cannot seem to get away from the pain. Frustration from the fact that I cannot seem to get into a comfortable position. Frustration from the fact that I am not able to get a good night sleep. Frustration from the fact that I am not able to do those things that I want to do. And the frustration of being a burden on other people, most specifically, my wife, who has become “my nurse and caregiver.”
I now have a much greater understanding of the frustrations that so many of my clients express when dealing with pain.
Before I thought that I was always sympathetic to clients and tried to reassure them, but I had no true appreciation of what they go through. Everyday things like going to the bathroom or taking a shower have now become major undertakings.
One of the side-effects of the medication I am taking has been nausea. When a wave of nausea comes over me, I have to stop anything and everything that I am doing, turn off all the lights and lay down until it goes away. I now echo what so many clients have told me over the years about the effects of pain medication.
I hope to get through this sooner rather than later and get back to a more normal lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are so many people that get injured in accidents that do not have the ability to look forward to getting back to normal and who suffer what I have suffered for the last few weeks for months and even years.
Other than the staples in my knee and obvious scar, there is really no way to show pain or to really have other people understand what it is you are going through. In hospital, I was asked by the nursing staff countless times to rate my pain on a scale of 0-10. Not only is that something that is difficult to do because you have to try to figure out what that scale really means as a comparison, but also how just giving a number does not really convey to anyone what you are really experiencing or going through.
As I have stated, I hope to get through this pain, hopefully soon. The one thing that will come out of this in the end, is a much greater appreciation for what many of my clients go through or suffer from ongoing, unrelenting pain, and a better understanding how that affects their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones.
I hope that this will allow me to better represent my clients and their pain issues when dealing with insurance companies or their legal representatives.