Tag Archives: caregivers

Crisis Intervention for Depressed Pain Patients

Here is useful information for caregivers of depressed chronic pain patients. It was compiled as material for crisis intervention hotlines, but its principles are no less valid for dealing with anyone in distress.

This article has an uncannily accurate description of how our depression feels, and I found it strangely comforting to view chronic pain from the caregiver’s perspective.

Training Materials for Hotlines and Helplines  

This page has a list of link to almost 20 articles about various aspects of helping. I’ll only summarize a few here.  Continue reading

Survey: Life a Daily Struggle for People in Pain

Survey: Life a Daily Struggle for People in Pain – National Pain Report – November 5th, 2013 by Pat Anson, Editor

A survey of chronic pain patients found that life is a daily struggle for nearly all of them and many often feel they don’t get the support they need. Over two-thirds (69%) experience pain daily.

The national survey of 1,255 adults with chronic pain also found that half (50%) believe their family and friends doubt how bad their pain is. Most (55%) are reluctant to tell people they are taking prescription pain medicines and a majority (57%) says their healthcare professional is reluctant to prescribe some medications.

Other key findings of the survey: Continue reading

Living With A Chronic Pain: Tips For Patients And Families

Living With A Chronic Pain Patient: Tips For Patients And Families – Pain Doctor

They are often tired. Sometimes they are irritable and snap for no apparent reason. They may be depressed or anxious, and they may not want to do the things they used to enjoy. The kids might wonder why Mom or Dad never leave their bed, or why they are so sad. Care-giving family members might feel like they are the only ones helping in the household

Welcome to living with a chronic pain patient.

Living with a chronic pain patient can be complicated. The focus is on helping the patient get better, but in the meantime, caregivers are working hard to keep the household running. The truth is, both the patient and the family members need support in the struggle with chronic pain

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Look for a doctor who understands healing

A better title for this article would have been

4 Fears After Diagnosis:  Death, Disability, Pain & Abandonment

Look for a doctor who understands healing

Some doctors look at the condition instead of the patient; their diagnosis leaves a patient hopeless because they cannot offer a cure and therefore dismiss the patient. But in reality, patients can, in various ways “ heal from the diagnosis”.

Many alternatives exist to help with coping, interpersonal relationships, personal motivation, improved quality of life improvement, and more.

An excerpt from In Sickness as in Health: Helping Couples Cope with the Complexities of Illness.

Statistical medical probabilities based on aggregate data don’t necessarily apply to an individual, who is unique and has her own potentially miraculous capacities. Statistics can’t take into account one patient’s willpower, another’s deep faith, and another’s reliance on non-conventional healing.  They also don’t take into account the enormous value of a loving partner. Yet these factors, along with many others, can sometimes overturn the sentence of even a severe diagnosis.

With the initial shock of diagnosis, the injured person and the partner are extremely vulnerable. …  In this unhinged state, they naturally seek a powerful guide, and typically grant omniscient status to the doctor.

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Managing Pain: The 105 Best Online Resources for Nurses and Patients

Managing Pain: the Best Online Resources for Nurses & Patients | LPNtoBSNonline.org

This is the most comprehensive list of online Pain Organizations and Blogs I’ve seen: 105 entries!  The single-page list is divided into the following sections:

  • Pain Management Organizations & Research – Many universities and other organizations are researching how pain works in the body and brain, and how it can be influenced and mitigated through treatment.
  • Pain Management Blogs – Bloggers who share their own experiences of chronic pain can be a great source of solidarity for people newly struggling with pain as the result of a sickness or injury.
  • CRPS & Fibromyalgia Info – Fibromyalgia and Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome are two widely misunderstood diagnoses that can cause chronic pain with no clear source and no easy treatment. Learning more about these conditions is a vital part of understanding what causes pain, and how to stop it.
  • Cancer, Arthritis, & Other Chronic Pain – Cancer, arthritis, and many other common afflictions often leave victims with mild to severe chronic pain. Nurses need to understand how to diagnose the cause of pain, and how to address the issue of debilitating pain while also treating its root cause.

23 Tips on Supporting a Partner with Chronic Pain

23 Tips For Men on Supporting a Partner with Chronic Pain

This is a wonderful article from a husband’s point of view on how to support a spouse/partner who is in chronic pain.   He shows greater empathy than most of us are capable of, and this list makes good points that anyone can put to use.

We will be celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary this week, and I can say without a doubt that despite the problems that come with periods of joblessness and raising two kids to maturity, the thing that has had the biggest influence on our marriage has been pain.

1. I think that it is important to think of pain as your common enemy, not as a part of your wife or baggage that comes with her.

2. If your wife is anything like mine, she will try to hide her pain from you.

3. Because women in chronic pain have to be good at ignoring their own pain, their maximum sneaks up on them and on you.

4. To avoid a pain-storm, be on the look-out for non-verbal clues of increased pain.

5. When you note the non-verbal clues of increased pain, reflect them back to her.

6. Chronic pain does not mean that the person has the same level of pain every day or even at various times in the day.

7. Don’t let her “should” on herself—beat herself up for what she cannot do.

8. One of my early ways of dealing with my wife’s chronic pain was to encourage my wife not to do things that caused her pain.

9. Women in chronic pain are used to working through pain, distracting themselves, minimizing etc.

10. The key thing to remember is that pain builds even while you are managing to ignore it.

Pete has another 13 suggestions for “post-surgical or other high pain events” in the article.

There is nothing that makes me feel as helpless as watching my wife suffer. I would far rather just absorb the pain myself. But I have discovered that while going away physically or emotionally may be less painful for me, it is selfish and actually adds to my wife’s suffering. Being strong for her does not mean hiding my feelings. In fact, my tears of frustration and pain often give her validation or permission to express her own emotions. All that being a husband and a good man requires that I stay by her side in body, mind and heart and that I do what is within my power to ease her pain, offer her comfort and support her


Caring for Patients With Chronic Pain: Pearls and Pitfalls

Caring for Patients With Chronic Pain: Pearls and Pitfalls

In a 2011 report,  authors at the Institute of Medicine underscored that “effective pain management is a moral imperative, a professional responsibility, and a duty of people in  the healing profession.”

Upshur et al surveyed patients from 4 primary care facilities, who reported feeling distrusted and disrespected; physicians were also  perceived as dismissive of pain symptoms that patients reported.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for longer than 3 to 6 months, or the “normal healing” time of an injury. A physician may be frustrated by the lack of objective findings in a patient with chronic pain, because the extent of an  injury does not always correlate with the severity of the patient’s discomfort.

Parenting Through Chronic Physical Pain

Parenting Through Chronic Physical Pain – Rachel Rabkin Peachman – The Atlantic

Here is a sad, yet inspiring, account of one fierce mother’s struggle to raise young children, when attending to their physical needs causes her unbearable pain.

“I’m still the one my girls reach for—and I refuse to let the pain take that away from me.”

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