How to Explain Your Pain to a Doctor by Dr. Michael J. Cooney, D.C. on April 15th, 2016
Here are some tips from a doctor about how to describe your pain in terms a doctor can understand best.
Pain symptoms are personal, unique–and subjective. (What Joe describes as “unbearable pain” may be considered “pretty unpleasant pain” to Mike).
Over the years, I developed my own “pain diagnostic” conversation with patients to help my team and I understand what, where, when and how much pain patients are feeling.
I’ve outlined key points below: Continue reading
How To Make A Home Much More Friendly To Seniors Using Wheelchairs Or Walkers | Kaiser Health News – Jan 2017
When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.
That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.
About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers. Twenty years from now, 17 million U.S. households will include at least one mobility-challenged older adult, according to a December report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Continue reading
Busting the Myths About Disability Fraud – The New York Times
A recent blog post on a Republican threat to the Social Security disability fund elicited comments about disability fraud, implying that the fund is not worth protecting until ways are found to stop healthy people from gaming the system.
There is fraud, no doubt. But there is no evidence it is rampant. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains the disability system in an excellent policy brief.
Some facts: Continue reading
Below are four sources of the unexpected finding that significant alcohol consumption lowers pain and disability from the pain:
Can Alcohol Help Treat Chronic Pain? — Pain News Network
Treating chronic pain with a glass of wine or beer may not sound like a good idea, but an intriguing new study in the U.K. found that alcohol consumption is associated with lower levels of disability in pain patients.
- Drinkers overall reported less disability than people who never drank alcohol, but
- it was the heaviest drinkers who reported the least disability.
- They were 67% less likely to experience disability than the teetotalers.
When I recently read the phrase, “I’m embarrassed to be sick”, it made my stomach clench and my breath catch. That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling: this vague sense of social unease even with close friends, a reluctance to be seen or even talk to people-–especially those that knew me before I became chronically ill.
At the age of 55, after a lifetime of seemingly unrelated physical complaints and inexplicable pains that kept worsening, I was finally diagnosed in 2012 with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic flaw which leads to defective connective tissues. This results in chronic pain and many other health problems, as body parts aren’t held together properly, joints dislocate spontaneously, tissues stretch or tear, lose elasticity, and wear out early.
I am ashamed of being sick. I spent my previous life trying to prove how tough I was, declared my independence early, made my own way successfully… and now I’ve lost it all. Continue reading
I was confused by these terms and I found several perspectives before I grasped the difference. I don’t agree with the usage because it’s contrary to our usual grammar, but I learned it’s important to use the technically correct word.
First, a couple of definitions adopted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Then an explanation of the Stigma associated with the word “Handicapped” and the proper Etiquette.
The differences apparently have Medical Significance, yet are often incorrectly used because they are contrary to our usual Grammar. Finally, the Best Example I found to demonstrate the difference. Continue reading
Is it frustration,
the thwarted desire
to do what I can do no longer,
or the loss of desire
to do it at all,
that torments me most?
Chronic Pain: End Stage
Past the stage of struggle,
of trying to do what I like,
past the stage of grief,
over not being able to do it,
I’m finally at rest, and free
of desire to do anything at all.
A curious emptiness surrounds me, vague,
insubstantial as I myself have become,
thwarted by constraints wherever I turn,
I’ve been imprisoned by pain and stripped
of my previous ease and abilities,
so naively claimed as my birthright.
Treatment of Pain in Bipolar Patients: Clinical Challenges
A number of researchers have linked bipolar disorder with chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and migraine headaches. Pain management of these patients requires a multidisciplinary approach to improve their outcomes.
Bipolar disorder is one of the 10 most debilitating illness worldwide, with a prevalence of 1.4%. The onset of bipolar disorder is usually between 15 and 30 years of age; the lifetime risk for bipolar is 5% to 10% for a first-degree relative. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder is 3.9% of the US adult population (or approximately 9 million Americans). Continue reading
I’ve been disabled by chronic illness and increasing pain since 2008 (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). All day, every day, my body makes me aware of my loss of self-sufficiency and independence: I need significant physical (not just emotional) help from my family and friends, I need doctors and their prescribed medications, I need financial assistance from the government.
Always needing accommodations is demoralizing, guilt-inducing, and something I try to hide or avoid. Commonly viewed as “special treatment”, it makes some people resentful, and some even openly question why I “get to have things my way” all the time. To them, my limitations seem more like a privilege and a way to manipulate others to do what I want.
Even if unspoken, I can feel their resistance to my requests. When they question my need for help, I start doubting myself: “Do I really need this? Am I really worth the extra effort and hassle?” Continue reading
Once I was whole. No, better
than whole, possibilities
strewn at my feet, choices
all mine for the making.
Then I got sick, and broken.
Now I struggle to fly with broken wings.
Old ambitions and desires
irrelevant, crashing down
to earth with new humility.