Pain and Appetite

Pain can be hard on your body. Sure, it’s a good indicator that something is wrong… but pain can really mess with your body’s normal function. Maybe you have trouble sleeping, or maybe you lose your appetite. It seems like pain is one of those signals that overrides some of the other noise going on in your body — like the rumble in your tummy that says you’re ready for another meal. To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about it until it became a personal problem. I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain lately from the region of my … Continue reading

Pain and Sleep

In a way, pain is a good thing: it is the body’s way of saying that something is wrong, and giving you a general idea of where the problem is. But pain can mess with your appetite, concentration, sleeping habits, and more. Sometimes, pain makes you want (or need) more sleep. If you are sick or injured, you need time to rest and heal! There are some types of pain that make me want to snooze — mostly headaches. Often, I’ll try taking a nap to see if I can sleep the headache off before resorting to pain relievers. Though … Continue reading

Measuring Pain

At my doctor’s office, every exam room has a poster depicting the pain scale. From zero (no pain) to ten (the worst pain), each number also has a face depicting an expression from happy to tearful. This is officially known as the Wong-Baker FACES scale for pain measurement. It was developed by two pediatric specialists — Donna Wong and Connie Morain Baker — to help children assess and manage their pain. There are other scales to help patients assess their pain levels, like the McGill Pain Questionnaire, which asks (adult) patients pick from groups of words to describe their pain. … Continue reading

Feeling Better

I still have gratitude on my mind (’tis the season, after all!). And right now I’m thinking what a miracle it is to feel good. There are lots of times I don’t. I tend to get tension headaches, so if my day turns stressful (and it often does), I end up with a headache. Mostly, they’re minor, and easily ignored. Sometimes they need an over the counter pain remedy before they hit the road. It’s not a huge deal — but I am used to having some small level of pain in my head at any given time. The days … Continue reading

Cursing as Pain Management

Have a foul mouth? It might actually benefit you when it comes to pain management. A study from Keele University in England took a look at how an outburst of swearing can help people deal with pain. Sixty-seven college students took part in the initial study. First, they were asked for their five favorite curses — things they might say after accidentally whacking a thumb with a hammer. I know what I’d say in that situation, and it’s not pretty! The students were then asked to hold one hand in icy water for as long as they could bear it. … Continue reading

Building Up a Tolerance to Pain Medication

Welcome to blistering headache, day two. My whopper of a headache hung around for most of the day, and came back for a second visit this morning. Nothing says “great start to a day” like a headache. I did get some relief last night when I switched from ibuprofen to aspirin, and I think it was the change in medications that made the difference. I do tend to switch pain relievers every so often. Maybe the ibuprofen wasn’t helping because my body was too used to it? With some pain relievers, your body can build up a tolerance — meaning … Continue reading

The Headache that Just Won’t Quit

I’m no stranger to headaches. When I was in high school and college, I had one sinus infection after another — and a sinus headache just about all the time. Once I had sinus surgery to cut away the infected tissue (and fix a deviated septum), the first morning I woke up without a headache was like a miracle. My problems with sinus infections have been few and far between since then. Alas, sinus headaches aren’t the only type of headaches I get. Every once in a while, I wake up with a real whopper. When I was still in … Continue reading

Don’t Ignore These Pains

I was at work at the cats-only boarding facility over the weekend and twisted the wrong way, wrenching my knee. The pain about floored me, and I had to grab onto the nearest counter in order to stay on my feet. Sometimes, your body gives you signals you just can’t ignore! There are some pains that can signal serious health issues — so don’t talk yourself out of getting some help if you experience something like these. The worst headache of your life could be a serious problem — a classic sign of a brain aneurysm is when a patient … Continue reading

Getting Your Child to Describe His Pain

Any parent who has had to deal with a sick child or a child who has hurt himself knows how tough it can be to figure out exactly where it is hurting or what has gone wrong. Often children just cry and whimper, or if they have a very high fever, it is impossible to get them to tell us what is wrong. Communicating with our child when he or she is ill or hurt can be a huge challenge! “Tell me where it hurts” or “Show me where it hurts” are common tactics for parents. It just seems to … Continue reading

Accepting Our Children’s Pain

As a parent, I know that there is nothing more difficult and upsetting to me than when my children experience pain. I want to stop it; do anything I can to keep them from suffering and feeling pain and it can be incredibly hard to be present, listen, and be compassionate without getting angry and wanting to jump into revenge mode. In order to be able to be truly available for our children, however, we may need to be fully present and accept their pain first. It can be especially hard when we have done something that has caused our … Continue reading