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Thread: Tips For Dealing With People In Pain

  1. #1

    Default Tips For Dealing With People In Pain

    I thought I would post t his as we have the new forum and I always thought this was a good list to have for us to give to others,
    I also am looking for my document "LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN", if I find it I will post if if not I and someone else has it please post it for all to have.

    Tips For Dealing With People In Pain

    1.People with chronic pain seem unreliable (we canít count on ourselves).
    When feeling better we promise things (and mean it) when in serious pain; we may not even show up.

    2. An action or situation may result in pain several hours later, or even the next day. Delayed pain is confusing to people who have never experienced it.

    3. Pain can inhibit listening and other communication skills. Itís like having someone shouting at you, or trying to talk with a fire alarm going off in the room. The effect of pain on the mind can seem like attention deficit. Disorder. So you may have to repeat a request, or write things down for a person with chronic pain. Donít take it personally, or think that they are stupid.

    4. The senses can overload while in pain. For example, noises that wouldn't normally bother you, seem to much.

    5.Patience may seem short. We canít wait in a long line; canít wait for a long drawn out conversation.

    6. Donít always ask, ďHow are youĒ unless you are genuinely prepared to listen it just points attention inward.

    7. Pain can sometimes trigger psychological disabilities (usually very temporary). When in pain, a small task, like hanging out the laundry, can seem like a huge wall, to high to climb over. An hour later the same job may be quite OK. It is sane to depressed occasionally when you hurt.

    8. Pain can come on very quickly and unexpectedly. Chronic pain people appear to arrive and fade unpredictably to others.

    9. Knowing where a refuge is, such as a couch, a bed, or comfortable chair, is as important as knowing where a bathroom is. A visit is much more enjoyable if the chronic pain person knows there is a refuge if needed. A chronic pain person may not want to go anywhere that has no refuge (e.g. no place to sit or to lie down).

    10. Small acts of kindness can seem like huge acts of mercy to a person in pain. Your offer a pillow or a cup of tea can be a really big thing to a person who is feeling temporarily helpless in the face of encroaching pain.

    11. Not all pain is to locate or describe. Sometimes there is a body wide feeling of discomfort, with hard to describe pains in the entire back, or in both legs, but not in one particular spot you can point to. Our vocabulary for pain is very limited, compared to the bodyís ability to feel varieties of discomfort.

    12. We may not have a good ďreasonĒ for the pain. Medical science is still limited in itís understanding of pain. Many people have pain that is not yet classified by doctors as an officially recognized ďdiseaseĒ. That does not reduce the pain, - it only reduces the ability to give it a label, and have you believe us.



  2. #2
    Community Member Smiling Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Jersey


    Linda - HI and thanks for posting this! I really like this one better than some of the ones that I have seen posted in the past. The problem with us is that we look 'normal', so people don't realize that we are often in pain when we see them....sigh...Take care, and hope to see more of you as your time and health allow.
    My avatar is of my daughter, Andrea, who we lost in a fire on 1/18/11

    ** Hx of an L4/L5 fusion w/ hardware in April 2002 and taking daily pain meds;
    ** proud Grandma of three grandchildren, Angelo, 11/11/05, and Julianna, 1/3/08, and Penny, 6/20/13

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Cool Very Good Information.

    Suade, thank you for posting this. I have a few people that just don't get the problems we all face and hopefully this will help them to understand.
    Thank You

  4. #4


    Dear Suede...
    I remember reading this from before...number 9 looms large in my life....There are so many places I don't go because of that very reason...I can't sit in a standard is excrutiatingly painful...I am too short for my feet to touch the my spine is just compressed...with no relief....My mind after just a few moments goes to concentrating on not screaming....period....nothing outside of that....

    If I go somewhere...I call ahead to find out the seating available...often I take a small stool to put my feet on...or take a chair my brother sawed the legs off of....for me to take to accommidate me...for meditation practice....the legs in inch shorter than the legs in that my hips are a bit lower than my knees....but I can't lift it...some one else has makes me sit about 12 inches above the floor...but I can sit in that chair longer than any other....except a recliner...

    Something has to be very special for me to want to leave my home...not much is better than my home...My husband goes to most functions alone...people ask after me...but I just don't have the desire to put myself through it...Even if someone comes to dinner...after standing to cook it...I can't sit at the table long enough for the meal to be finished...I apologize and go recline...

    When you do go somewhere.....people ask what do you do....I hate that question....What are you going to say....I breathe....without screaming....That is the huge accomplishment...that and the dishes....The other day...I did all of the dishes and let the water one standing....and my husband and I considered it an event that required cheering and applause....woo hoo....big whup....

    My biggest thing...a factor here....very often...more to do with brain injury...Is that I can't engage....I can read something...that I should.....or feel I should...respond to...but there is a break in the link...that would garner my fingers and my brain co-operating respond....then the moment passes...sometimes it can take me days to return a phone call...I lose....

    I have lost people I care about..because I can't make myself pick up the phone....It is so odd...even to me...but it makes no difference...It just isn't there....some places I go....I can't speak...I literally can not make sound come from my is too obtrusive...the sound of my people think I am is so weird...I find myself having my husband go to those places and have stopped going there....

    How can you explain that to anyone...when you don't understand it yourself....I accept husband calls me his little weirdo...he doesn't make me feel bad about it..but...I know there are times he is saddened that I won't go somewhere with him....and sometimes I want to go..but he reminds me of the reality...of what I would often once you start you can't turn back....

    But...given all of that....

    I am happy...and thankful...for the joy I

    You all...are carried....on the breath of my prayers....daily....

    Blessings to all Beings........

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    S. Indiana


    Linda, thanks for posting this. There are so many things we take for granted and just don't think about but this list points to most of them. The one that is hard for me is the pain that isn't directed at one place, like my thoracic pain is, but how can we describe it. It doesn't feel like anything others have gone through and without a particular place of pain it doesn't make sense to others that ours is throughout our body. I am just thankful my family is good about it and I don't constantly have to explain it to them.

    Hummer, you certainly have described what many of us feel. It is good your husband is so understanding as you have one safe haven to return to.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

  6. #6


    Hi All,

    I haven't been able to look around since all has changed here so I don't know what is available from the past so I figured this one always is nice to have, hope it is able to help.

    I find myself more here lately then in sometime really forcing myself to do things I should not such as walking farther and lifting more over-all just really over doing it and the really paying for it, I have got to stop myself before I end up paralyzed or worse.

    I can't tell you how nice it is to see so many familiar names I miss this place and you all so much.
    I am just going through a very hard time right now medically and emotionally and can't cope well.

    Know this folks I love you all and when I'm not here you are all in my heart and thoughts.

    Hugs to ALL,


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