What is pain? Is it a bee sting? Or a stubbed toe? Or is it a broken bone? Or a headache? Is it emotional?
The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE
Pain is a general term that describes uncomfortable sensations in the body. Pain can be a range of feelings. It can be annoying. It can be a sharp stabbing or a dull ache. Pain can be described as throbbing, stinging, sore, and pinching. People respond to pain differently. Some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others have a low tolerance. For this reason, pain is highly subjective.
Take a pain scale as an example. We are often asked to rate our pain on a scale of 1-10. There may be one patient with a horrible headache who marks 8 on their pain scale. Another person with a broken arm also marks 8 on a pain scale. The person with the broken arm might think their pain is worse that the person with the headache. I think it is unfair for us to make that judgement. Pain is pain. Often, we hear the phrase “Someone else has it worse”. No one should be told that their pain is less in comparison to someone else’s. We all should be treated respectfully for the pain that we describe.
We all can handle different levels of pain and we are all allowed to feel our pain and rate it on our own. I don’t think pain between 2 people can be compared. Each person is different. We are all affected by sickness and disease in different ways.
Let’s look at two people with arthritis. These two people might have the same symptoms and disease, but they might need 2 different treatment plans. This is because each person’s body reacts different and doctors work with us to best treat our individual body. We all have our own experiences, symptoms and treatments.
Sometimes when I am in a lot of pain it is hard for me to open my ears and heart to someone else who is explaining their pain to me. When I am in a bad mood and depressed about the pain, I am not the most empathetic person. That is something I am working on, but I always make sure people know that I am there for them. Even on our bad days we should be there for each other!
We also need to remember that not all of us talk about our pain or make it known. I still hide my pain in many ways from people. Just remember that you never know what someone is going through. Be aware of what you are saying. Be kind and don’t put people down. We all deal with pain differently and we all deserve to be heard.