Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Concealing the pain....

I have some different pain issues after my surgery than before my surgery, in different places and of a different nature. Like other feelings, pain is hard to define and hard to communicate to others in specifics. I mean, try explaining verbally and specifically HOW something hurts, describing it in qualitative details other than "like a son of a bitch" or "real bad." Do it for fun the next time you are injured. Heck, for that matter try describing feeling sad, or good, or mad.

Anyhow, I end up saying things like it hurts "in here" and "over here some" and "it feels like a... like a... a sharp, but not tingly, hit to your funny bone that makes you queasy," etc., etc. Probably wasting my breath. I think the basic rationales for pain management decisions are 1. how much pain you can take, and 2. how long the pain lasts. Hospitals use the scientific chart shown below to translate your pain into an ordinal scale ranking system that the staff can work with, calculating how much morphine (at first) or other painkillers they will give you. I find the chart a little silly.

I want to punch it in its several faces.

I think they should just ask you to swear, and compare it to this next chart, which is the the BBC's survey of offensive words, used internally for editing BBC stories. (F*@king click on the chart to make if f*#king huge, unless you are an easily offended wanker.) A much better chart.

At my first post-surgery check-up, the doctors did not have much to say about my post-surgery pain, other than it might go away. I can't keep chomping on Advil like it's Pez, so I'm trying acupuncture. The first picture is of one of the needles in my forearm.

I had two in each forearm, one in each ear (the upper fleshy part), a few in each shin, some in my feet, and as you can see, more needles in my washboard abs. (Yeah, she had to pound those in with a hammer....)

After two sessions, all I can say is that the sessions are very relaxing--a warm room in a beautiful old converted church, funky Asian music, candles, very comfortable--and that I don't feel any pain during the approximately 45 minute sessions. However, I didn't notice any change after the first session, as the pain came back, but my acupuncturist said it might take 2 or 3 sessions. Had my second session tonight. We'll see....

I suspect one old friend (not age-wise, but from the idyllic olde days back along the Mississippi River) is rolling his eyes at this. I have one word for you, buddy: Leeches.