Pain Tolerance

Last Friday we were invited over for a games night by two of our friends whom we play soccer with. When we arrived our friend, we’ll call him Mr. V, was hobbling around. We asked him what was going on and he responded back to let us know that he had injured his ankle too!! However, he immediately told us that he started to heal immediately.  Throughout the evening he kept making these whining noises and agony cries. As the night continued on his ankle was so swollen it started to turn black and blue. We immediately stopped playing games, elevated his ankle and got him some ice. Once it was elevated he couldn’t stop talking about the pain. He would say things like “I’m in so much PAIN!!” or my favorite “Why is it SO SWOLLEN!” He would crinkle up his nose, squint his eyes, bend over towards his ankle and let out a large agonizing scream.

Hubby and I gave each other the look. Now those who suffer from arthritis probably know ‘the look’. The look can be described as in “Oh brother, seriously dude?! It’s not that bad”. Yup, we gave each other that look!

As we were finishing up our latest game, we were talking about the pain Chris and I have been in during the last month. Hubby with his bummed ankle and my hip issues. Mr. V really didn’t give us the time of day. It’s because my hubby’s ankle is not large and swollen like his and I can still walk on my hip. So, we changed the conversation onto what Mr. V was doing in order to take care of himself. He had no idea how to take care of himself and his injury. No idea about the P.R.I.C.E. acronym.

As Hubby and I left that evening we couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. We find it funny how people who don’t suffer from arthritis end up with some kind of injury over exaggerate and continually voice their opinion about it. Like it’s the end of the world.  The pain will never go away for them. It will never heal. They will always be stuck with whatever injury they deemed on themselves. Like Mr. V and his blue ankle. Well Mr. V…you should of taken better care of your ankle.

I had my regular 5 week IV infusion on Monday of this week. As I was in the appointment room before the medication was administered, Dr. Rheumy asked me how and what my pain tolerance was. Again, there is that CHUCKLE!!  I couldn’t help but chuckle. I asked him, “Do you want the pain tolerance of an arthritis sufferer or a normal non-arthritic person?” He looked at me in a strange way; obviously never had a question asked back. I re-worded my question into a statement. “Dr. Rheumy, I know you are trying to judge my pain, but I’ve had back pain for the last 10 years. Granted about 3 years ago is when I’ve seen an increase in pain, however you have to realize I’ve become accustomed to the pain. To the point where it feels natural to have a twinge in my back. It’s only when it flares that I can’t stand it.” He chuckled a bit and said “Oh, you are one of those arthritic sufferers.”

CRAP! Am I really one of those people where I’ve become SO accustomed to pain? Why is it people who are in agonizing pain every day, don’t really like to draw attention to themselves? Is it because they don’t want to appear to be weak or act like they are suffering?

So, there I am, staring face to face with Dr. Rheumy and he is getting frustrated with me because I honestly have NO IDEA how to answer his question of my pain tolerance. Then randomly, I started to chuckle. One of those nervous chuckles that just blurt into the whole office hearing me. I was thinking about my friend Mr. V who couldn’t stop talking about his pain. So, I finally answered Dr. Rheumy in the correct way. “Dr. Rheumy, my back is in pain. It feels squished. My left hip is crunching, and my left toe feels like a hammer was slammed on it. However, these are every day pain but I’m ready to fix them.”

I’m now on a path to fixing my ‘pain’. About six months ago I started a diary to see how much night shade vegetables affect me and the result was they actually do. WOW, do they make me cranky! Since it worked for the food, I think it will work for the pain. I’m keeping a diary of my pain and trying to be truthfully honest about it. I’m not lifting boxes at work anymore. I’m asking co-workers to help. I’m taking my daily pills regularly again to help ease the pain and hopefully build up my immune system. Within the diary I’m also recording how much I’m really taking Tylenol. In the past I’ve done this, but what a PAIN. LOL!

So, I have another goal and objective for my next appointment. Keep an open and honest communication with my Dr. Rheumy. Take the pills I need too, and stay on top of my health. If I don’t take care of me, no one else will. I better get too it! Then the chuckle hit. I’m Mr. V!! No, not literally, but I’m not taking care of myself. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to appear weak, or not normal, but who cares! I’m on the pathway to a healthier and pain-free ME!

Cheers to good health!!!



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