Re: JCAHO Sets New Standards for the Assessment and Management of Pain

From: Janet Karam (
Fri Feb 9 20:45:07 2001

Dear Mary,

I think pain is a very hard thing to exrpess in words or numbers...I do think a number gives the docs a more accurate measure than words.

Maybe they want a measure for how we are tolerating the pain....more than what the pain actually is?...You're "4" could be someone else's 8 or 2.

As a massage therapist I have seen that barely applying pressure to can be too much for one person, and not near enough for another if I dig my elbow into their muscle!

At least this way we can give the doctors a measure of how we are tolerant we are of what we are experiencing.

Wouldn't it be nice though if we could touch something and have our pain understood?



>---- Original Message -----
From: "Mary Wade" <> To: "Multiple recipients of list ADHESIONS" <> Sent: Friday, February 09, 2001 3:58 PM Subject: Re: JCAHO Sets New Standards for the Assessment and Management of Pain

> Do any of you feel that the 1 to 10 scale for rating adhesion related pain
> falls short of what we need to describe how we feel? Over the years, I
had > been asked often by docs to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I always
> asked them to tell me what 10 was. "well..that's the worst pain you've
ever > had" "OK...I thought...that was labor." So compared to that..I always
said > that my adhesion pain was from 4-6...sometimes even 7. It seemed to me
that > those 4-6 numbers were not ever very alarming numbers to the docs. Those
> numbers never seemed to move them to take my pain too seriously. I tried
to > explain that it was not so much the INTENSITY of the pain that was
> crazy-making...but the CHARACTER of the pain. It's one of those pains
that > makes your body say, "Get rid of this...get it OUT." There was always an
> urgency to my pain. It was not a passive ache or pain. I told others
when > I was trying to explain what it was like...that it was like walking around
> with your shoes full of rocks and not being able to take the shoes
> off...ever. Does this relate to what some of the rest of you have
> experienced? Or are we all different? Just curious! Mary
> At 05:18 PM 2/9/01 -0600, you wrote:
> >On 9 Feb 2001, at 11:38, Helen Dynda wrote:
> >
> >> "Research clearly shows that unrelieved pain can slow recovery, create
> >> burdens for patients and their families, and increase costs to the
health > >> care system."
> >
> >When I was in the hospital there were posters up for "Pain -- the
> >other vital sign." There is a great deal of activity in hospitals and
> >nursing practice around assessing pain just as temperature, pulse,
> >and blood pressure are taken.
> >
> >Last winter I attended a conference for people working with cancer
> >patients and heard an excellent discussion of pain by an ER
> >physician and a anesthesiologist. Both were adamant that the
> >patient's perception of pain was the only way to assess it.
> >Anesthesiologists have become central in developing pain control
> >methods.
> >
> >As I read the messages on this list each day, I become more and
> >more convinced that the first step to managing pain is simply to
> >have it acknowledged. When we perceive that our doctors don't
> >believe we have pain, we are frightened, discouraged, and hopeless.
> >
> >I usually assess my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 where ten is
> >unbearable. It really helps to realize that the pain does vary with
> >what I eat and how tired I am.
> >
> >Kate
> >Kate Murphy
> >
> >

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