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Describing pain

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  • Describing pain

    I have a hard time with the concept of pain. To me a "pain" is like being in labor, or hitting your elbow -- actual pain that pretty much feels the same to everyone and there is no other way to describe it. I tend to describe "things" as sensations, discomfort, pressure, burning, sensitive, achy. It seems to me that an actual description would be so much more useful to a doctor or nurse, but it tends to cloud things.

    When I was first being examined by a urologist, he pushed on my bladder and I about went through the roof. He asked if it hurt. I said "no" because it wasn't "pain" to me, but a sensitivity or tenderness and sudden feeling like I needed to pee. So he put in my records that I had no pain.

    The word "pain" seems to get attention where as if I use my more descriptive words my discomfort seem to get brushed off as a mere inconvience (there I go again saying discomfort).

    Any one else??? Any solutions???

  • #2
    This is very interesting. In my case a lot of my "pain" is really a burn or sting. Also, to some people pressure is pain.

    I too find that using the word "pain" gets more attention, so that's what I do.


    • #3
      Hi, I describe my pain as spams or shooting or just pain. I am so sorry. Pain gets more attetion. gentle hugs to you.
      Hang in there , There is hope.
      There is hope. Prayer works.

      Love, Debbie


      • #4
        pain, discomfort and pressure.. 3 different words with 3 different but realativly close meanings..... hhhhhmmmm
        I describe mine as pain, sharp pins and needles, stabby pains in my right lower side.
        spasms are painful to me I think I am a baby when it comes to pain baby , I have a very low tolerance to pain tho...
        'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


        • #5
          When talking to people I say No I don't have pain but when talking to the docs I say I have pain but it actually a nagging feeling of pressure in my pelvic area. It took awhile to figure out that one word will get you alot more attention.



          • #6
            My pain was very similar to one of the gals, the constant burning and stabbing pain, and bladder spasms are painful, I know mine were until I was able to get them under control with meds. I know everytime I had to go to the ER, they would ask rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and I would always say 50 and I am not joking. I know if you say a sensation, it does not seem to get much interest. I know I have a relatively high tolerance to pain, but IC literally can bring me to my knees, I think it is a very painful condition, and for myself, the pain control does a lot to help me out, take care and hugs Iris. hi eek definitely the look on my face when pain hits.
            Today and every day you are loved, so don't be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of you tomorrow; Live one day at a time.


            • #7
              Girls, when I describe my painful symptoms I
              feel like I have a" hot poker"pushing up
              through my vaginal area. It also feels like
              somebody hit my whole pelvic area with a
              baseball bat, even hurts to push up off a chair
              when getting up. Does anyone else have these symptoms??? Wishing everyone a pain free day!
              (((HUGS))) Rita banghead banghead grouphug


              • #8
                That is interesting. I love how the doctors give you a scale 1-10 to describe your pain. If I say 5 that means I feel my pain is moderate, but to them that might mean the pain isn't really that bad. I guess you have to say it's 20 to really mean that it's excruciating.

                I describe my burning pain by telling the doctors to imagine putting an onion under their eyelid or a having a jalapeno pepper slice implanted in their crotch about an inch deep. I also can almost see the word BURNING; it's about 5 inches high and eight inches wide in bold type.


                • #9
                  Hi Rita, your description was right on, saying it felt like a red hot poker, that is exactly the feeling, and it would not stop for anything. I have never experienced pain like that before I had IC. Good descriptive phrase, take care, hugs Iris. hi eek
                  Today and every day you are loved, so don't be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of you tomorrow; Live one day at a time.


                  • #10
                    I also have a hard time with the concept of pain. When I first started seeing my Uro, I used every description out there, except the word 'pain'. A couple of visits later, based on my description, he was the one who told me that I was in pain. I just thought I had pressure and burning.

                    Another example: Three years ago I had neck surgery. For months before that, I was in terrible pain. A day after the surgery, my Surgeon asked me what level of pain I was in? I told him 'my neck only ached'. He thought I was crazy!

                    I don't believe any two people could come up with the same pain level on a scale of 1-10. There are too many variations of pain in which each one of us tolerates differently.



                    • #11
                      All of these descriptions of pain everyone has posted sound familiar at some point and time for me. Mine at its worst is pain right above my pelvic area with huge swelling and my whole abdominal area all the way around to my lower back hurts. There is always a soreness and tenderness all the way around my lower ab and back area all the time. When I am in a severe flare it seems as though my pelvic area cuts off my breath. I hope you understand what I am talking about. As we all know IC pain is different for everybody and different on most days. I hope this makes sense to yall!!

                      Tami scream
                      [email protected]


                      • #12
                        It's interesting to read what everyone has said...everyone has different types of pain and describes their pain differently.

                        Then why do doctors and nurses use the word "pain"? It seems to me that it would benefit me if the doctor had a description for what I was feeling, rather than classifying so much under the word "pain". Do your doctors ask you to describe what you mean by pain?


                        • #13
                          Everyone does have different types of pain. Some hurt more in their pelvic area while some hurt more in their lower back. Some even have pain down one side of thier groin area going into their upper part of their legs. Some hurt up into their rectum area. I have found this to be all true at some point and time for me. SOme days is worse than others. My doctor always asks me to describe my pain and where. He is wonderful. He has taken a special interest in IC and wants to specialize in just seeing IC patients. There is a need for that in the area I live. He cannot take any new IC patients right now because he said if he did it would take away from his other IC patients. He always marks on my chart that I am there for an IC follow up so they will allow extra time for my app. We need more doctors like that in the U.S. I get so aggravated when I read about doctors who won't help their patients with their IC. I wish everyone had a dr. like Dr. Gray. He has been a true blessing in my life!!

                          Tami hi
                          [email protected]


                          • #14
                            I also have always had trouble explaining my pain or other symptoms. I have started to describe my pain as a sharp or stabbing feeling. The pain in my bladder actually feels like there are razor blades in there. This always gets the point across.
                            West Virginia Interstitial Cystitis/Prostatitis Support Group Leader
                            [email protected]


                            • #15
                              I think the variety of descriptions of pain is why I say I have little pain. I have various sensations that I can describe, but rarely ones that I consider pain. I didn't realize that others would categorize pressure as pain, for example. This explains a lot about why I thought my IC was so different from others -- we're not using the same words! Thanks for this thread as I've found it very educational.
                              IC & fibromyalgia since ~'77. Osteoarthritis since ~'88. Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (autoimmune blood disease) since '96. IBS for who knows how long. Interstim implant 2/04, revised 6/06, replaced 11/12 & again in 9/17. Antibodies to thyroid since at least '92 (finally diagnosed & treated 1/06). Asthma & vocal cord dysfunction 12/06. Hypoglycemia '07. Perimenopausal at 37, menopause at 45. Pituitary & adrenal failure. Osteopenia. Grade 3 sacral fracture by S3-S4 at age 12, healed 14mm out of place.