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Waiting too long

Posted by Angelina H on 6/27/03 at 16:56 (123083)


In reading these horror stories, that start out much like my own, I am convinced of one thing. We as parents and nurturers never fail to rush our children to the doctor for the slightest of ails, yet will go for years untreated for the most sever and painfull issues. We fail to think about the fact that we need to keep ourselves healthy for those same children (myself included).

I have suffered with sever pain for aprox 5 to 7 years, the initial pain coming on much earlier. For the last year the pain has been unbearable at times, and for the last 6 months has left me feeling what I can only describe as crippled. Unfortunatly for me I have always had a high tolerance to pain, otherwise I might have sought help sooner. PLEASE GET HELP EARLY.

Now I worry that I am going to end up totally unable to walk. I am now in the early part of treatment, and am scared almost to accept the only forms of treatment available, which in many cases make things much worse. I guess I will just get lots of advice, and make the most educated choices that I can.

Wish me luck,

Re: Waiting too long

Carole C in NOLA on 6/27/03 at 19:28 (123090)

You are so right! I waited two months and four days from my first twinge of PF pain until I was seen by a doctor, and although that's a lot less than 5-7 years, that was too long also!

PF is so serious and debilitating that I can't emphasize strongly enough how important it is to get foot pain checked out instead of hoping it will just go away. If the doctor says, 'It's nothing, if it doesn't go away in a week come back' then I might have felt stupid, but better to feel stupid than to hurt for months and months!

CArole C

Re: Waiting too long

Sharon W on 6/29/03 at 22:21 (123168)


People who are 'stoic' end up getting the worst of it, for sure. You are right that we tend to wait TOO LONG before asking for help with a painful condition -- usually either because we don't want to be seen as a 'wimp,' or because we just don't have the TIME, or the money, or whatever, to be sick, and so we try to deny that it is happening until it finally reaches the point where there is NO WAY we can deny or ignore the pain anymore.

There is another problem that stoic patients go through, too. Many doctors seem to assume that a patient who isn't grimacing (at least) when painful areas are touched, and then complains of a pain level of '7 or 8,' must be faking the pain. They are looking for outward signs that they can easily identify as pain, and if they don't see those signs, they are unlikely to believe you when you tell them something is painful. Such a patient may, ironically, be labelled a 'hypochondriac' or a 'drug seeker' by many of her doctors -- and of course a doctor who thinks THAT isn't going to give you any pain meds at all. (Meanwhile, those rare patients who actually ARE faking it, are grimacing and yelling out, 'OWWwch!!' -- and THEY are probably seen as genuine and treated with concern and compassion!)

I have a problem with letting anyone see that I am in pain. Usually, I can hold absolutely still and keep my face completely neutral -- as long as I'm EXPECTING it to hurt (nurses have to learn to do THAT, anyway!) What I CAN'T do, is talk in a normal voice while something is really hurting.

I remember the day when my pod finally figured out how to tell when something hurt me, WITHOUT asking... I was getting a steroid injection into my ankle and I suddenly stopped talking in the middle of a sentence, and I stayed quiet until the injection was over. She never commented on it, but after that she would always ASK me about pain whenever I stoppped talking to her...


Re: Waiting too long

Terry Z on 7/01/03 at 22:27 (123393)

You are so on!