Taken from a great article on the pain revolution website.
3 things people in pain want us to know
” Jo’s words:
Please hear us,
The most important part of any therapeutic interaction is feeling heard. Too many people have answers for us before they even know us or our pain. We have seen the face you make when we want to tell you our stories, and the way that you want to cut us off because there’s limited time in the clinic. Remember that feeling like we’re an active participant in decision making, and that we have likes, dislikes and preferences, even in the face of pain is critical to us getting better. Listening is a skill – and one that we need to practice, not just in the clinic, but in our everyday interactions with people.
Know you can’t FIX us
Please don’t say you know exactly what’s wrong with us and can fix us. We’ve been to so many people who’ve made such claims, and none of them could. Tell us pain is complex and that we’ll figure out the way forward TOGETHER, as equal partners. When we’re in pain, we really want to believe you, that you do have all the answers, because life gets really big and heavy when everything hurts. Disappointment hurts too. Stick with the science, help us to understand the complexity, and make sense of our stories, and we’ll all do much better in recovering from persisting pain.
Please be a Human
Pain is a human experience. As much as you can, treat me as a friend. You don’t need to “be” my friend, but compassion is sadly lacking in pain care. Pain is hard, for both the person in pain and the person trying to treat them. If we can recognize the humanity in one another we’ll all be better off, on both sides of the equation.”
Full link below:
A huge thank you to Joletta Belton, who writes at http://www.mycuppajo.com for her expert input in to this post. Jo received her expert qualifications in pain through her own experience and recovery from persisting pain (although she did return to University to study it too!). She is changing the world of people in pain with the Endless Possibilites Initiative.