Category Archives: Pain – ‘somnia

How to Talk About Pain

How to Talk About Pain – Courtesy of

Credit Paul GarciaLONDON — IN 1926, Virginia Woolf published an essay on pain, “On Being Ill.” Isn’t it extraordinary, she observed, that pain does not rank with “love, battle and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature. She lamented the “poverty of the language of pain.” Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”

Where are the novels or epic poems devoted to typhoid, pneumonia or toothaches, Woolf wondered? Instead, the person in pain is forced to “coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.”

The difficulty in talking about painful sensations forces people to draw on metaphors, analogies and metonymies when attempting to communicate their suffering to others. Woolf — writing nearly a century after the popularization of ether, the first anesthetic — was perhaps too pessimistic about the creativity of sufferers. Take lower back pain, the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the 1950s, one sufferer of back pain said that it felt like “a raging toothache — sometimes like something is moving or crawling down my legs.” Half a century later, one person confessed that “my back hurt so bad I felt like I had a large grapefruit down about the curve of the back.”

Woolf would not have been impressed perhaps by claims that backs hurt like a toothache or a grapefruit, but she was right to recognize that people in pain seek both to describe their suffering and to give meaning to it.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wisconsin Doctors to Start Prescribing “Tough Love”?!

I HATE articles like this. I believe that true chronic pain sufferers have enough to deal with in their care to be worrying about things like this. Doctors realize that chronic pain is a real condition needing real therapy. However, until a good one is found, some of us are left to fend with pain meds instead. I bet that I can ask any others like me and they would say the same thing, “find me something that works and I’ll flush these pills in an instant.” People don’t seem to realize that we DON’T want to take pills. We want to feel better. We want to be able to do the things in life that “normal” people do. Like I said previously, it’s hard enough without drug abusers getting in the way.

I have a better idea! How about doctors prescribe a visit to a therapist WITH the prescription? That way, we can get the meds that we need while also getting the much needed counseling in order to deal with the feelings and emotions that come from a debilitating life condition? That way you leave labeling an addict to a psychological professional and not your opinion. I’m sure that a counselor can see between the lines to determine whether you legitimately need pain meds or not. I feel that we need chronic pain sufferers making these rules (or at least previewing them) instead of doctors or politicians that are slave to their personal views and not what’s always best for those that need help. </rant>

Area ER Doctors To Limit Who Gets Prescription Pain Meds

As prescription pain medication abuse continues to rise, area emergency rooms will likely go Oxy Free in the next few months, meaning patients might get a little more tough love.

By Denise Lockwood
July 27, 2012

Fed up with patients that don’t have legitimate reasons for taking prescription pain medications, emergency room physicians in southeastern Wisconsin will soon be giving large doses of tough love to patients who are doctor shopping.

Nationally, narcotic prescription medication abuse, including abuse of oxycodone and oxycontin, is on the rise. So within the next few months hospitals in Milwaukee County are going “Oxy-free” and a Racine-based emergency department is also looking into doing the same. The information-sharing group includes officials from Froedtert Hospital, Wheaton Franciscan, Columbia-St. Mary’s, and Aurora Health Care.

Dr. Gary Swart, medical director for the emergency departments at Wheaton Franciscan’s Elmbrook Memorial, St. Joseph and The Wisconsin Heart Hospital campuses, said he’s part of a network of emergency department administrators that will be implementing tighter restrictions on how prescription pain medications are used and they want their patients to know about their policies prior to registering.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , ,

I Wish I Were a Cat

When I can’t sleep I just lay there and dream of being a cat…

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Funny, Pain - 'somnia


Pain Hurts

Pain is what keeps me up at night. Pain is what gets me up in the morning. Pain is what motivates me to get out of pain. So, how bad can it really be in the end? I have been absent from writing for a while now because typing can be excruciating. Thankfully, I have a new system in place that might help with that. It’s called a TENS unit and I’ll be doing a full review of it soon! In the meantime, I will continue to update this blog with posting around the net on new pain management techniques or research. If nothing else, I can disseminate the information here to make it easier for others. I hope all is well with you all and that you can find the little bright nuggets of wisdom that pain can bring.


Late Night Poll



I find that I lay here again not able to sleep because of one pain or the other. Tonight’s fiasco? Radiating arm pain. Now, most of you might be thinking… “well if the pain is so bad why are you typing?” Well, ordinarily I wouldn’t be doing this. My computer almost never enters the bed with me. However, due to the fact that I needed better technology to read journal articles I fell into the trap of buying an iPad. This allows me write whenever I need or want to. Also, as most of you know, we can always find the otherwise elusive energy to complain about the pain whenever we want to. This is something that I’ve tried to avoid, but sometimes when you lay here unable to sleep, that little bit of complaining (that which masks self loathing) is just what the doctor ordered. It may not help me to fall asleep but it helps me to know that others are in this same predicament. If you don’t believe me just search Twitter for #painsomnia. There are many more like us that cannot fall asleep because of some sort of pain. I somehow feel that there should be a late night support group for us. Either an online group to chat about this or something akin to a 1-800 number for people to chat until sleepy. I wonder if something like this exists and if not whether it would be beneficial to any of us. A poll should be devised and a plan set into motion. Thoughts?

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Pain - 'somnia, Pain - Physical


Tags: , ,