Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pain tolerance

Or am I a whiner? Recently I have taken both my parents to doctor appointments. I have actually not just driven them but actually talked to their doctors with them and about them. I have now know their blood pressure and all that and heard them answer the questions are you safe at home (yes) and what is your pain level today.

I have learned that my father doesn't have pain which makes sense because he has pneumonia. My mother has pain which has been a 6 since her vertebroplasty to fix a crushed vertebra, before then it was an 8 or 9. She also has rheumatoid arthritis and a bad back - with three other previously crushed vetebrae. This is the part that makes me think.

I also have rheumatoid, fibromyalgia, degenerating disks in my back, and lymphedema in my arm which sometimes likes to act up. When I go to the doctor, I say my pain level is usually around a 4, on a good day, it might even be a 2. Sometimes its a 6 or 7, and occasionally flares higher.

I know its just a number but am a whiner? I have more heavy duty pain drugs than my mother. Do I have them because I said my pain numbers were higher because I am a wimp?

When they ask you the question at the doctors office it is completely subjective. And my pain is fickle. Sometimes its there, and then its gone. Sometimes I feel fine and then I sit in a bad chair in the waiting room and I can barely move when I try to stand.

I recently read an article on WebMD on pain tolerance. "Pain tolerance is influenced by people's emotions, bodies, and lifestyles... Biological factors -- including genetics, injuries such as spinal cord damage, and chronic diseases such as diabetes that cause nerve damage -- also shape how we interpret pain...."

I know I need to lose weight which will help with pain tolerance and the pain itself. But the two people who contributed to my genetics seem to have a better handle on pain itself. Maybe they just gave me the wimpy genes.

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