Caring for someone in pain is not easy. It can be difficult to see a loved one in pain. It can also be difficult for your loved one to accept help from you. Remember to respect your loved one’s privacy and ability to control his life. Offer specific help and allow your loved one to make choices.
Navigating a way through the maze of medications, instructions from healthcare professionals, and visits to different doctors can be confusing and frustrating for you and your loved one. The best way you can help is to be an advocate and partner with your loved one to help manage his pain. Keeping a log of medications, doctor appointments, instructions, important phone numbers and other information can help you to advocate for your loved one.
Here is an example of what you might say when calling for help for someone you are caring for:
"This is Margaret Smith, John Smith's daughter. My father is a patient of Dr. Troy. This morning he couldn’t get out of bed because his leg hurt so badly near the hip, and it hurts even if he tries to move just a little in bed. He said his pain is sharp. At 6:00 a.m. he took two Percocet TM but didn't feel any better. The next time for his medicine isn't until noon. We tried a heating pad, but it didn't help."
It is important to help your loved one keep a pain diary or journal to document descriptions of the pain, time of day pain may worsen, when medication was taken and any other factor that may help give a detailed picture to your loved ones medical team. The more information you or your loved one has to offer to the medical team, the easier it will be for them to help manage the pain.
Caring for someone – no matter how many hours a day – can be exhausting. Remember to care for yourself and take a break! Additional information about how to do this may be found on Caring for Someone on Caring Connections' website.
Caring for a Child in Pain
No matter what age your child is, when he or she feels pain, you hurt too. As a parent, you know your child best and are most familiar with any changes, or signs of discomfort and pain. It is important that you give this information to your child’s medical team, and make them aware of the changes you have noticed, as well as subtle differences that you can’t quite put your finger on. This information will help ensure that your child gets the pain relief he or she needs and deserves.
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