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Stop harming others – National Pain Report



This is a very difficult subject to discuss! This problem often involves a loving, well-meaning friend or relative as the cause of accidental pain and sometimes long-term suffering. It is experienced by those with conditions that produce chronic pain. Over the last decade, I have been repeatedly physically wounded by friendly and caring staff. So I really hope this article will serve to raise awareness for both the public and more importantly those who interact with those who suffer from chronic conditions regularly.

I can personally confirm having experienced many physical setbacks as a result of the damage done by the well-meaning persons. The emotional toll can be overwhelming as such setbacks, while unintentional, are unnecessary. The chronic pain patient experiences additional pain that can cause tremendous mental injury. It is incumbent upon all of us to try to develop an understanding of the impact of our actions on how we interact with people suffering from chronic pain and other unique medical conditions. Please take time to be educated on how to not hurt someone else by mistake in your lack of understanding.

Ellen Lenox Smith

There are so many conditions you may find that in many cases it is invisible to the naked eye. I've been living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition that results in the body's inability to produce healthy collagen, the glue that holds your body together. Without healthy collagen, tendons and ligaments cannot do their job. Instead of keeping the joints in place, they stretch and can cause the intense and often chronic pain. A simple hug allows movement of the skeletal frame so that bone shifts cause subluxations or even dislocations. I know it sounds hard to believe, but it is true and can be extremely painful. Someone who lives with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is experiencing burning pain that someone else cannot see. A simple brush against their skin creates unpleasant pain that can last a long time. If one recovers a sprain or strikes a simple pat on the area intended as a friendly gesture, it can cause pain and in some cases actually further damage. People experience pain from sickle cell disease, migraine, shingles, frozen shoulder, bone fractures, sliding disc, kidney stones, trauma, vertebrae, fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, endometriosis, ulcer, trigeminal neuralgia, appendicitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, gastric ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, gastric ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache, gastric ulcer, acute pancreatitis, cluster headache -Surgical pain, to name a few, many around you have trouble with pain and need to be careful about touching them! No one has asked for these conditions to cope, but even if your injury is not intentional, it is also very avoidable.

After twenty-four operations, I have to deal with a more sedative and predictable lifestyle. I was a teacher, and my life was characterized by intense social interaction that I loved and thrived on. But I have now become cautious and sometimes the fear of what was once the source of such joy and meaning. Social interaction, which so often leads to healthy normal physical interaction, has often led to injury and pain with the need for healing and recovery week. I am often deprived of the healthy rewarding activities that I had resumed, even though it was limited. What is simple for you is healing for me. Let me give you an example:

  • Recently, after addressing a group at an event, the number of operations I had experienced, including mergers in the neck, attended a woman in the audience came over to wish me well reach out to my neck to pull me toward her. It caused the shoulder to sublux, trachea shifts, rib sublux and oxygen levels to fall. Despite numerous PT appointments, as the trauma is correct due to the swelling that occurs, I am working to calm the body back in the coming weeks.

It is just an example of what can happen when you are not thinking of touching someone else. The list of conditions that cause medical problems is too long to post, but the choices you can make not to harm another person are there for you to do:

For The Healthy Toucher [19659009] First of all, never feel awkward or uncomfortable asking those who suffer from chronic conditions as the least harmful method of approaching and interacting with them. You won't hurt them, and no patient wants more pain and disturbance in their lives.

  • Think first and keep caution before touching
  • Consider asking, "Is it safe to touch you?"
  • Consider other ways of expressing admiration, love or a simple hello besides touching – a smile, a conversation, a friendly word or a gesture
  • For the person who may be damaged

    • Consider sharing some kind of medical warning when you are in a collection – possibly wearing even unnecessary hanger for warning or even a mask

    Nobody will touch anyone with a mask if they are contagious.

    • Consider doing what is done before the community when they will not attend – put your arms on the cross on your chest
    • Consider warning friends about the issue of being touched before a gathering
    • Ask close friends and family to Try to create a safety net by intervening in interactive social settings as a protective carrier, and warning that it is not appropriate to act in a way that could deliberately harm you.

    I wish I had all the answers to prevent the harm that goes on with me and others by people trying to express kindness to us. If you have other suggestions we can share, consider submitting them at the end of this article. We need to help educate others where harmful and prolonged simple action can affect one who is able to handle a painful medical condition.

    May life be kind to you,

    Ellen Lenox Smith

    ] Author of: It hurts like hell !: I live with pain and have a good life anyway and My life as a service wagon!

     The information in this column must not be considered as a medical care, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author's opinions only. It does not in itself express or reflect the views, opinions and / or positions of the National Pain Report.  

    Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors of medical cannabis amusement for the US Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board, and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information on medical cannabis visit their website. https://ellenandstuartsmith.squarespace.com/


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