I got this out of my toe today (thank goodness!). It was hurting really badly, but I guess I act a little too stoic for my own good–the podiatrist could *not* believe I wasn’t screaming in pain because this splinter was so deep. She’s a super cool doctor, and I explained to her it’s just not my style to scream and yell in pain–
I did ask her to show the ER doctor a photo of this splinter, because he was pretty sure there was nothing there last night. I definitely believe the ER doctor was right that it was better handled by a podiatrist today (I just needed to go to the ER to get a new tetanus shot),
but its always good for doctor’s to understand whenever I can prove it indisputably–like moments like now–that not all patients express pain the same way…
Because of my immune disorder, I compartmentalize pain…since I often have negative image studies and negative blood work, even when I *do* have a problem,
pain is often the only tool I have to express to doctors that something is wrong.
So I follow my pain, and I rarely take pain killers, so I can track it to tell me what is going on with my body over the course of time.
(Unless I’m in the hospital, then I take the pain killers, because if you refuse the pain killers they don’t believe you’re in pain ‘why would you refuse the morphine if you say your pain level is a 9???’
They don’t have time (or believe?) the ten hour explanation of my medical case of why pain is actually very important for me, because it’s the best tool I have to help doctors be able to help me.
When you’re admitted into the hospital they just don’t buy that. They believe if your pain is real then you accept the pain killers.
So I’ve learned the hard way to just take the pain killers…otherwise they send psychologists. I’d much rather have dilidid anyway. Since my pain is real, it’s always nice to have a vacation from it once in awhile anyway. I figure the safest I’ll ever be to ‘let go’ and enjoy some time off from tracking my misery is while I’m admitted into the hospital.
But pain has become my most trusted ‘test result’ and being emotional only got me prescriptions for anxiety medications, so that combination of events has created me…a very methodical sounding patient who actually is really truly suffering.
“You need to put on a show sometimes”, the podiatrist said to me today after pulling out the splinter. “We’re just trained to judge pain based on your response to it, and I never would have believed something like this could be in your toe. I could only see a small speck of it under the skin. You should have been screaming in pain.”
Maybe she’s right, but I’ve just been around the block one too many times… now that’s just how I do it.
Every patient is different 🙂
She was so great, I’m actually bummed I don’t have a lot of foot problems. I really liked the orthopedic surgeon I saw a long time ago too, Dr. Jason Snibbe, and I felt the same way after I saw him….kinda bummed that I didn’t have chronic issues in those parts of my body.
I really like my doctors, but I like her today too. It was special day–She’s now officially on the roster of physicians who can vouch for me that I’m telling the truth when I say something is wrong…even if everything looks okay, and the imaging study looks okay, if I say there’s something wrong–chances are there’s something wrong.
Next time maybe I should throw in some theatrics…I don’t know. It’s just not my style.