You Don't Avoid Needless Pain

 How To Avoid Needless Pain

Pain is good, as it tells us that something is wrong and we should not avoid the reason why there is pain, so we seek medical advice. But to suffer needless pain is not good.

Recently, I developed a method to avoid most of the pain caused by a medical procedure or for the preparation of one.


This will substantially reduce the pain caused by the procedure. Why a half hour before? Because it takes about that time for the pain medicine to kick in. It usually is a half hour before you take or given to you by a care person after the procedure, so the pain isn't alleviated for nearly an hour.

Example #1.

Several months ago I had an intestinal blockage, at the hospital, the doctor inserted a tube through my nose to my stomach to pump it out. It took the pharmacy 30 minutes to get the painkiller to my room and it took a while for it to take effect. I mentioned to the doctor that wouldn't it have been better to take the pain medicine before instead of after. He agreed with me.

So, a few days later, before being discharged, I mentioned this to the nurse who was to remove the tube. The three previous times this happened the doctor just yanked the tube out causing me to use more French words than I have in my vocabulary. It felt like he pulled out all my guts through my nose. The nurse agreed and she gave me the pain medicine one half hour before she pulled out the tube. Instead of the excruciating pain that I was expecting, there was minor discomfort.

Example #2.

Last Friday, the 8th, was the removal of the catheter and stent following the third procedure for my bladder cancer. The previous two removals produced the use of many, many French words. The procedure was scheduled for 8:00 am.

I woke up at 5:00 am that morning, so I took two Tylenol tablets and went back to sleep. At 7:30, just before leaving, I took two more Tylenol tablets. (If I hadn't awakened at 5, I would have taken three at 7:30). The nurse stated at one point that the removal of the stent was the most painful part.

The removal of the catheter pain level was not quite a two compared to a nine the previous two times. When I saw that the catheter was out, I asked when will the stent come out? She then held up the catheter, and attached to it was the stent, and said, "It's already out."

Disclaimer: There are other procedures where you will not be able to take the pain medicine before, such as when you have to fast after midnight. I am not a medical person, so if you have any questions you should bring it up with your caregiver.