By Avery Hurt from PracticalPainManagement.com
"Research reveals that the use of metaphor and addressing themes such as isolation may improve provider-patient communication and aid in shared decision-making."
This article is a bit of a change of pace for us since this focuses on the physician perspective. Long story short, the study suggests that we could move away from a numeric pain assessment scale and would benefit from the patients description of how the pain feels -- which sounds like, "duh" to me. The Symptoms Log utilizes a pain scale, because that's what your doctor would want to know, but there is room to really describe your pain and how it affects you.
"Patients used a variety of metaphors and descriptors to express their pain and their feelings about their pain.
One patient, according to the report, noted, “…it felt like it was underneath me and that it would suck me out and I would feel that fear, that dark horrible feeling ... it was like a dark thing that wanted to suck me out.”
Another used humor rather than horror, describing her pain as being “like having a mother in law you don’t like constantly being here, running your life, telling you what to do and what not to do ... it commands you around.”
Perhaps not all doctors have time to hear your metaphor, but it does paint a better picture for the ones that do and can help you keep the memory fresh when you describe it to them.
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