September is National Pain Awareness Month, a time to shed light on the problem and treatment of pain.
In her post, “What I Learned From Off-the-Charts Pain,” Jennifer Moore Ballentine notes, “…until you handle the pain, nothing else matters.” Ballentine, the Executive Director of California’s Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care, also notes that the treatment of pain can require a mix of traditional, non-traditional and sometimes unorthodox approaches (as in playing a Dead Can Dance track repeatedly through your ear buds).
Managing pain is science and art. Palliative medicine includes all kinds of help and support for patients (and family), but relieving pain is the first order of business.
Agape providers are skilled at assessing a person’s pain picture and expert at relieving physical suffering. Pain can be complex, related to disease burden, treatment or both (or other). Complex scenarios call for multi-faceted approaches: pharma, holistic therapies, practical strategies and sometimes, a playlist.
Sometimes people feel better in a matter of hours; for others it’s a process, like unwinding a tangle of string or navigating a crisis (and Agape NP’s help people plan so they avoid pain crisis related to treatment). Because until you address pain, nothing else matters.