“I find that managing chronic pain can be a bit of a dance between myself and the patient. Sometimes a little bit of a compromise. I always tell my patients that pain is subjective but many things can contribute to pain — certainly stress, lack of sleep, any emotional issues can make pain worse. Your pain is different than my pain. I don’t like to use the word “tolerance” when it comes to opioids, but certainly, some people are able to tolerate pain more than others. But it does go back to the emotional component related to pain. One of my attendings in fellowship — known to be a bit of a hard ass — used to tell our patients, you can’t die from pain. Your blood pressure that’s 210/110? That can kill you. The 100 percent blockage of your artery in your heart? That can most certainly kill you. Your smoking four packs a day? That may kill you. Your pain is a by-product of your experience. Snowing yourself with opioids only tricks your body into believing there’s nothing more serious going on. And it’s a temporary solution for a more permanent problem.”
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “The painfully fine line of pain management.”
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Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.