September 17, 2014
September is Pain Awareness Month
Pain awareness. There are so many options to relieve common aches and the joys of aging that accompany "Nature's beautiful pageant" that many of us have the luxury of taking pain relief for granted. But for those suffering from medical conditions that result in chronic pain or for those at life's end, pain management can become a measure of life's quality.
Dame Cicely Saunders, the British woman considered the pioneer of modern hospice care, put forward the theory that those who are at the end of life suffer from "total pain," that is, the terminal patient's pain has social, spiritual and emotional--as well as physical--facets. Allowing any one of these elements of pain to remain unaddressed aggravates the dying patient's overall comfort and, likewise, when any one of these components of pain is lessened, the patient's general level of peace improves.That makes sense. Dying is but another part of living and how much better would our everyday lives be if we could achieve a balanced joy in the social, physical, emotional and spiritual arenas, a sort of "total bliss"?
Something to think about.