Posted by: soulshinemoments | November 14, 2015

The problem with Pain

Sometimes I question if I am living a big enough life and if I am on track for/know what my life mission is.  Then, I have days like yesterday where I realize that I am grateful to simply be alive and not suffering.  My heart and mind is full of sympathy for the Parisians on the very macro level.  Also, on a more micro level, I met a patient on Monday of this week who has been in my thoughts constantly.

She is in her early 50’s and has been diagnosed with lung cancer, stage IV.  She has a 20 year old daughter who lost her dad (also to lung cancer) when she was 7.  What’s worse about her situation is the way she was diagnosed and other complications related to her prognosis.  She was working out at Curves and started noticing pain in her shoulder.  She is  a hairdresser and thought she had just been overworking her arms, but went to the doctor anyway.  The doctor did a scan, didn’t see any issues, so sent her to a chiropractor.   After no relief with the chiropractor, she began to notice tingling in her left arm.  Finally, when the tips of her fingers began to turn black, she went to the ER.  This time, they realized that not only does she have stage IV lung cancer, but she also has a 75% blockage of a blood clot in her subclavian artery which is slowly killing off her left arm.  No vascular surgeon wants to operate on her.  And, truthfully, it is not the lung cancer that will end up killing her, but the gangrene that will set into her arm and cause her sepsis.

I met with her twice last week.  The suffering I witnessed with her as her left arm is dying, sending excruciating pain signals and flashes of hot and cold throughout her body, was awful.  Our nurse is trying every pain regimen possible to keep her comfortable, but nothing was working.  We finally get her to a General Inpatient Unit in hopes that her pain could be controlled there. I don’t know what will happen to this poor lady.  They may end up doping her so much that she loses consciousness. My heart breaks for her and her family.

I hate that there has to be so much suffering in the world. 


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