MESOTHELIOMA PAIN MANAGEMENT
Quality of Life With Mesothelioma
Surveys have consistently shown that pain is often undertreated, which
can have a profoundly negative impact on a patient's quality of life,
- Disturbed sleep
- Impaired work ability
- Persistent fatigue
- Frequent sadness, depression and worry
- Reluctance to move or exercise
- Diminished appetite
- Uncomfortable or impossible trips and vacations
- Increased feelings of isolation
- Caregiver exhaustion
Even if you feel that you can handle the pain, you should consider what
unresolved pain is doing to your loved ones who are trying to help you.
Living in pain when relief is available hurts not only you, but also the
people who care about you. Also, the quality of time spent with your family
and friends who are helping you through this period will be greatly diminished.
You need to understand that pain diminishes your ability to fight the cancer.
Pain leads to decreased appetite, which causes malnutrition and weakness.
These physical symptoms can lead to sadness and depression, which further
wear the body down. If this cycle continues, your body may become more
vulnerable to infection, leading to a decreased ability to fight the cancer.
Discussing Your Pain With Your Doctor
Communication with your doctor or nurse is essential to finding relief
from pain. Do not let your fear of being perceived as a complainer stop
you from setting up a program for pain control. You have a right to obtain
the best available pain treatment. When preparing to discuss your pain
with health care providers, you should take note of:
- The location of all your pains
- The types of pain — dull, aching, throbbing, stabbing, piercing,
pinching, sharp, aching, burning and tingling
- The intensity of your pain — and whether it changes throughout the
day and night
- When you notice the pain and whether it is persistent or occasional
- Whether the pain comes on suddenly or intermittently, whether it lasts
a few minutes or many hours, and how often it occurs
- The duration of the pain
- Conditions in which the pain worsens: such as moving, walking, talking,
coughing, lying down, eating and going to the bathroom
- What eases the pain — what you have been doing that has helped, what
medications you are taking and how much
- Include all pain medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers, alternative
medications like herbs and other medications you may be taking for other
- The side effects of your pain medications, how you are treating them and
if you are satisfied with the treatment
After discussing your pain with your health care team, you should ask your
doctors and nurses:
- What medications are available for my pain? What are the side effects of
- How should the medicine be taken?
- How long should I take it?
- Will it have negative interactions with my other drugs?
- Do you have any non-drug methods for pain relief?
Contact a California Mesothelioma Lawyer ∙ Kaiser Gornick LLP
From our San Francisco Bay Area offices, our California attorneys represent
mesothelioma victims and their families throughout California. Call (800) 824-8234 or
contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer from our firm.