Your Basic Rights
People with chronic pain are often “people pleasers.” We find it hard to express our needs and require that others respect them. And when our needs are not met, tension is increased and our pain seems worse.
But you do have the same basic rights that you grant to others. You have the right to:
Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.
Be treated with respect.
Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.
Change your mind.
Ask for what you want.
Take time to slow down and think before you act.
Ask for information.
Ask for help or assistance.
Feel good about yourself.
Not have to explain everything you do and think.
Say "no" and not feel guilty.
Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings.
Read and reread these rights so that you not only know them by heart, but so that they become part of your daily life.
ACPA Quality of Life Scale Chronic pain has an impact on your life as well as your body. The ACPA Quality of Life Scale can help you and your health care team to more accurately evaluate your condition and track your progress over time.
Many pain scales now in use focus on pain---on how much and where you hurt. But we know that the experience of pain is a highly personal and relative thing. The ACPA feels that it's important to look at not just your level of pain but also on how much that pain limits your ability to live a full life.
The Quality of Life Scale considers your ability to participate in work, family, and social activities. We hope it will be useful to you both as a way to track your own progress and as a communication tool with family, care givers, and others.
Please feel free to download and print it to share with your doctor and other members of your medical team.
Click here to open the ACPA Quality of Life Scale in PDF format.
Source: American Chronic Pain Association http://www.theacpa.org/pf_main.asp
Why Do People Suffer With Pain?
Many people suffer with chronic pain because they are unaware of treatment options that can help them live more normal lives. Others have fears that prevent them from talking about their pain, which in turn creates barriers to seeking adequate relief. (Not all treatment options are applicable to your type of pain.)
Read the following to see if you fall into one of these categories. If you can relate to these fears, remember that help and relief are possible, but only if you discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
Fear of being labeled a "bad patient." You won't find relief if you don't talk with your doctor about your pain.
Fear that increased pain may mean that your disease has worsened. Regardless of the state of your disease, the right treatment for pain may improve daily life for you and your family.
Fear of addiction to drugs. Research shows that the chance of people with chronic pain becoming addicted to pain-relieving drugs is extremely small. When taken properly for pain, drugs can relieve pain without addiction. Needing to take medication to control your pain is not addiction.
Lack of awareness about pain therapy options. Be honest about how your pain feels and how it affects your life. Ask your doctor about the pain therapy options available to you. Often, if one therapy isn't effectively controlling your pain, another therapy can.
Fear of being perceived as "weak." Some people believe that living stoically with pain is a sign of strength, while seeking help often is considered negative or weak. This perception prevents them seeking the best treatment with available therapies.