Monday, October 22, 2012


I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember an advertisement for pain killers when they spoke of it being good for 'the pain you can't explain'.  The pain they were of course speaking about was period pain which was something you just didn't talk about back then.

The pain/s I now speak of are those that seem to come and go and you can't really explain just what they are.   You can't go running to the doctor every time you feel a new pain and yet you wonder why it is there.  Surely if there is a pain there is something causing that pain.

Do you just ignore it and hope it will go away and not return?  With this osteo I have that begins at the top of my neck and continues right down through my joints to my big toes (so far my elbows are fine) I am obviously going to get the odd pain that wasn't here before on top of those that are there all the time.  Are the new ones part of the arthritis?  You just don't know do you and hope that's all it is.

I am definitely not a hypochondriac ... these pains are so real but you can't help wondering WHY?
I am positive that as one ages the doctors nod their heads and say... yes, you have to expect these things as you get older ... and you wonder if they eventually do give up on you.

I think this happened to my mum.  She had been hit by a car when crossing the road near her home when she was about 72 and spent 7 months in hospital.  We were first told she wouldn't live and then that she wouldn't walk but knowing the determination that woman had all her life we took that information with a pinch of salt.  Not only did she live, she also walked with the help of her walking sticks and that with one leg about 4 inches shorter than the other.  The right hip was so badly crushed they couldn't put it back together nor I gather do a hip replacement.

Eventually she moved herself into a very good retirement village where she had her own self-contained unit and with assistance from Silver Chain and the like she managed very well.  The thing that worried me was the doctor who used to call on patients at the village.  I never felt he took mum very seriously and of course with the injuries she had sustained plus other problems he perhaps just nodded and said yes, these things happen as people age.  He once sent her off to hospital with a note written on the back of an old envelope.  They promptly sent her back home without doing anything for her.  I feel they had no idea why he'd sent her to them  She eventually had to go to hospital again but that time didn't come out again.

After mum's death my daughter and I had the task of clearing out her unit and we discovered so many medicines, both prescription and over the counter, that I decided to make a list of them.  It covered two columns on a quarto sheet of paper.  Mum's main cause of death was a bleeding ulcer.  They operated and I was warned not to be too hopeful.  Quite honestly I think Mum had had enough and decided to call it quits.  A sister in the hospital told her she couldn't go and live on her own again and I am sure that the threat of losing her independence was too much for her.  I feel her condition should never have got as far as it did and I am sure all those medicines contributed to the ulcer.

I telephoned the doctor's surgery to let him know that Mum had died.  I spoke to his receptionist and told her what I wanted to speak about.  At that moment the doctor must have walked into the reception are as I heard the lady tell him that mum had died and would he like to speak to me.  His reply "No, I can't see any reason to."  I doubt he realised I heard his reply but it stays with me to this day.


  1. I tend to take a watching brief with new pain. If it goes away and cross my fingers and hope it has left for good. I don't take it to the doctors unless it is either staying (for longer than a week or so) or keeps returning. The waiting game is awful though.
    Your mother's last doctor sounds (politely) as if he was an oxygen thief. When my mother died she had an appointment to see her doctor the next day. When I rang to cancel the appointment the receptionist took my details. Mum's doctor rang me within twenty minutes, for no other reason than to express her sympathies.

    1. Yes there are doctors and doctors I guess. When I heard of my birth mother's death I paid for a copy of her death certificate so I could pass on to my offspring any details of illnesses other than the ovarian cancer that killed her. I then wrote to the doctor who had signed the death certificate and he kindly rang me and went through the details on the certificate assuring me that the other two 'illnesses' listed were not life threatening. Strangely enough he became my doctor at another practice for a short time before he retired.
      I agree with what you say about pains that come and go. I think I always seem cheerful and look hale and hearty and not sure doctors take a lot of notice of what I tell them. I do try and keep tally though just in case something becomes really persistent.

  2. Oh Mimsie, that comment is just chilling. Sure, there probably wasn't anything he could do - but it makes my blood run cold to think that there was a doctor 'caring' for patients who lacked the caring gene. It makes me happy to think that you do have a good team behind you, people who'd be more than happy to listen to your concerns. Perhaps if you note down where the pain is, how long it stays, that might help?
    Thinking of you xx

    1. Thanks PPMJs...I certainly wasn't impressed by Mum's doctor's reaction to news of her death. See the difference in above comment about my birth mother's doctor. There are some great doctors out there still.
      I do have a good team but have been considering kakka's comment that she wonders if doctors see the complaint rather than the person with the complaint. I think there is something in that but then they are not therapists so perhaps don't see inside their patient's heads. Specialists in particular tend to treat the disease and forget not everyone is the same either physically or mentally.
      Thank you for thinking of me. x