Pain is Real, Hope is Possible

So many people seem to think that they have pain just because they are getting older, or they had an injury such as a broken bone or a sprain, but now the injury is healed and the pain remains.  Sometimes the injury is big and dramatic, so everyone understands why you hurt, but what about the pain that has no “front page of the newspaper” spectacular story?  What about after the casts, the surgeries, the rehab, when they tell you by looking at the MRI, CT scan and x-rays “you should be better”, there is nothing physically wrong with you, or my favorite “It’s all in your head”.  Now I want to be abundantly clear with everyone – I think the vast majority of medical professionals are doing their best to find, diagnose and treat your injury or condition, but sometimes this stuff is hard to figure out.  By the time I get to see patients, they have several different “pain generators” – physical and real things that can cause pain.  Any one of these by itself can be overcome, but when they combine into a perfect storm, the effect is devastating and difficult to find on tests.  When I see a patient, I assume that the pain that they tell me about is real.   Yes, there are some out there that the pain is in their head but they really aren’t that common.  My job is to pay attention to the details, do a good thorough hands on exam, then put all the puzzle pieces together and then explain it in a way that makes sense to my patient.  The difference is the assumption that the pain my patient has is Real and by establishing that my goal is not to prove they are making it up, but rather to find it and figure out a way to treat it, and if they are willing…I will hang in there with them and work with them…then there is Hope.  There is hope for the physical pain we have in this life.

I am in the business of taking care of physical pain and we keep that as the main focus with patients.  I also believe in a spiritual hope and my most satisfying thing in the world is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I love to be able to talk with patients about what God has done in my life, if they want to hear it.  If all I have done in my career is to end or reduce physical pain, illness even psychological pain for the few decades we have been granted, but do not offer hope in the face of a possible eternity of spiritual pain, then I really haven’t done the best that I could have for my patients.  We are openly “true Christians” in our office, but don’t let that scare you – we are normal (pretty much like family) so we all have quirks and that makes us lovable.  There are no sermons given nor judgements about your religion if it is different than ours.  We pray together for our patients, usually around 7:45.  If you have anything you want us to pray for you, let us know.  Thanks for letting me share.