My Thoughts on the Transformative Power of Compassionate Care.
I believe in the power of compassionate care. I remember a nurse on disability who came to me with severe headaches and low back and knee pain. She would clinch her teeth in response to the pain which would worsen her headaches, creating a vicious cycle. She was in deep depression with anxiety, and had pretty much given up on herself.
Fibromyalgia is a “real” condition or syndrome, but it is not really a disease. It is a collection of multiple symptoms primarily with chronic pain (greater than 3 months duration) in multiple regions of the body. The pain is generally is perceived as moderate to severe in intensity throughout the body’s muscles, tendons and joints, with headaches.
It can be described as deep achy, spasm, sharp, stabbing, radiating, and exhausting, with associated symptoms of weakness. It can be intensified with physical activity, emotional stress, inclement weather, cyclic hormonal changes and poor, non-restorative sleep.
When it comes to living with cancer, there is good news and bad news. Although patient prognoses have improved over the last decade—with the result being longer life expectancy and remission rates—residual pain and functional deficits often accompany these successes.1 In fact, many of our oncology colleagues and other allied cancer care providers have placed the emphasis of treatment on both remission and advances in minimizing the disease activity, with less emphasis on the aftermath.2