The Mesothelioma Center's May Support Group - Pain Management and Communication

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Pain management can be a challenge for mesothelioma patients, as everyone experiences pain differently. Its helpful to know how to communicate your pain to your health care team so that they can determine the best way to manage it. During our May meeting, we will discuss how to keep track of and communicate your pain to your health care team. We will also talk about some cognitive behavioral strategies that have been shown to be helpful in reducing the experience of pain. For more information visit www.asbestos.com

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The Mesothelioma Center's May Support Group - Pain Management and Communication

  1. 1. Understanding and Describing Your Pain from Mesothelioma Dana Nolan, MS, LMHC, NCC Mental Health Counselor
  2. 2. Pain and Mesothelioma Biggest fear: Uncontrolled pain Physicians are equipped with arsenals of pain management tools Reasons patients feel pain: Surgical interventions Chemotherapy Radiation therapy Fluid buildup (800) 615-2270
  3. 3. Why Do We Feel Pain?  Nociception  Pain signals tissue damage  Pain is subjective: Personal and physical factors influence it (800) 615-2270
  4. 4. How Does Pain Affect Mesothelioma Patients?  Limits activities  Changes sleep patterns  Triggers anxiety and depression (800) 615-2270
  5. 5. Communicating Your Pain Rate your pain on a scale: Zero to 10 “Doc, I’m in pain” is too general Be specific about: Location When/how pain started Characteristics What improves/worsens pain Response to activities (800) 615-2270
  6. 6. Daily Pain Log  Variety of pain logs are available online  Print one that suits you, fill it out and bring it to your doctor  Here’s one: http://www.partnersagainstpain.com/printouts/daily_pain_diary.pdf (800) 615-2270
  7. 7. Pain and Quality of Life Poorly managed pain leads to poor quality of life As you cope with mesothelioma, remember: Understanding and communicating your pain is in YOUR control (800) 615-2270
  8. 8. Contact Information 1-800-615-2270 (800) 615-2270

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