The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief

The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief

by David Biro


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393070637
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/18/2010
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

One of New York magazine’s Top Doctors, David Biro, MD, practices in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. He lives with his wife and twin boys in New York City.

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Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
DrBobbi More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible book. I suffer from chronic pain (fibromyalgia) and am permanently disabled due to this and other pain inducing disorders. I also have a PhD in psychology, and, ironically, prior to becoming disabled 5 years ago, my sub-specialty was working with patients with physical disabilities, one-third of whom have chronic pain issues. Pain and I are intimate "friends." At 7 I was hospitalized for a MONTH with unrelenting, agonizing pain in my hip; no doctor could find a cause. My shrill screams filled the silent hallways of the hospital corridors, as my foot was tethered to the bed's end to keep my hip in traction. My visceral, hysterical sobs begged the nurses, "No more shots!" But they had to follow "Doctor's Orders:" deep intramuscular injections in my frontal thighs 3 times a day. Bloodied and scabbed then, my thighs still bear the hundreds of pin-point scars. A miracle occured in the form of a "brilliant, Black surgeon" (my mother's phrase & praise). Major surgery on my hip revealed all: a MASSIVE abscess. Two cups of pus were sucked out of my skinny, 7 yr.-old hip, and a 10 inch scar, shaped like a thick, crescent moon, was all that remained. Or so I thought. Years, and many other surgical procedures later, I now have fibromylagia, & severe osteoarthritis in many places in my spine and sacroiliac joints (which connect your back to your legs). 4 herniated discs in my neck. CFIDS/ME. And the list goes on. Pain, pain. pain. Pain that caused me to see doctor after doctor, starting when I was 18. I know they doubted me, and that doubt caused me to doubt myself. Was I nuts? Exaggerating? An hyertical female? Just whining & complaining too much? Depressed, anxious? "Somatizing" too much? (Oh, just stop focusing on those "normal" aches & pains). We NEED to have a new language for pain, as Dr. Biro so cogently suggests. We NEED new NOVEL ways of expressing this inherently subjective, personal yet UNIVERSAL experience. We CAN describe this breathless experience when we DO catch our breath. People like me, with severe experiences of both acute & chronic pain, owe this to our fellow humans. We have suffered in our silences. We have suffered in our desperate attempts to communicate our agony. Suffering FROM our attempts to communicate our suffering MUST stop. Health-care practitioners need to learn to LISTEN to us, without doubt. That is their RESPONSIBILITY. But we, the sufferers, must devise new ways of catching their attention, and that is OUR responsibility. Yes, it is hard. Yes, we sometimes feel as if we cannot speak one more word, lest we lose our what is left of our precious sanity. But speak we MUST. And Dr. Biro has given us that impetus in his incredibly crafted work. Pain is as real as temperature, pulse, blood pressure & respiration. It IS the 5th "Vital" Sign, as now recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). The accurate diagnosis & appropriate treatment of pain IS vital, because untreated pain is an absolute destroyer. It destroys families. It destroys an individual's ability to work, love, laugh. It destroys, in effect, LIFE. Thank you, Dr. Biro. Your book has created a paradigm shift in my life, and quantum leaps such as these are few and far between. Write on!
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