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The "Trickle Down" Effect of Chronic Pain

Individuals with chronic pain suffer a great deal...at least, until they find the means to obtain relief and restore functionality.  But did you ever stop to think how chronic pain can affect that person's family and/or friends?

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
                                                       
                                                                  ~Ben Franklin




Just as an example, consider the following case scenario...

Jan G. is middle aged, relatively healthy individual.  One winter day Jan is out shoveling her sidewalk when the unthinkable happens. Jan slips and falls on an ice patch!

While at the local hospital emergency room a bit later, X-rays reveal that Jan has a hip fracture.
This is one of the most debilitating fractures!  Jan will require surgery, during which the surgeon will use plates, screws, nails, and/or plates to keep the broken bones in place during the healing period.
Jan can expect to be "off duty" with respect to her normal routine for quite some time.  She will most likely have extensive physical therapy and will make the use of wheelchairs, walkers, and/or canes for the foreseeable future.  She may not be in the hospital for more than a few days, but it's possible that she will be in a rehab hospital for some time before she will be allowed to go home.

Meanwhile,  Jan will not be going to work and collecting a paycheck like she is accustomed to. She will not be able drive herself to and from therapy and/or medical appointments until she's medically cleared to do so.  Jan will not be able to do household chores or errands for some period of time..
instead of Jan taking care of her family, the family will have to take care of Jan!

While Jan's paycheck and ability to function is on hold, the onus will be on other family members or friends to pitch in however and whenever they can to keep things functioning.  This might mean loss of income or using vacation days for some caregivers. It also takes them away from their family responsibilities or maybe just adds to their workloads...

The bottom line here is that chronic pain has a trickle down effect...it affects much more than the well being of the sufferer!  A true situation in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Sources: WebMD; USHistory.org;Flickr





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