Pain (HLD 348)

6 March 2021

How do you cope with pain?

I ask this because my beloved little princess/warrior dog is currently suffering from what I’m assuming to be a bee sting. Of course the local vet closed around the time we figured that maybe we should get her looked at, so we are monitoring her over the next little while to see if we need to go find a vet who doesn’t keep such restrictive hours.

So while I’m waiting to see if the antihistamines I shoved down her throat have any effect, I thought we’d discuss how she reacts to pain.

I have in previous episodes of HLD discussed, often in disturbingly graphic detail, about her various medical issues and subsequent surgical interventions. I’m fully aware of how my little bundle of fluff reacts to pain.

First off, she pants. You’d be forgiven for thinking she’s just run a marathon in the middle of a desert.

Secondly, she licks at the area of concern. Intently.

Thirdly, she cowers away and really doesn’t want to be near anyone who will want to poke and prod at whatever it is that’s paining her. When she had her *cough cough, sorry about mentioning this again* anal gland issue, she would often leap up as if being zapped by a lightning bolt, and race around the room trying to get away from what was hurting her.

The most pain I’ve experienced recently was eye surgery to remove a pterygium. The surgery itself was well anaesthetised, but the following 48 hours had me thinking very carefully about whether I could cope.

I just wanted to be left alone in my misery. I didn’t want anyone asking me how I felt, or what they could do to help. At the peak of the pain, before the next pain relief tablet could be taken, I had to move. I recall stamping my feet and abruptly moving around the room to distract my body from the pain coming from the eye region.

I didn’t lick my eye, obviously. But apart from that, the dog and I react to pain in a similar manner.

Physical pain and emotional pain are obviously different, but there are some similarities. The hiding away, the not wanting to talk about it. I’m not sure about the licking.

How do you react to pain?

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