The ripple effect of untreated pain comes in so many ways. Yes the suffering, the impact on family caregivers and even the economic.
In 1996, I visited Indonesia with Dave Joranson, Aaron Gilson and Judy Paice. We were using the visit as an opportunity to kick start efforts to improve opioid availability. Unfortunately political changes and incertainty prevented us from capitalizing on that visit in the short term.
We were in both Jakarta and Surabaya, visiting hospitals and homes but one particular visit still stands out. In Surabaya, we visited a man at his street food cart. He had a sacroma in his thigh, which had grown to be about twice it normal circumference. And he had pain, rating this at a 7-8 on a 1-10 scale as he worked serving food to people in the street.
Pain relief? Little, the equivalent of some tylenol/paracetamol.
The doctors there were using opioids for pain relief but only codeine and such was their nervousness in using the product, they admitted people to hospital for two-three days while they started the medicine.
This man declined to come into hospital because it would result in lost income for his family if he were not working! He tolerated and continued to work despite the discomfort he was enduring. For his family.
The Ripple effect can apply in so many ways.
Please read my colleague’s Dr Zippy Ali’s comments on this film at Treat the Pain.