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Proper pain etiquette

Mar 25, 2017 11:07 AM

I have had chronic lower back pain for 6 years now and have been rather okay handling the well wishers.. but I have a new coworker who every day asks me how my pain is and if I get up to stretch or put a heating pad on she starts commenting about my back and how that's not good...

It's driving me crazy. I don't have a relationship with this woman and so her daily questions and comments about my back feel unwarranted and annoying. And it just makes me have a more hard time when I'm having a good day and she is reminding me (as if I don't already know) that my back is sore.

Any advice??

Mar 25, 2017 11:57 AM

I would joke a bit like, "Yup! Still in pain!" and see if she gets the hintI wonder if this is her odd way of caring and doesn't know she needs to show some etiquette. Maybe she has a relative that has pain? Maybe she is in pain herself and is probing for specifics?

Mar 25, 2017 11:59 AM

Maybe politely but FIRMLY tell her that it makes you uncomfortable discussing your medical issues and you would appreciate it If she no longer made comments. It's a tough one. People can be so nosey.

Mar 25, 2017 5:45 PM

I have a similar co-worker and she drives me crazy sometimes. I would try just pulling her aside and having a frank conversation with her on a low-pain day. Explain that it is chronic pain, meaning it happens everyday and talking about it can actually remind you of the pain after you've successfully distracted yourself. And that IF you need assistance, you will ask. Otherwise, understand that if she feels abd and wants to help, the best she can do is to ignore it and help distract you from it. Worse case scenario, she gets too scared by a "real conversation" that she leaves you alone.

Mar 25, 2017 5:46 PM

This is what i say when someone asks far to many questions...start first by asking them'
Can you keep a secret'?( most likely say yes)
Then when he/ she replies" yes"...respond back " So can i "!!!!
Its alot of Sass, but i guarantee she will stay quiet😊

Mar 25, 2017 6:42 PM

Lol Ali. I have a church full of people who are always asking how I am
Especially after my accident and then surgery. Some of them I know truly want to know. Others I smile and say on bad pain days that I am not doing well but working on it - thanks for asking. Or I may say - I will be. They never know how to respond to that. One guy walked by and tapped me on the back of the head... Just a light tap but for me.. Well you know. He still can't understand why I was almost in tears and asked him to not touch me. Smh. Guess I offended him.

As for work. Just be honest with her. Tell her you appreciate her concern but you are there to work. Talking about it doesn't help and you have a trusted medical team in place that does help. ;)

Mar 25, 2017 7:58 PM

Maybe say to her the next time she asks or says something, yep still dealing with it after 6 years I know what I'm doing thanks for the advise and just walk away. I had to say that phrase 3 times to a lady before she understood I'm dealing with it. Or really throw her and respond yep crazy sex again last night ..... just gotta quit doing that. 😜

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