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Off To Ibiza

09/09/2004

This week I have had a pamidromate drip, a blood transfusion, and an acupuncture treatment! My body takes so much tending. But I seem to have got myself in a good state for Ibiza, and I am looking forward to lying next to the pool, and having a proper holiday.

The workshop on pain on Wednesday was so interesting. The GPs and patients that attended were all such creative, open people. I know that it’s always the radical forward thinking people that come to things like this, but it does give me such hope.

There were a few interesting things that came up, via the doctors and in discussion.

People tend to call their pain IT.

A ‘shooting’ or ‘stabbing’ pain is rarely used to describe a gun shot or knife wound.

People who are having the worst time with pain often describe it as an aggressive person ie I feel as if someone is stamping on my chest.

It is incredibly difficult to describe pain. We say things like ‘it was a nightmare, it was indescribable, I didn’t know what to do with myself.’

However, if you find a vocabulary or metaphor for pain, it can be really powerful, and help you feel in control of it.

We talked about asking questions in consultations like…what colour is your pain? What animal is it?

Or having words on a board that could be pointed at.

I believe that people just need to be given permission to speak in this way!

It’s all soft and sunny outside, and the students are back again, in bright yellow t.shirts, holding plastic cups full of beer. I am about to go to a meeting about my friend Andrea Badenoch’s , who died in January of breast cancer. We are launching a prize for women writers in her honour. You have to be forty two to enter, the same age that Andrea was when she began to write.

And then I will go and pack my saris and massage oils!

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