A Woman’s Pain Is No Pain They Believe…

The reasons behind this are multifactorial including deep-seated beliefs that women should have a higher tolerance for pain.

Unfortunately, there exists a bias against women in the treatment of pain in the healthcare setting. It has been noted across the spectrum of both acute and chronic pain conditions that pain in women is often under-treated, especially in minorities. The reasons behind this are multifactorial including deep-seated beliefs that women should have a higher tolerance for pain and the popular perception of the histrionic woman who is overstating her pain.

This poem is an attempt to give voice to a (woman) patient in excruciating pain after surgery trying to get some relief. I work in the healthcare system and I am not endorsing indiscriminate use of opioids, but pain needs to be treated regardless of gender and ethnicity.

Do I have any prior history?
Of using pain medication, do you see
The drug testing that I was made to do
At admission, was negative too
I am in pain excruciating
And I have been patiently waiting
For you to eventually in my room appear
So I may ask for pain medication, though I fear
I am going to get a measly acetaminophen
That, I believe, is not meant
For pain as severe as I feel now
If it was not bad, I would not have allowed
Myself to take pain-killers of any kind
Right now the pain is making me lose my mind
I understand many pain medications are addictive, I do
I’ve had surgery, my pain makes mobilization difficult too
I grimace, say my pain is at a number ten
But I feel like my reply does not register even
I am not questioning the expertise of my medical team
But my pain is trivialized, it does seem
It broke my heart yesterday
When I overheard someone say
That I was a “pain-medication-seeking” patient
That is certainly not my intent
If there is any way to relieve my pain
With medication or otherwise, I would take that again
You know I am not progressing as I should be
Because I am in severe pain constantly
Exhaustion is taking over me, and I hope I find…

Image Source: Kanawa_Studio from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro 

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About the Author

Shuchita Gupta

I am a woman, a physician, a mother and an aspiring writer rolled into one. I write about various aspects of my life, and my preferred form of writing is poetry (or rhyming verses). read more...

31 Posts | 51,464 Views

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