77% of Singaporeans have less patience with children because they are in pain
Pain is affecting relationships in a way you can never imagine
Are you in pain? You are not alone! According to a new survey, about 85% of Singaporeans have suffered from head and body pain. And about 1 in 2 Singaporeans experiences body pain every week!
This is a grim statistic. The survey carried out by Edelman Intelligence, global insights and consultancy firm, interviewed more than 19000 individuals in 32 countries. 500 people were interviewed from Singapore. The results indicate that over half of those who are in pain brave it. They seek no treatment but just live with it. Men tend to do so more than women.
A third of those few who end up taking medicines delay it by weeks! And they often self-diagnose their condition. They do not seek proper help. They are often not aware of the right painkiller to take, the dosages, the interaction of those drugs with other medicines or even the side-effects of the drugs.
Pain and parenting
The survey shows that pain not only impacts daily activities but also careers in the long term. It is not too hard to believe that 77% parents feel that they do not have the patience for their children as they are in pain. And who would blame them? If you are in pain, it is difficult to focus on anything in general. Even as I am typing this, I can feel pain in my left shoulder. Imagine how my day is going to be when I have to tend to the demands of my child throughout the day.
Children are innocent. Most of them have not experienced chronic pain (and neither should they). So, when it comes to understanding how to deal with a person in pain, they are clueless. But, even a low-grade pain ends up being a bother if it is unattended for weeks. It makes you edgy and reduces your patience. And this is the case with almost 4 out of 5 Singaporean parents according to the survey.
Why do we feel pain?
Pain is a protective response. It is like the 'check engine light' on your car. It is a warning sign that something is not right, and you need to take action. So, when you step on a glass shard or when you touch a hot pan, even before you can think, you pull away. This is managed by the reflexes of the body. However, when something is not right in your body, you often end up getting a dull ache. You can differentiate the pain of a bad stomach from that of a frozen shoulder.
Due to the lifestyle of most of the present day Singaporeans, there is less exercise and more desk work. This leads to low back pain, aching of the shoulders, gradual worsening of posture and neck pain. And this warrants more than just painkillers.
How to address pain
If you are in pain for more than a week, you need to get it assessed. It is not safe to pop a pill every time you are in agony. You need to find the cause of the pain and get it treated if possible. When you self-diagnose the reason for your pain, you might be doing more harm than good to your body. The consequences of taking two seemingly harmless drugs together could be fatal. Here are a few common interactions of painkillers with other drugs:
- Methadone, a prescription painkiller should not be taken if you are on antidepressants/anti-anxiety medicines.
- Painkillers can reduce the effect of oral contraceptive pills.
- Taking a painkiller when you are taking health supplements can be potentially dangerous.
- If you are planning to consume alcohol, ask your doctor if you are already taking any medication, including Paracetamol.
- Don't take any over-the-counter painkiller regularly for over 3 days unless prescribed by a doctor.
This is how you need to address your pain
- Get it diagnosed. If it the pain lasts for more than a week, visit your GP. He might just prescribe you Panadol, but it is worth the visit.
- Declare all your medications. When you go to a GP, declare all the medicines that you have taken recently, or are taking regularly. This includes everything, even TCM. Also, declare if you have suffered from a disease of liver, heart or kidneys.
- Ask questions. Don't leave without asking the GP if there are any dietary or lifestyle restrictions when you are on the newly prescribed medicines.
- Check your medicines. Before you leave the pharmacy, check the label for the drug prescribed. Ask the pharmacist for specific instructions for that medicine.
- Follow the orders. Complete the dose of the medicine prescribed. Also, if there are any dietary restrictions, follow them religiously.
Mums and dads, let pain not come in the way of raising your kids.
Also, read about how to detect if your child is stressed if you have not done that already.