So, from an evolutionary point of view, when you encounter pain, your first reaction is to panic and run away, a fight/flight response.
Instinctively you are taught, and designed to fear pain. As soon as we panic, our senses are heightened, adrenaline flows and we are on the rollercoaster.
This is great if you are being chased by a giant prickle bush, or a saber toothed tiger.
This is not great if you must have some procedures done. Or worse, if your child has to have a procedure done.
We, as humans in a developed country do not do pain well, we fear it, and give it power. Pain is actually a warning sytem and a protective mechanism. There is a high level of psychological involvement with pain, and there are many good article, studies and literature around pain. Remember to look at .edu/ .gov/ .med sites rather than potentially kooky .com websites.
Techniques for overcoming pain, or prepping your self or child for a procedure:
Discuss it honestly.
– Yes it will hurt.
The pain will be like an ant bite, or not as bad as when you burnt your hand last time.
Try to relate it to an experience your child remembers.
– The pain will not last forever – this is reassuring. Let them know it will not hurt all day, or even for more than a minute.
– You can cry, yell, giggle or sing, but you cannot move.
Let them release in a way that suits, but put a boundary on it.
You will often see your health practitioner instruct you when you are getting a needle to “Wiggle your toes and count backwards from 20.” This is a distraction method, and it works!
Prep prep prep – honesty is the best policy, then distract and set them up to win, not lose.
Ways to avoid some pain- rub / scratch or put an ice-cube on a part that may be about to be lanced or have a needle.
Use olive oil or water to soak band-aids and tapes off.
Preload your pain relief – Take your analgesia BEFORE the procedure, or before the local anaesthetic wears off.
Realise that it is called ‘Pain Relief” not “Pain disappear.’ This means that the analgesia you take may be expected to drop your pain from a 6/10 to a 3/10 – not a 0/10.
Take your pain relief regularly.
I have spoken else where about this: https://kassjangel.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/things-that-i-wish-almost-every-patient-knew-or-did/
but the quick guide is
Paracetamol (Panadol and other brands) is able to be taken every 4 hours.
Ibuprofen (Nurofen and other brand names) is every 6-8 hours.
Try heat or ice packs as well.
Do NOT lie to your child about it nor refer to the procedure as punishment – “The nurse will give you a needle if you are naughty.” This sets you all up to fail, the nurse, your child, the next practitioner to see them and yourself.