I just love "shop" so much better with an extra 'p' and an 'e' in it! Makes it feel so...so...old time candy store-ish, doesn't it?
Er...it doesn't? Well, never you mind then, you just carry on about your business like no one ever asked you your opinion of how "shoppe" makes you feel, m'kay?
So...story goes, the other night at work, I had to have "pain" talk with one of my patients. I once wrote a post about pain, in which I made a wish at the very end of it. Friends, I just had my wish granted!
And my eyes opened.
My patient was consistently rating her pain at a 9. Maybe an 8, if we were lucky. But, here's the thing...she was smiling, joking, talkative...and I was at a loss. We'd tried EVERYTHING short of being graphic with the pain scale.
Lemme tell you something...I'm a wimp.
Confrontation I do not like.
However, I realized that we needed to make sure we were on the same "pain scale page", so I sat down for a little heart to heart with her (all the while my heart was thumpa-thumpin' out of fear that I'd say something wrong!).
After our heart to heart (and YES! I even used the "if I ripped your arm off, beat you with it, and lit you on fire" part!!), her demeanor totally changed. She had MISUNDERSTOOD the pain scale!
I wonder how many other people thought a 10 was the worst pain THEY had ever been in...not the worst pain they CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE?!
We were best buds after that, my patient and I. For real...we totally bonded and she felt so comfortable asking me questions...she was a blast. And, it turns out...we weren't doin' too bad of a job managing her pain!
The whole point of that loooooonnnnnnngggggggg drawn out story, was to talk pain relief after childbirth...weigh your options...have some ammo for when you're sore and achy.
Here's whatcha get:
1. A whole lotta nothin'. Yes, it's true...some people don't need anything. Lucky dogs. (Hint: Due to recent accrediting "rules", we are not allowed to let patients take their own medicine from home. I won't tell if you don't, but I took my own ibuprofen. Shhhh...you said you wouldn't tell. Heck if I was paying 6 bucks a pill when I had a perfectly good jar of ibuprofen in my cupboard at home!)
2. A little bit of somethin'. Most people, who have vaginal births (hmmmm...have I ever told you that I have no problem...none whatsoever, saying "vaginal"? It's just "vagina" that trips me up. Weird, I know.), can get by with a little ibuprofen or acetaminophen (aka: Tylenol). With c-sections, typically you need:
3. A little somethin' more. Almost always, with c-sections, and occasionally with vaginal births, you'll find yourself in need of a stronger med to have in your arsenal. It's at this point, that we'll give you...THE NARCS. Narcotics can be your friend...if they are very short lived and not abused, they can actually aid in your recovery, by allowing you to move around better.
We use a lot of Percocet at our hospital...it allows for dosing every 4 hours, whereas Vicodin (the next most popular) contains WAY more Tylenol, and people tend to reach their 24 hour Tylenol max quite quickly. And going over your Tylenol max isn't a good thing...you're liver may wage a revolt.
(I'll level with you here...more and more of our docs are refusing to prescribe narcotics for home use after a vaginal birth--unless you've had a MAJOR tear. I'd have to say, I tend to agree.)
4. Then, there is my "secret weapon". If you've only had one baby, chances are you will have no idea what I'm about to speak of. If you've had five, like me, you'll want to hug me and we can commiserate on this through tears of "oh dear GOD that was awful!!!".
Friends, I'm talkin' "after pains". Cramps.
Those suckers can be down right worse than labor those first few days.
Then those dirty, rotten, good fer nuthin' nurses have to come and mash on your belly. (Another secret forthcoming: After baby #5...my nurses would just ask me, "how's your fundus" [that's what we're feeling when we mash on your belly, your "uterine fundus", or the top of your uterus] when they were going to do my exam..."Oh, fine!!" I'd respond, all chipper like, as I felt a large gush of blood pour out of me...I'd do a quick check of my vitals, take note of my pulse, make sure I wasn't dizzy...yup, I was fine. I'll be DAMNED if I was letting anyone come near that agonizing ball of agony that was the cause of so much pain and agony!! But that's our little secret.)
Ack...digression!! Sorry...back to my secret weapon...HEAT. Yup. That's it. Just plain and simple, good ol' fashioned heat. Be it the tub or a warm blanket...it works. HOWEVER...I found a miracle.
A miracle in a little foil package in a box residing in the pharmacy section of your local WalMart.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...wow. I believed I discovered them with my 3rd babe, and when I was packing for the hospital...the only thing I really took care to remember to pack, were those heat wraps. The "Back" style...in large (don't bother with the menstrual ones...they make sense, yes...but they don't pack enough heat!). Put that puppy on backwards (heat toward your tummy not your back) and wrap it around, and you're golden for hours.
You're welcome. Oh, psh, stop gushing! I know I just told you the best thing ever invented for post-delivery pain, but...gosh...now, you're making me blush! You know, it's nothing...just a little woman-to-woman recommendation.
Although...I do accept chocolate for sincere gratitude.