Is It Discomfort or Is It Pain?
Discomfort. It’s a word often used in the medical world when referring to procedures or experiences that could involve pain. And it bugs me. This latest rant began when I read an article about dental implants that referred to “post-surgery discomfort.” This discomfort was described as being akin to that which happens when you have an extraction. They give you Tylenol 3s for extractions — opioids. That’s not for discomfort. That’s to deal with pain and pretty high levels of it. Using the word discomfort has a sense of avoidance in it. It may relate more to the discomfort the speaker has with the pain of others than the actual experience of the person in pain. Or is it dismissal? Does this exist in the same place as the everspreading use of the term catastrophizing to describe someone’s intense worry about their pain or illness and the impact it may have on their life? I had an invigorating conversation on Twitter about the discomfort versus pain conundrum. Leslie