When I think about Frank, I have to smile. Frank was elderly when I met him, meaning he was in his 70s as am I now. Frank had a thick Italian accent and referred to his pain and body parts as “she.” “My knee, she hurts me all the time,” was his usual complaint.
By the time Frank first saw me, he had seen a half dozen other docs and had lots of tests. He was told he had arthritis and was on Advil. “Doc, you got to help me, the pain, “she” is too much for me.” “She” keeps me up all night.”
After reviewing all of Frank’s test and examining Frank, I told him the pain in his knee was most probably from his back and we would need to do a few more test. “Doc, the pain she is in my knee, she no in my back,” was what I heard for months. Frank finally consented to back surgery. I’ll never forget what he said when he woke up after surgery, “Doc, the pain, she no is in my knee. Now she in my back!”
The first lesson to learn is that pain can be referred from body parts remote to the one that hurts. Renee’s shoulder pain may be coming from her neck. My hip pain may be coming from my back. The second lesson is that, according to Frank, pain is feminine in nature.
Seriously, diagnosing the source of any given pain is not easy and treating pain effectively is highly dependent on what the source is. It’s important to keep an opened mind and explore all possibilities.
Here’s today’s joke:
A couple was invited to a swanky costume party. Unfortunately, the wife came down with a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone. He being a devoted husband protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed and there was no need for his good time being spoiled by not going. So he took his costume and away he went. The wife, after sleeping soundly for about an hour, awakened without pain and, as it was still early enough, decided to go the party. Since her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him. She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every nice woman he could, and copping a little touch here and a little kiss there. His wife sidled up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his current partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new babe that had just arrived. She let him go as far as he wished…Naturally, (since he was her husband.) Finally, he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed. So off they went to one of the cars and had a quickie. Just before unmasking at midnight, she slipped away, went home, put the costume away and got into bed, wondering what kind of explanation he would make for his behaviour. She was sitting up reading when he came in, and she asked what kind of a time he had. He said: “Oh, the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you’re not there.” “Did you dance much ?” “You know, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill Browning and some other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening. But you’re not going to believe what happened to the guy I loaned my costum