Be prepared and ask questions
- What should I expect?
- Will there be much pain?
- Where will pain occur?
- How long is the pain going to last?
- Will there be side effects from my pain medicine?
Design your pain control plan
- What choices do I have about pain medicine?
- Review pain control methods that have worked well for you, in the past.
- Ask your doctor about ways to relax.
- Take or ask for pain relief medicine when pain begins. It is easier to prevent or relieve pain before it becomes too bad.
- Some activities may make pain worse. Take your pain medicine first.
- Your doctor and nurses use a 0 to 10 "pain rating scale" to report your pain (see scale below). "0" means no pain, and "10" means the worst possible pain. Reporting pain as a number helps them to understand how well your pain control plan is working and if your pain control plan needs any changes.
If you stay in the hospital after surgery, you and your nurse will set a pain "comfort goal." Your nurse will talk with you about the amount of pain with which you are comfortable. Your pain should not prevent you from daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, short walks or deep breathing.