Case of the Month #8: Longstanding pain and opioid use

Published: 05/10/2021

Further Relevant Information

The multidisciplinary team assessed her and allowed her to tell her story of living with pain. The team were able to explore her beliefs of what pain meant to her, her goals and her expectations of the pain service. She told the psychologist she had a difficult childhood, her father had been abusive to her mother and left the family when she was 7 years old. She had been bullied at school and her mother had died of lung cancer when she was 17, leaving her to raise her younger brothers. She married at the age of 21, but her husband was controlling and physically abusive for most of their marriage, until they separated when she was 38. She worked as a cleaner until 3 years ago, when pain and exhaustion meant she had taken too much time off work to continue in her role. She now rarely left the house, relying on her son to bring her shopping. She’d get as much of her housework done in the morning as possible because she knew she’d be too exhausted by the afternoon. Her sleep was poor, she often watched films in bed until 3am and then woke in pain at 6am. She often drifted off for short naps in the day. She had no motivation to go out, feeling embarrassed about weight gain. Despite her pain, she struggled on to do her housework and she explained she wanted to clean her house more and maintain her independence. She missed going for walks in her local park or a coffee with friends. She felt her painkillers did not work but probably added to her exhaustion and affected her clarity of thought. She was fed up with the pain controlling her life.