‘Tell me it will be OK:’ Learning to deal with patients’ pain

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  • Casey says:

    Tell her it will be okay. Complications may arise, but we’ll deal with them. It’s not a lie, it’s a comfort, and a kindness. She should be informed, you can do that with relapse risk or likelihood of mortality, however you feel would matter to her, as long as she’s informed… But it’s alright to tell a desperate patient in extremis that it’s going to be okay. For many, even the knowledge of certain death is okay. You sound like a compassionate young doctor. This was a great read.

  • Kathy Blomquist, RN says:

    Thank you for your thought-provoking insight on other forms of pain and palliation.
    It’s why it’s so important to develop the capacity in our communities to facilitate skills and coping mechanisms.
    Health care providers can work with peer-leaders to provide these opportunities to live well with bad news or chronic conditions. Provinces across Canada are organizing around this principle. Here is one example: http://www.rqhealth.ca/department/health-promotion/livewell-with-chronic-pain-and-livewell-with-chronic-conditions-programs

    Take care!

  • Kathleen says:

    It seems to me that Nikita is herself in need of palliation if only because like the patient she has not been given a comforting answer.
    Is it because we are dealing here with the many types of human responses to so many situations?
    Sometimes as I struggle to get a proper meal together using a walker from kitchen to table I get a glimpse of my self running freely along the lane near my home and I grieve for a moment
    Then carry on grateful for what I still can do.
    Yes we do mourn more than the loss of life It takes great courage and kindness from others to see this and continue to still go on


Nikita Arora


Nikita Arora is a General Surgery resident at Queen’s University. She is also a poet, writer and activist in her community.

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