When in Hospital – Your job is to communicate

You would think that when you are in the hospital, no matter if you are there for treatment of an urgent complication, or for a scheduled surgery that your doctor knows best an knows how to treat you based on diagnostics, lab results an so on. To some extend that is also true, but there is another side to this: How do you feel, how do you sleep. While I was at the Stanford hospital a team of doctor visited me every morning to discuss my progress with me. They asked me how my pain was on a scale from one to ten. Not thinking too much about the question I often answered two of four, which was the truth.

What neither the doctors or I thought of apparently, was that the number I gave them was based on how much pain I felt while lying there in the bed. If I got out trying to walk around or take a shower, the pain grew to eight very quickly, and a bathroom visit could likevise bring the pain to nine for two hours straight. This never occurred to me while being in the hospital, but it would really have helped me a lot, if that was communicated at the time. 

What I am trying to say, is  that you will help both the doctors and yourself a lot, if you are able to take some notes during the day about how you feel, and then when the doctors are there, use your notes as support to the discussion on how you are doing.