Successfully Discharging on Pain

I want to share a victory:

I discharged a lot in the past month about getting an IUD (intrauterine device, a type of birth control), which can be extremely painful to have inserted. I reached out to many Co-Counseling leaders in my Area* for help in thinking about pain, pain medication, and medical procedures.

Wow, I had so many Co-Counseling sessions about pain and fear of pain! It was a chance to discharge a lot of fear—especially about my body and sexism—that would have been hard to access normally. I decided not to use any pain medication whatsoever for the procedure. I had my appointment last week, and it went so well!

I was able to tell my partner what I needed from him at the appointment, especially in terms of discharge, even though he’s not a Co-Counselor. I explained that the way I see it, pain isn’t bad; it’s the body’s natural way to give us information. I said that the hardest part for me was just feeling all the fear. I asked him to remember that everything was fine and that when I cried or said “ow,” it was helping me.

I talked with my doctor and explained that I knew it would go better for me if I could cry and say “ow,” that I knew she would do a great job, and that she didn’t need to worry about me. She said, “Yes, you say and do whatever you need to, and I will only stop if you say ‘stop.’”

It was good for me to be in counselor mode and think about my doctor. It helped me keep my attention out. I was really present—feeling the pain and keeping my attention on my doctor at the same time. I didn’t worry about my partner’s feelings; I just let him support me and felt his presence and care.

The procedure did really hurt, and I was able to stay present and feel each sensation. I was able to discharge a lot before and after in the exam room, and a little during the procedure itself.

I feel proud of how I made it go exactly as I wanted it to. I have learned that pain just hurts; it doesn’t kill you. This is just what Tim Jackins said at a workshop I went to.

The next time something like this comes up, I know that I will feel more confident about asking for allies, discharging on fear of pain, and deciding to really notice my body (including pain and discomfort!). Woooohoooo! 

Sam Hatzenbeler
Seattle, Washington, USA

Last modified: 2018-06-04 14:53:21-07