Wednesday, March 11, 2015
"Is Your Husband Taking Your Pain Meds?"
"Is your husband taking your pain meds?"
The NP was suspicious, as she explained, that the husband was 'overly helpful' in describing his wife's pain, but she did not want to falsely accuse him. She said that too often medical professionals interpret a husband's concern over their wives as "controlling" or "abusive", with a quick jump to domestic violence.
Statement Analysis training and implementation makes medical professionals more efficient in their life's work.
I told her that there are linguistic signals to domestic violence in a relationship and that control, as expressed in both action and word, is key to understanding how a victim is controlled, most always, by the threat of violence more than violence, itself, which gives the victim's desire to deny and protect, a 'strength of conviction' as she is able to say that she is not lying, he isn't violent, and so on.
This particular medical professional showed wisdom, not only in how she approached her patient, but in her understanding of her own potential for projection and for misinterpretation.
In this specific case, however, I asked her to recall, if possible, the statements made by the husband. Her intuition told her that the husband was taking his wife's pain mediation, but she struggled to put it into words. I responded with questions.
As she sought to quote him, a pattern arose in his use of pronouns.
She was able to identify what it was that bothered her. He used the word "we" during the office visit.
What was necessary to learn was when he used it, and when he did not use it.
This is what bothered her:
"We take it every four hours" and "we drink lots of fluids, right honey?"
Both times he used the word "we", above, but this still would only concern me and not cause me to go from concern to accusation until something else was known:
Did he use the word "we" about all of her care, or was it limited to just the medication?
The NP could not answer this question with any level of comfortable certainty.
The word "we" connotes unity and cooperation, or "oneness" in language, and it is intuitive.
Sometimes husbands and wives are so close that they 'share' things, even as pain. I have heard young, caring husbands use the pronoun "we" about childbirth contraction pain!
The NP was right to question, as prescription drug abuse is common, and she was also right about not wanting to misinterpret the husband's words, nor actions, as she, herself, was, many years ago, a victim of domestic violence. She has strong self awareness, or "emotional intelligence."
She received this instruction well, and is now better prepared to help her patients. She is an older professional, yet as hungry to learn as she was when she was a nursing student decades ago. Statement Analysis 'lit her up' with new vigor as language has always fascinated her.
She is better equipped with the training, to serve the patients she is dedicated to.
But what of the direct question, "Is your husband taking your pain meds?"
Statement Analysis deals effectively even with "yes or no" questions.
She didn't ask her this question as he was in the room and she was concerned about what may happen to her once they returned home.