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Pain is Personal

To be in pain means to hurt or suffer. Your pain may be something you feel in your body, such as aches, tightness or muscle cramps, or a feeling related to your emotions, your spirit or your mind. In any case, the way pain feels is unique to the person with pain.


Understanding your pain

It is important for you to report pain to your health care provider or hospice team. Understanding your level of pain helps them know what treatments to try and whether the treatments you have tried are working for you.

Click the arrow to scroll through the questions your doctor or hospice team may ask you about pain. 


What can help prevent or relieve pain?

There are many ways to manage pain. If you are receiving palliative or hospice care from Agrace, we will assess your pain during each visit. We try to find the reason for the pain and work with you to develop a plan to help you get pain relief.

Pain medications

A medication may be prescribed to treat your pain. Your doctor or hospice nurse will discuss this with you.

  • Take medicines “as ordered” (the right dose, at the right time, taken the right way, as often as is recommended).
  • Use a printable medication tracker to record doses and their effect:   English    Spanish
Pain medication (opioid) side effects

Pain medication can have side effects, such as feeling dizzy, itchy, sleepy or queasy. Ask your doctor or hospice nurse what to expect. Here are the most common side effects:

  • Constipation is trouble “going to the bathroom” or straining to have a bowel movement. This problem will not go away on its own when you are taking opioids. Your doctor or hospice care team will make a plan to relieve your constipation.
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur for a day or two when you start a new medication or change dosage.
  • Sleepiness. Pain medications may make you feel drowsy or sleepy. This side effect will go away after a few days of regular use.

Learn more in this video:

Agrace Hospice Care patients: If you think you are having side effects from pain medication, call Agrace any time of day or night; we will talk with you about what is happening, how to get relief and whether you should keep taking the medication.



Besides medicine, what can help manage pain?

Sometimes you may want to try to manage pain with methods other than (or in addition to) medicine. Try the tips below at those times, including while you are waiting for a new dose of medicine to start working. Ask your health care provider or Agrace team if you need training on any of these methods. Click the “+” to learn more about each pain-relief technique below. 

Agrace Hospice Care patients, if you have waited the right amount of time for a dose of pain medicine to work and tried these tips, but your pain is still not managed, call Agrace at (608) 276-4660. You can call any time of day or night, including on weekends and holidays.


When to tell Agrace about pain

If you are an Agrace Hospice Care patient, talk to your Agrace care team anytime you have concerns about pain, medications, side effects or other treatments for pain. You can call us any time of day or night if you are uncomfortable and need relief urgently.


Hospice Caregiver Support

If you need help urgently for an Agrace Hospice Care patient, please call. Otherwise, email us directly at caregiversupport@agrace.org, or send your questions through our online contact form.

Call (800) 553-4289

Call to talk to an interpreter / Tenemos intérpretes disponibles: (800) 930-2770


More Care Tips for Families

For more expert advice from Agrace, visit Agrace.org/CareTips.