All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain by Mara Buchbinder

By Mara Buchbinder

Even though ache is a common human event, many view the ache of others as deepest, proof against language, and, for this reason, primarily unknowable. And, but, regardless of the most obvious limits to comprehending another’s inner country, language is all that we have got to translate soreness from the solitary and unknowable to a phenomenon richly defined in literature, medication, and lifestyle. with no denying the personal dimensions of soreness, All on your Head bargains a completely clean point of view that considers how ache will be configured, controlled, defined, or even skilled in deeply relational ways.

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a pediatric ache sanatorium in California, Mara Buchbinder explores how clinicians, adolescent sufferers, and their households make experience of confusing signs and paintings to relieve ache. via cautious realization to the language of pain—including narratives, conversations, types, and metaphors—and specific research of the way younger soreness victims make that means via interactions with others, her publication unearths that even though deepest ache can be, making experience of it really is profoundly social.

NOTE: the writer doesn't hypocritically handle the problem of male neonatal circumcision, might be simply because she is Jewish?

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Extra resources for All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain

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While these motives certainly seemed innocuous enough, I became uneasy when, during the course of the interview, Julie asked me to reassure her multiple times that the West Clinic could help her son. It was, as I noted in my field notes that Introduction | 27 evening, “a tricky position to be in because I did not want to dash her hopes, and yet I also did not want to be held responsible in any way if the visit proved unsuccessful. ”94 My initial encounter with Julie prompted me to think about the ethical entanglements of medical anthropologists in clinical settings, wherein patients and families may be apt to pin their hopes for treatment on the research relationship.

The term “sticky brains” thus encapsulates some of the core tensions—between biological and psychological, psyche and soma, real and “unreal” symptoms—wrapped up in explanations of pain. 32 | Introduction Although clinicians characterized chronic pain as a neurobiological problem in initial conversations with patients and families, they often privately attributed intractable pain to pathological family ties and targeted parents as a key site of intervention and blame. Chapter 4 explores how neurobiological and psychodynamic explanatory frames were stitched together over time.

For Mark and his family, the West Clinic represented, if not the absolute “end of the road,” certainly one of the last stops on a winding journey that included a narrowing range of possible destinations. However, while Dr. Novak’s funnel metaphor might create the impression that all children and adolescents with chronic pain will eventually make it to a place like the West Clinic if they spin around long enough, this is not quite accurate. As with most health-care resources in the United States, access to tertiary care medical services such as specialized pediatric pain clinics is stratified according to families’ insurance status and ability to pay.

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