This happened many years ago.
My aunt was admitted to a nearby nursing home when she vomited some blood and complained of pain in the abdomen.
After a series of tests and what-have-you scopies the doctors diagnosed it as due to a number of micro-ulcers in her tummy walls.
Meanwhile her pain increased. The doctors told us these micro-ulcers have to heal up all by themselves and there are no medicines available for curing this ailment. Also they would not give her pain-killers as these were acidic and may cause aggravation.
She was given bottles of blood procured from an external blood-bank at anytime of day and night. I recall going out at 2-00 in the night with half a dozen stray dogs menacingly following me from a distance.
Over the next couple of days, there were no signs of healing and her pain intensified to a point she was leaping up from the bed. Her screams unsettled other patients in the ICU. The doctors said we simply had to wait out until the healing set in.
Looking at her plight we just couldn’t be doing nothing. On our pleading for giving some relief to her, one of the doctors suggested we could give her cold milk – it might cause the ulcers to shrink in and reduce the pain. It kind of made sense to laymen like us – we all know heat opens up and cold shuts in. May be it would stem the oozing of blood from open sores. But not so soon. This was right away opposed by another doctor – he said milk again is acidic though milder than pain-killers and may cause the ulcers to act up. We were reduced to hapless spectators watching the two doctors debating the point inconclusively.
For some reason I cannot recall we were momentarily drawn to the patient-side leaving the doctors to their arguments. When we returned in a short while both the doctors had gone away to attend some other patient. The outcome of their debate was not known.
A young intern watching the entire proceedings from her station clicked her tongue in sympathy. Seeing our exasperation she tentatively made a suggestion that would not make it any worse than what it was. Making sure there was no risk to the patient, we told her to go ahead and give it a try for a short spell.
And she did. Lo behold, the lady calmed down with the pain subsiding. The intern’s theory worked! And it continued to work.
I’ve no idea even now if this has a proven basis in medical practices or if it was entirely off-chance: the intern held giving oxygen reduces a patient’s sensitivity to pain.
Source: images from openclipart (egore911 and Gerald_G)