So what is pain anyway?

Posted on May 16, 2013 by sonjabarrie

Pain Scale Faces

So what is pain anyway?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pain is an unpleasant feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli, such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone". The International Association for the Study of Pain's widely used definition states: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage."

To me, trying to describe pain is very similar to trying to explain what the color red is to a blind person. Unless you have experienced it, it’s impossible. Not only that, but everyone’s tolerance to pain is different.

I had a bad, baaaaad, bad day yesterday, today wasn’t much better, the piece that has broken off has moved and is causing all kinds of hell.

It did get me thinking though, the longer you have pain the harder it is to quantify it. Well, as far as my pain goes anyway.  It has been years on and off, mostly on, and you get to the point where, for me, the only way I know the pain is really bad is it reduces me to tears.

Most of the time I can cope OK and the pain meds take the edge off, the pain is still there it’s just at a bearable level that’s all. Yesterday though I went for a walk all the way to the mailbox ;o) I got there Ok, sorta, my right leg didn’t want to cooperate and the sciatic pain was bad but I got there, it's all of 4 houses down the road, not like a ran a marathon or anything.

Coming back for some reason was really hard. I had to keep stopping as the deep aches in my legs, the weakness in my right leg and the sharp pains in my back were just too much.  It was then that I had to really fight back the tears.

I get all those sorts of pains all the time, not usually all at the same time which is probably why it reduced me to tears. It occurred to me, am I in more pain than normal? and the answer really was no, it’s like this all the time but I guess because all the pains were there together it hit me harder and reduced me to tears.

I always felt that when there is an area of pain it should glow blue.  The deeper the blue the more there is pain.  Pain is so subjective, what hurts one person is a breeze for another.

It would help doctors so much.  No more drug addicts going in asking for pain meds they don’t need.

It would also help trauma teams and hospital nurses, no more asking for pain meds, just show them the blue area.

I guess it’s because we evolved to die by the time we are 40 it’s not a trait that our bodies ever felt we needed.  200 years ago if you were in pain from anything significant you died from it, why would you need to let the world know you are in pain?

I put the patch back on yesterday lunchtime, hoping, (unrealistically I know) that it would really ease the pain. It does help somewhat, it means when I take half a Lortab it puts me where I used to be before the last piece of disk broke off. Then I used to be able to take half a Lortab and it would take the edge off. Not any more!

17 days and counting……..

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