PAIN…it’s a matter of tolerance

painI think I’ve eaten more shredded wheat this past week than a farmer could plow wheat fields in one day with his John Deere.  It’s all part of the effort to get my plumbing back to normal operation after the back surgery I had last week.  Now there’s a topic you don’t see posted on many blogs.  But I’ve given you full coverage of The Great Surgery, so why start hiding things now.  Anyway, it’s been a struggle, but I am not complaining. Given the fact that the surgery immediately obliterated the four years of agony my back was giving me, I can put up with just about anything right now. But this posting has to do with anybody’s pain, not just mine.

The level of pain or discomfort one can tolerate varies from one individual to the next.  True, it does seem that the current pain you are experiencing always feels like “the worst I’ve ever had!”  But then, that planter’s wart on the bottom of you foot starts acting up, making your toothache seem a little nit-pick.

Now I realize there’s a good case to be made that pain is deliberate and that it has a meaningful purpose.  Pain, we’re told, is a gift.  It serves as a warning sign that something is wrong with our body and we need to  pay attention to it.  Boy, when I unwrapped my gift I was stupid enough to think it would be ice cream or a new car. But no, it was anything but.

What I do not understand is this:  if pain tells us something is wrong, why can’t it simply whisper once or twice to let us know.? I for one, would not need any more warning than that.  I do not need the message delivered in a ROAR.  Maybe that’s required to motivate some folks to go see the doctor. All I need is one good little yelp and I’d be in the car.  So maybe we need to get the pain gods to work on that.

My experience with the amount of pain I’ve had the past few years has had my brain wander off in all directions.  Think about what it must have been like two or three hundred years ago to have extreme chronic pain.  There were no pain pills of any merit to help ease the intensity.  You simply had to suffer with it.  And imagine this: what if your pain struck as you were halfway across the Oregon Trail, especially if you were a “walker” without the luxury of a wagon or horse!  Would you make it?  Would you have go back, or just stop, lie down on the trail and wait for starvation to set in?

What if it’s the 1700’s and you were Ben Franklin out flying a kite trying to prove lightning is electrical and along comes a kidney stone. Old Ben would have had no idea what the hell was happening to him. Think of it, we may have never learned to dance “It’s Electric” at weddings.

And what about the gunfight at the Ok Coral?  What if Wyatt Earp pulled a hamstring when he hopped over the coral fence?  He would have fallen and probably couldn’t get up.  He would have never survived! And Doc Holiday wouldn’t have been much help. He went to the coral that day while fighting tuberculosis.  He had to shoot twice, cough once through the whole ordeal.

What this says to me is that medical science is a worthy career to pursue, especially if you could come up with a cure, or a least a serious deterrent, that would all but eradicate pain…what a “Wow!” moment that’d be.

And don’t give me that silly line, no pain/no gain.  If that were true, after what I’ve been through, I’d be driving Miss Rosemarie to the Piggly Wiggly in a red Jag to stock up on supplies for our cruise around the world in our custom 70-foot yacht that’s tied up to the dock behind our waterside mansion on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  See, pain can make you a bit delusional too.

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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