Frances recently posted Pain: out of ten. Like many of Frances's posts it has elicited quite a lot of interesting information. It made me think too about the pain suffered by those around me. I shall stick to the subject of physical pain: chronic and acute.
I know a number of people who suffer from severe pain: my brother CJ who has a neuropathological (or is it neurological) condition being one closest to me. He suffers from constant chronic and from acute pain which has in itself become chronic. Monica lives with chronic pain. These are just two of many whom I know. Arthritis is so common these days that we almost ignore those hobbling around needing new knees, hips and, worse still, new parts, like backs, that cannot be replaced.
So last night when Frances asked me what had caused me to cut my bladder in half (the aftermath of which I had highlighted as being on the rather painful part of the spectrum) I was thinking just how fortunate I have been. It's not the first time I've realised this but I thought it was a good opportunity to renew my thankfulness.
I had opined that pain at the high threshold can sort of be measured by whether one remembers it. We remember pain but forget exactly what it was like. That must be the case or most of the women I know would never have had a second baby. I can recall a Spanish doctor (who spoke relatively little English) sticking a syringe through my back into my lung when I was 16 and was in hospital after a lobectomy (partial lung removal). He hit a nerve and the poor nurse who's arm had been holding me in front actually swore at him because he just left it there and started asking me what was wrong. Then there was the pain from having my bladder cut in half during a life-saving operation and having a catheter bulb sitting on it for days. That hurt. I said never again. That was 16 years ago. I'm still alive. Would I do it again? I'm not sure in theory but in practice surely the pain wasn't that bad.
"The point of this is what?" I can hear you ask. The point is that the only pain I have suffered (ignoring my arthritic knee which is to be replaced but the discomfort of which I have grown used to provided that I'm really careful and don't aggravate it in which case it's very painful) is acute pain and acute pain by definition is relatively transient.
So today I am very thankful indeed for a life so far relatively free of pain. For those of you in constant pain I feel deep sympathy. For those of you without pain please take a moment to consider your good fortune.