“Chronic pain, as we know, serves no obvious beneficial biological function. In The Culture of Pain (1993), David B. Morris characterised chronic pain as a state as different from acute pain as is cancer from the common cold. In The Pain Chronicles, Dr Clifford Woolf, a Harvard professor of neurobiology, described chronic pain as ‘a terrible, abnormal sensory experience, pathological activity in the nervous system’—confirming that chronic pain not only defies pain’s evolutionary warning and protective mechanisms, but also, in outliving its original function, becomes a pathological condition of itself. Unlike acute pain, writes Morris, the wearying constancy of chronic pain, upon both the sufferer and the ‘patience and goodwill’ of friends and carers, ‘constitutes a radical assault on language and on human communication’. This is a complex pain, personally, medically, socially. It wears on long after an injury or disease has been treated or has apparently healed, with no end in sight. It is, therefore, life changing: a debilitating state of elusive diagnosis, failed intervention and irreversible tissue impairment. At its most consuming, it is akin to the pain of terminal disease, without the heroic ‘combative image’ and prospect of final easement. An authority on pain research, James L. Henry, has reported research that shows chronic pain as second only to bipolar disorder as a cause of suicide.” (How Does It Hurt, p13) —
I, too, am a bona fide sufferer of chronic pain. A strange kettle of fish.
I suggest going and getting a heavy handed tattooist to find some sensitive bits and work on them.
Having a pain may not help the pain go away.
But it sure does divert it for an all too brief moment.