Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Pain Syndrome

Perhaps the title is a bit misleading, this is not a scientific treatise after all. Nor can what I am going to narrate, strictly be called a syndrome. (I will come to the reason of why I am discussing this at the end)

However, this topic has constantly intrigued me. Namely, the consciousness of pain.This includes all forms of pain: physical, psychological, imagined, supposed pain etc.etc. This raises a number of questions. For one, why does it hurt more if we are thinking about it. Point in case, I burnt my finger badly the other day. It's been almost a week, and the burn turned into a wound, and wound kept on 'festering', and yet I blithely kept on working, typing, doing dishes and other activities involving hands. (Digressor: think of how many activities we do that do NOT involve hands). But today, when I noticed how awful it looked, it has suddenly started to hurt very much, and I am wondering how did I manage to type thousands of words with this finger!

Does our consciousness of pain become heightened if we are aware of it? Or, if we are paying too much attention to it. Actually, yes it does! And I am the 'in- house' authority on pain, considering the number of 'pain books' I have translated. I can easily advice people on how to deal with chronic pain, chronic illnesses and tinnitus, etc. Every expert advises that in order to deal with pain, one should use 'distractions' to take our mind off the pain. By the way, did you know that even when you have healed, you can still continue to experience pain? Pain is not an ailment in itself, it's a way that your brain uses to tell you that you are hurt and you need to do something about it. Sometimes, it continues to send the pain signal even when we have healed. But I am digressing as usual.

Back to the topic of my sore and battered finger. I have currently applied some antibiotic ointment on it, and bandaged it. This incident triggered all of the above thoughts in my head. And also some relevant and irrelevant stuff.

Talking about pain, I remember an interesting anecdote. My chachi claims that when she eats sliced cucumbers she gets a severe headache instantly, but she is perfectly fine if the cucumbers are finely chopped. Now there sure must be some scientific explanation for that, and I have no intention of coming across as insensitive, or lacking in empathy. But it's very amusing how she will pick up a thin slice of cucumber, eat it, and exclaim," See, it's already hurting me." (-: Pain is not tangible after all. But she keeps on demonstrating by eating sliced cucumbers and saying, "see, I am feeling a sharp, stabbing pain in my head." Waise, this also intrigues me. Exactly what does cause that pain? What is there in the composition of a cucumber to induce headache?

I need to stop rambling. (Actually, I have forgotten rest of the things I was going to 'talk about':D) Such is Beebly!


Abu Ayenab said...

You have mentioned "imagined" pain...

What is an imaginary pain?

Arimas said...

Please read today's post for the answer. Thank you.

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