What does pain do to my overall well-being … besides the obvious, that is? When I stub my toe I jump around and moan … for about 20 seconds and then the pain begins to subside. But what about pain that lasts and lasts? There is a huge cadre of people, many of them senior citizens, who live with pain everyday of their lives.
Yesterday, I received a new partial which replaced an old worn out one. The minute I popped it in my mouth, when it clamped around the two anchoring teeth with a vengeance, I knew it wasn’t going to be coming out anytime soon. Sure enough, now I can’t get it out. And it’s digging into my gum, and I’ve been in pain pretty fiercely since yesterday.
The pain in my mouth hasn’t been active even a full 24 hours, but it made me wonder about what chronic pain must be like for people – especially older people. I’ve been feeling sort of indignant, “Why in this day and age does pain have to exist even for a short period of time?” I’ve tried being at one with the pain and so far, it’s winning.
While I’m not a big pill popper, I sure would welcome a break from the pain, even if it was just temporary. “Oh, buck up,” you say. Yes, perhaps you’re right. Excedrin allowed me to sleep without as much pain, but what about people who have no choice because, for whatever reason, their pain isn’t going to go away anytime soon? I believe they learn to somehow live with the pain.
Right now these people have my admiration. The things currently at their disposal are: biofeedback, chronic pain management clinicians, meditation, breathing exercises, increasing endorphins through physical movement and support groups, none of which provide a quick solution.
An acquaintance of mine has a pretty bad headache, a headache she’s had for a couple of years. What!?! Obviously, she’s sought medical help from a cabillion doctors, had hundreds of tests and even was evaluated in the hospital with various possible remedies.
I think I’d be pretty cranky if I had to live with this discomfort for very long. Perhaps there will come a time in my life when chronic arthritis or some other condition will force me to cope with an uncomfortable day-to-day level of pain.
Hats off and cup fulls of OTC pain meds to those who currently suffer. I can’t imagine how you cope. If you’re reading this and aren’t in pain, be grateful. In the meantime, my dentist will try once again this afternoon to get the partial out, and I’ll have him shoot me up with Novocain first!
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