Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who’s Afraid of Pain?

There’s no escaping pain.  

Aches and pains, I must say, is something that really comes with age. And no matter what you do, no matter how many diamond peels, nose lifts, tummy tucks, botox treatments and breast augmentations you get, it won’t stop you from aging and aching.

Some people have unbearable pain on their hips or knees, mostly due to arthritis.  Their daily activities have already been hampered by pain.  When they decide to undergo surgery, they always have this nagging concern: 

“Doc, I’ve decided to undergo surgery.  But I’m afraid that the pain right after surgery might even be worse. ”

I know most people don’t like pain.  There are exceptions, of course, such as Holy Week penitents who believe they can be saved from hell by hurting themselves. 
But don’t be afraid of pain.

Says who?


Even though I am not really a specialist on the subject of pain.  There are other doctors called pain specialists, and I know a number of them.  But I tried to read a little bit more about pain, dissected the scientific explanations (which I did not elaborate here since it will bore you to death anyway), rearranged the practical ideas and added my own thoughts. 
 So here it is. 

Pain is, by definition, “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage."  When injury to our body is present or impending, our body sends signals to our brain, which interprets this signal as pain.  

It is normal for people to avoid pain at all costs.

That’s why many people avoid doctors and dentists.  (Geesh, no wonder a lot of people avoid my wife and I.  My wife is a dentist, FYI). 

But here is a startling fact about pain.

You need pain to survive.  It is our body’s way of avoiding greater injury.  If we accidentally put our hand over an open flame, we need to feel pain so that we will do the right thing which is to take our hand away.

 Such it is in life, you need pain to survive and to succeed.  “All permanent success comes from pain.  Any success that doesn’t come from pain will be short-lived.” 

No pain, no gain,
A soldier has to endure painful military training.  If not, he won’t be able to perform his duties of defending our motherland, such as from Chinese bullies in the Spratlys.

Manny Pacquiao has to go through painful training, in preparation for his fights.  I read that the Pacman does 3,000 sit-ups per day when he is training!  Imagine the pain he goes through every day.  But he is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today.

Doctors, too, have to go through painful “sharpening” of medical skills and knowledge.  We had to bear sleepless nights studying, 24-hour hospital duty, internship training, residency training, and fellowship training to become specialists one day.
The painful trials in life test you, teach you, and train you to be even better than before.  I believe 90% of successful people went through a lot of pain and sacrifice to achieve success.  They used their inner pain to fuel their rise to the top.
So friends, if you must undergo surgery, I say, don’t let the thought of pain stop you.  Pain is only a state of mind.  Pain helps us become better.  Pain brings greater rewards in the end. The benefits of long-term improvement in the physical and mental functioning far outweigh the risks in most orthopedic surgical patients.
Besides, for surgical patients, there’s always anesthesia.
Orthopedic Joke:

More on Senior citizens....
A senior citizen remarked: "I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,  So I got my physician's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, and jumped up and down and perspired for an hour.  But by the time I got my leotards on, Class was over."

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