I have some friends and family members who live with daily pain.
I, too, suffer from aches and twinges and throbbing sensations that often interfere with what I want to accomplish.
It wasn’t until recently, during the weeks of managing with a broken toe, that I was reminded of how overwhelming pain can become…how it can affect everything you do and wear and even think. I have been in a couple of previous situations, after accidents, when I understood how people become seriously depressed and turn to drugs or alcohol for relief and comfort.
One has only to watch television for a short time to know that we are a society in pain. Drug companies offer pills for anything and everything that hurts or harms. Headache, backache, fibromyalgia, and arthritis seem to be our current concerns. And if you are willing to risk the side effects there is a drug for each.
However, it is the vague, undiagnosed and sometimes untreatable pain that plagues us the most. I am amazed by the number of people I know personally who suffer from something that baffles their doctor. I always thought of medicine as an exact science, but I have come to understand that much of it is a guessing game played by an educated and informed competitor. Yes, the doctor has trained and studied. He has seen thousands of patients. He has a dozen tests he can order. But he may still listen to you and examine you and say, “I don’t know.” Tests and consultations with other doctors may also be “inconclusive”. I once went two years in excruciating pain and spent seven weeks in bed before a doctor agreed to do surgery on my back. I felt better within days!
Oklahoma was recently listed as one of the major users and abusers of prescription drugs. I know that some of that is “recreational”, but I also know that much of it is used for pain relief. Until we find some answers for chronic pain, people will do what they feel they need to do to survive. Until we treat pain with the same respect that we afford major illnesses and conditions people will turn to drugs for relief. That’s not an excuse, just a reality.
I think we should demand that our doctors pay more attention to our pain and give us more respect in treating it. I also think we should be kinder and more understanding of those around us who suffer.
Pray today for those in pain.