Positive Pain?

Our society spends a great deal of time and energy trying to avoid pain. If you go to any emergency room in our country there is a sign posted that you have a right to have your pain medicated. Pain medication is a huge source of revenue for pharmaceutical companies.  I often hear people discussing pain in very sympathetic manner. Minor aches and pains are medicated quickly in hopes of not having to experience it. I have met people that their entire day was structured around their pain medication dosing schedule. Pain certainly has our attention.

What is the point of pain? Pain is meant to be a signal to our body that something is wrong in our body that needs our attention. I have broken many bones over the years. When I broke a bone, I knew that area was damaged and instinctively protected the area, this prevented further damage. Pain also helps to signal the body to begin repairs of the damaged area. The body seldom performs a task that is not needed, so it is clear that pain plays an important role in our lives, but does not appear to be a welcomed role.

A few years ago I had been having abdominal pains and went to the emergency room. It was very clear that I needed to seek help, as the pain was keeping me from just about all activities. They quickly diagnosed me with gallstones and said I needed to have my gallbladder removed, quickly. The doctor immediately order me pain medication, I explained that I didn’t want any. He laughed. He also laughed when I asked him to not put me out for the surgery! He didn’t force the pain meds on me, but required me to be under for the procedure. As I awoke from the surgery, the nurse immediately asked me if I needed pain medication. I declined, so they called the doctor, and he explained that there was no purpose served in not taking the medication. I told him that I did not need it. Opiate based pain medication slows the digestive process, as well as many other side effects.

As soon as I got to my room I asked my doctor when I could go home and his reply was “when you can walk around the entire 3rd floor”. I put on my shoes and started to push my IV pole and began my quest to complete the trip around the 3rd floor. I quickly completed my trip and the doctor just shook his head. Did it hurt, HELL YES! I had decided that the pain simply signaled that healing had begun. That night, I walked around the 3rd floor 10 times. Three days after my surgery, I was back in the gym. I have made up my mind that physical pain is not a “bad thing” and I treat it as part of the process of healing. I insist on focusing on healing the cause of the pain, not the pain itself.

It seems to me that many people have bought into the concept that pain is “bad”, and in fact, there are doctors that simply treat pain, without taking a minute to research the cause. They encourage the idea of “suffering” from pain, so they treat the pain and the cause is never dealt with.

What if we as a society changed our perspective of pain and used it for positive change? The mind has the ability to ignore pain, it also has the ability to increase pain when you focus on it.

One of the sayings that reflect my thought process is “Pain in life is a requirement, suffering from that pain is optional”. I challenge you to re-evaluate your perspective of pain. Most of all, I hope you no longer choose to suffer from it!

I am speaking about my perspectives in my life. I do not judge others and what they are going through. I do not suggest anyone not follow what their doctor says to do! If you are in pain, I do not know what you are going through, so please do not take this blog post as being relevant to your particular situation.