Pain, for better and worse, is part of our biological systems. Like the red warning light on the car’s dash, it indicates structural or functional disruption. It is an invaluable system and without it we would be continually injuring ourselves. Sadly, in chronic pain, the warning system doesn’t shut down properly and it cannot be easily disconnected or overruled.
As a physician, one of my primary charges is to try to minimize people’s pain and suffering. Being both a pragmatist and a generalist, my tools are quite wide-ranging so it was with some interest that I learned about the connection between language and suffering. There are many levels of this. Here is one part.
I often feel startled by life as many physicians do; startled by the vast intricacies of life, and humbled by the almost unfathomable complexities. But these days, I am concerned that for many in my field the wonder is waning, drowning.