Every now and then someone asks a question that helps you define an issue in life. Recently a nurse asked me, “Do you have days when you’re not in pain?”
I considered this for a few seconds and replied, “I have periods during the day when I’m not in pain. Usually because of my meds. But I haven’t had any days without pain for a long time. Since … I can’t remember when.”
I fidgeted thoughtfully for a moment, then remembered to make some conversational eye contact and added, “The thing that’s hard to explain about ‘pain management’ is that it’s not that I ‘get used to the pain’, but that I get used to ‘being in pain’. It makes it too easy to overwork, and not get enough rest, and get sick easier.”
We chatted a bit more about other stuff in life, and bid our farewells. Alas, she had nothing to offer by way of remedy for the situation, aside from reminding me to get some sleep. She’s not my medic; she’s my student.
But she did me a favour anyway by asking me a question that gave me the opportunity to re-assess and get a better perspective on my life.