On the Subject of Pain


I have low tolerance for pain. There, I've said it.

Doctors have told me just the opposite.  But I don't believe them.

The subject of pain hit me the other day when my son Jeff had to get  a scan for a sore sole. He stepped the wrong way but didn't know how or  when.  That can happen raising  two boys, 6 and 2.

I suggested he might have plantar fasciitis. And  right away I  opened a can of wormy  memories of my own affliction.

It was near the end of my teaching career.  I was the envy of all teachers for the speed and  vigor of ascending and descending staircases  going hither and thither with my  class in tow. Then one afternoon, returning from the library en route one flight up, it happened.  One step for man, one giant leap for pain!  I called for help, got my class covered, and limped down to the front office where the nurse gave her  quick diagnosis: PLANTAR FASCIITIS.  Inflammation of the band of muscles on the bottom of the foot.

She was spot on.  The orthopedic doctor confirmed the diagnosis.   I had to rest the foot,  soak it in warm water (or was it iced?),  take something for the pain, and let time heal.

You might be thinking at this point that with all the pain and suffering in the world, I should be ashamed of complaining about such a transitory and relatively trivial case.  And you would be right. If I had my way I would eliminate all the pain and suffering of every human being on earth. Or at least contribute to their alleviation.

That being said, have you ever had kidney stones?   Owwww,  that's pain!


Filed under: Family Life, medicine


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  • Have had kidney stones, one massive gallbladder attack that made the kidney stones seem like scrapes, and for about 5 years I had chronic pain of unknown origin, which crippled me and made the gallbladder pain seem like a scrape. Oh, I did have plantar fasciitis, too, which many doctors now believe to be a somatic problem, unless you're an athlete. . Think of it: near the end of your teaching career, a very stressful thing, no doubt, and anxiety and stress can affect the nervous system in so many ways. Glad you're better now. I never believed in "no pain no gain". After five years of chronic, debilitating pain, I surely didn't believe it. Maybe you be free from all pain and torment. Except for me, of course. ;--->

  • R.D. thanks for putting things into perspective. I sure hope you're over all the excruciating stuff. Nothing but slight cuts and bruises from now on.

    Yes, like so many other jobs, teaching has its stresses and strains. How I survived still amazes me. In the twilight of my career, I barely made it to the end of each day. So stress might have been the culprit. I'm not surprised.

    One thing I've noticed during my retirement is that I don't come down with colds and all of the accompanying symptoms. A classroom of youngsters can be an incubator for germs.

    BTW, some pain is therapeutic especially when it comes to thinking. You know the old saying, "When two people think alike, one of them is unnecessary."

    Thanks again for your perceptive comments.

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