Friday, July 22, 2011

Life IS Pain

"Life IS pain, Highness" - Wesley to Buttercup. 

I was quite irritated recently when a friend offered me sympathy, that I neither sought nor wanted, for some neck pain I have.

Yes, my neck hurts, caused by slight arthritis, by hunching over a computer, and from falling out of a window when I was two.  But I do not *suffer* from this pain.  It just is. 

Everyone I know, from 18 to 90 years old, deals with a physical pain of one kind or another.  I think it is part of the human condition.  If you take breath, there is pain.

I'm not talking the pain of disease - just your everyday, ordinary pain.  The pain from over-exertion.  The pain from inactivity.  Pain related to repetitive actions in your work.  Headaches, stomach aches, tooth aches, ear aches.  The pain from a sliver, a paper cut, a mosquito bite. The twinge of an ankle turned wrong.  The ache of a shoulder tugged by a anxious, large dog on a leash.

The expenditures for just prescription pain medication was $13.2 billion in 2006, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Granted, some of this could be pain from disease, but it doesn't count purchases of the plethora of pain remedies available at your local store.  Pills, salves, drops, wraps, heat wraps, herbal remedies - easing pain is a big business in the U.S.

I'm working hard, exercising to strengthen my muscles, being more conscious of my pathetic posture, and getting massages to counteract the hours at my desk. But I don't expect to become pain free, just exchange pain from bad causes to pain from good causes.

Life IS pain, Highness.

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