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"Pain Acceptance Theory" my butt!

Do you realize that there is no cure for hunger; food only manages this state of being. Our body’s continually process food for nutrients, expels the waste, then asks for more food in the form of hunger a few hours later. Need proof, how many of you woke up to breakfast after stuffing your face for Thanksgiving? Food prevents hunger from getting worse, taking over our minds, and allows us to ski, read, love, and so much more. Without food, we would have to cope through hunger each day so we can participate in the basics of life. Food is a time management tool for hunger.

Do you realize that there is no cure for chronic pain; opiates only manage this state of being. My body is still in pain, still is damaged, pain is still changing my brain chemistry, and then it starts the pain process all over again. Need proof, look at my face as I continue to work even though my hands are in the worst flare of my life. Need more proof, let’s go skiing even though I have a plate in my neck and both of my hips are replaced. Opiates prevent me from caring about my pain, prevent the pain from taking over my mind, and allows me to continue to ski, read, love and so much more. Opiates do not cure my chronic pain. Without opiates, I would have to cope through pain each minute so I can participate in the basics of life. Opiates are a time management tool for pain.

Now I would like to propose the following time management experiment regarding hunger pains. I call it the “hunger acceptance” experiment. From now until the end of your life, you must increase your hunger pains by 50%. This means that instead of 3 meals a day, you only can have 1.5. Thirsty, you can only have half a cup of water. Enjoy Propel like I do, you can only have half a bottle a day. Believe an apple a day keeps the doctor away; well; you only can eat half an apple for this experiment. Love Starbucks; well; tell them you will pay for a full cup of coffee but you only want them to fill your cup half way. The reason for this experiment is that food could lead to obesity which puts increase pressure on your heart, I don’t want you to die of a heart attack. Make sense, good begin.

For all social justice warriors out there, relax, the point of the previous paragraph is not fat shamming. I’m engaging in what Sheldon Cooper and Logic would call “reductio-ad-absurdom”. It’s a form of argument which attempts to disprove a statement by showing it inevitable leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion. Obesity, as with addiction, is a combination of mental, physical, circumstantial, and emotional problems. Most of us know and accept this fact. However, this new idea of “pain acceptance” is trying to convenience the world that pain is a yes/no proposition when clearly it involves a combination of mental, physical, circumstantial, and emotional issues too.

Need more proof that “pain acceptance” is an exercise in reductio-ad-absurdom? Ok then, despite having a headache that would send most people to the ER, I have accepted today is going to be a struggle and still was only 4 minutes late to work this morning. Despite having one of the worst flares ever in my hands, I’ve accepted a certain amount of pain so I can get these thoughts to paper. Despite being in constant pain for the last 2 weeks, I’ve accepted a certain amount of pain and have not called in sick. Despite being in constant pain, I still walked over to the park near my office while on break to take pictures as a distraction and give my joints a chance to lubricate through motion. Finally, despite being in constant pain these last few weeks, my dad is currently resting in one of the top-rated facilities in Idaho as my brother and I wait for his passing.

 I’m going to close this post with a couple of questions. At what point in my chronic pain life do I get to say I’ve more than earned the right to an opiate for pain reduction because I’ve accepted so much pain already so I can continue to function at this level? How much more do I need to contribute to society before I can take a medication that is not curing my underlying problems, it only makes it so I can cope with my chronic pain? Please, someone tell me. I’m not sure how much more stigma I can take for just trying to live the life that I’m capable of.