Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Gift of Pain

A totally fascinating doctor named Paul Brand, and a well known Christian author named Philip Yancey, wrote a book called The Gift of Pain.

The basic idea is that pain is a gift from God, because pain helps us figure out that we are hurt and therefore that we need to protect ourselves.

Paul Brand did groundbreaking work with people afflicted with leprosy. He discovered that the leprosy bacterium destroys pain sensors, and people with advanced leprosy stop feeling pain. They don't take care of themselves and their bodies are badly damaged.

As a simple example, many will stop blinking because their eyes don't register discomfort from getting too dry. And some go blind.

Diabetics have similar problems, especially in their feet.  High blood sugars can cause long term damage including the inability to feel pain in the feet.

Anyhoo, I'm in pain, and I'm trying to be thankful for the gift of pain.

I'm not in pain all the time, just when I sit wrong :-).  Wow, I walloped myself when I fell a week and a day ago!  I'm sure it is just bruised but it is taking its sweet time to heal.

But I have a nice doughnut pillow to sit on, and the pain tells me to sit "just so" to prevent a flare up.

Here's an interesting story.  Paul Brand did a test where he had people walk long distances in specially prepared shoes that had small blue gel balls under the foot.  As the people walked, the gel balls broke.  The result was that he was able to see the major pressure points during walking.

People without pain impairment will constantly shift their pressure around to prevent sores in the feet.  Leprosy patients will walk exactly the same way all the time unless taught not to.  Thus, even with good shoes leprosy patients will tend to damage their feet because they don't shift around to prevent blisters.

True for diabetics too, I believe.

Anyway, my tailbone is recovering slowly but I'm still not a totally happy camper.

But I am thankful for pain to tell me when I need to shift my position to take pressure off that sensitive area!

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