Friday, 27 July 2012


This was not the blog I set out to write today, I was going to write about my two days away and maybe I still will but as is often the way with me my blog subjects seem to choose themselves. there such a thing as a pain threshold?
A very dear friend of mine has found herself with a painful injury this past week and the procedure to try to help was just too painful for her to bear, she asked me how I cope with being in pain 24/7 and it got me thinking.
If like me you have an on going painful condition do you reach a stage where your pain threshold alters?
I think you must as although I am obviously aware of the constant pain I am able to bear it. If it gets worse or as my medication becomes due I become more aware of it but I actually stopped to think about this last night and allowed myself to really feel the pain that is always present and I believe you learn to block it to a certain extent or you wouldn't carry on.
Or I wonder does a constant pain become the norm to you after time?
My mum suffers with tinnitus and I will never forget when she first got it she was in such a state she lost lots of weight, was really suffering and we were so worried about her. She didn't receive any treatment as there isn't a lot they can do but she did eventually hit a time when something changed for her, did she adapt to it? Accept it was always going to be there? Again I really don't know but she got better in herself and hardly mentions it now although I know she still has it the same or even worse.
Is that what we do?
Putting my thinking (and honesty) cap on last night I asked myself the questions doctors ask "on a scale of 1 to 10 where is your pain?"
And every day normally I would rate mine at 6, a constant 6 that never goes, It rises at times, especially when I don't behave and push myself too much but even resting and doing as I am told (rare for me) it is still a constant 6 so how do I cope?
Why am I not a screaming maniac all the time?
I am convinced your brain/mind takes over, gives you a talking to and makes you realise life just wouldn't be worth living if you were aware of that degree of pain all the time.
So what if a person like me gets a different type of pain?
Has my pain threshold altered so any pain is dealt with the same way?
Again I can't say for sure but during these two days away I have got horribly sun burnt and believe me it looks very sore, I am suffering but would/should I be noticing it more?
Would a person who doesn't live with pain daily notice the sunburn, a headache, toothache etc more than me?
I think the answer is yes, I think we do all have a pain threshold and that can change as needs must, it is a form of protection almost against feeling pain to such an extent we are unable to function.
Yet again the mind and the body are so interlinked one steps in to assist the other when desperately needed.
What a truly fascinating species we are.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Colin Baker said...

Hi Penny

It has been prove. That women who have gone through the pain of child birth have a much higher pain threshold than those that have not, pain is individual, I am not very good at handling pain personally because I have luckily not had much.

I think that the brain numbs to constant pain thus moving the goal posts on the levels of pain you can handle, what you say is a 6 on the pain scale would be a 10 for me, also I am not sure what your pain medication is but if you take it regularly then it will stay in your system for a longer amount of time, you may find that if you stopped all pain medication each day the pain will worsen.


Penny Mead said...

Thanks Colin, love research but think I will pass on stopping pain Meds to put that particular one to the test. Haha. Xx

feline9 said...

I think you get used to your own pain and its usual level. You become accustomed to it and your brain somehow allows you to cope with it. Not so much that you are not aware if it changes - becomes worse etc. However I find that for me, its not that I find other pain worse, but I grudge having it!!! And because of that I don't cope as well!!