Pain is a fellow-traveler, a necessary if unwelcome component of the human condition. Les Bloch considers our life-long companion.
My hands hurt. I’ve been working with porcelain. My right ankle spikes when I’m running. My mother whispered to me, late into her 92nd year, “You don’t know how much it hurts.”
We all experience pain. Steph Curry’s ankle goes in and out. Lindsay Vonn's knee screams silently during every slalom. And the UPS driver’s back reminds her it’s only noon.
The use or abuse of drugs, alcohol and opioids is rooted in this human condition. We all share pain. The difference between someone who reaches for a pill, or a drink or puff and someone who doesn’t is our intricate negotiation with our bodies, our moral take on painkillers and our nerve endings refusing to reason.
If almost everyone alive feels some pain or another, then the proof of life requires us to feel it. Children born with a congenital insensitivity suffer injuries because they can’t feel the heat, the strike, the puncture or blow. Reconnecting them with pain is the only thing that will keep them alive. Others, with constant, nagging, overwhelming pain are consumed by the tsunami from their own bodies. Life seems too long.