Recently I heard a story of a little girl who has a rare medical condition that inhibits her from feeling physical pain (CIPA). On the surface, this appears to be a blessing. Think about it. Imagine a life where you feel no pain. No more headaches or sore muscles. Sounds great! Where do I sign up?
Not so fast. While you are imagining a pain free life, lets go a little deeper. Imagine putting your hand on a hot stove. You don’t feel pain but that does not stop you from being injured. Maybe you step on a piece of glass causing a deep cut on your foot. The only way you know it’s cut is from the trail of blood because you don’t sense pain. You can’t feel the pain of internal injuries either.
We realize that our sense of pain is vital to our survival. Pain lets us know about injury, sickness and infection. When I get in the shower in the morning, its my sense of pain that tells me the water is too hot when I run my hand under it. When I eat a hot cup of soup, it is my sense of pain that keeps me from scalding my mouth.
What is pain? (more…)