REFERRED PAIN

REFERRED PAIN

People say labour pain is the worst type of pain there is. For now, I can't really tell if that is so. Having experienced toothache a couple of times, I can confidently say it's probably the worst kind of pain imaginable.

This has led me to a couple of visits to the dentist's. If you've never experienced toothache, good for you.The pain can be quite excruciating and debilitating, blinding even.

Most times, I would be so sure of the exact site of the problem. I would apply several dollops of 'Bonjella' gel on a particular region where I felt the pain was emanating from.

I would be shocked to discover much later; after a series of percussion and X-rays, that the inflammation and discomfort was from an entirely different tooth. One that I paid little or no attention to.

 I would voice out my exasperation to the dentist and he would smile knowingly and quip, "That's what is known as referred pain".

I have been musing randomly to myself lately and I discovered that 'referred pain' is very much part of our daily and human existence .

I recall a true life story of a young doctor with a thriving medical practice. He seemed to be doing pretty well for himself or so everyone thought. He fell gravely ill and was diagnosed with cancer, terminal one at that. His doctor felt there was more to his illness than met the eyes, and engaged him in a heart to heart conversation.

During the conversation, his doctor asked if he was emotionally distraught or overwhelmed in any way. He broke down and replied that he only studied Medicine at the behest of his parents. He revealed that he always wanted to study Architecture but his parents refused and insisted he study Medicine to make the family proud. The doctor asked him if it would make any difference to him to pursue a degree in Architecture in the twilight moments of his life, being that the prognosis wasn't very good and he had been given six months to live. His face lit up and he responded in the affirmative, "nothing would have made him happier", he added.