The language of pain
There is a language of pain. We are taught it at medical school: throbbing, stabbing, lancinating, crushing, bursting, cramping, burning, stinging, aching, boring, gouging, …. In the learning of it we experience it too, convinced always that we have some fatal and incurable malady.
Pain has a timbre and a cadence; it has body and soul; it is alive and separate and malevolent.
It is unfortunate that patients come to us not knowing the language of pain. All they seem capable of saying is that it hurts; a lot. They can’t even always say where – somewhere. And when we treat the pain they are relieved but not satisfied: they want to know why: cause and motive.