a reply to: leeda
Pain is transmitted through the body by a neurotransmitter called, and this is no word of a joke, substance-P. Imaginative tykes, these neurologists,
Interestingly, naked mole rats do not have any substance-P in their bodies, which leads researchers to believe that they have no sense for pain what
so ever, but that is by the by really.
People who have brain injuries or neurochemical idiosyncrasies which prevent them feeling pain, do not automatically have a better time of things
than those who have the ability to sense pain. In fact, they very often have much shorter lives. Imagine not being able to tell that your flesh is
burning, or that you have a serious wound on your body somewhere. The risk of infection of a wound is increased significantly, if the person who has
suffered it, is unaware of it! Also, without pain, the body is not nearly as prone to going into a protective shock situation.
Pain has a very important job to do within the body. It registers assault on our bodies, counts wounds, alerts us to their existence, makes it plain
to us when something bad has happened. Whether it is wounds to the body, or internal problems, pain is like the engine warning light in your car. It
tells you when something is not right, and depending on the level and location of the pain, when to go to the doctor or the emergency room over it. It
also helps us learn our way around when we are kids.
The iron is hot, but many kids only really learn that, when their hand has been upon the metal press plate and FELT it. We learn to stand up and
walk, and then run, with pain as an occasional reminder of how not to do it, the scuffed knees and skinned elbows of a fall helping to educate us, and
provide incentive to do better next time, to keep our feet.
Pain is not purely negative. Without pain, we would walk around on broken limbs, making them worse rather than seeking aid, and we would not be aware
of the massive ulcer growing in our stomach, or the burst appendix, and all of these things, untreated, can have catastrophic, life changing or life
ending consequences. Pain, as much as it is jolly unpleasant, has a purpose in the human experience. It is a warning, an instructor, and awareness of
it can save your life in some circumstances.
It is true though, that some people could do without it. People who have serious, chronic conditions which cause them an unceasing agony, which
cannot be effectively treated or mitigated, well of COURSE it would be best for them if they suffered no more, if their pain sensing capacity were
However, pain in general serves an important purpose in protecting the human body. It is worth remembering that!