Take A Number

Everyone suffers pain but in such an individualistic and indescribable way. We all have our own vocabularies for the difficulties that afflict us. The nouns may be the same—cancer, surgery, shoulder, stomach—but the adjectives that describe our discomforts are intimately ours.

The vocabulary of suffering is so subjective that the medical community has had to objectify it somehow. They have settled on a simple numerical system to catalog pain: a scale of 1-10. This helps them do science but it does little to communicate the pathos of pain. After all, what does a “6” feel like to you? To me?

How different life would be without the hydra-headed monster we call pain. Eternal banishment of the beast after the final indignity of death is the hope to which we cling.

In the mean time, take a number.

One thought on “Take A Number

  1. Very perceptive. Your words make me think about Mom. I am sure we didn’t begin to understand her pain herlast year. Do you think she can forgive us? Big Sis

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