Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are We Wimps?

     My doctor thinks I am a wimp.  I didn't used to bruise when the nurse took my pulse, and I didn't feel like screaming when she took my blood pressure.  It's true things that don't hurt other people make me feel excruciating pain, but I am anything but a wimp. 
     One of the major symptoms of Fibromyalgia is pain.  It is a strange pain that changes, moves, and has no connection to a cause that we can pinpoint. 
     We have a low pain threshold, so our nerves register benign sensations as pain.  Other people register the nurse taking their pulse as pressure.  My nerves register it as pain.  Other people register a sensation and are able to forget about it. When you put on your watch, you feel the sensation of weight against your skin, but you soon forget about it.  My nerves don't forget about it.  In fact, as the minutes go by, the sensation turns to pain.  The pain continues growing until I can't stand it anymore and rip it off my wrist in disgust.  Our nerves register heat, sound, light, pressure, and touch as pain.  It is a physical response our nerve endings send to our brains.  It is not an emotional response. 
     Although we have a low pain theshold and register so many things as pain, we have a high pain tolerance.  We are able to deal with pain that is unimaginable to most people.  On a good day my feet feel like they are on fire, I can barely walk, have a headache, my leg muscles are in spasms, and my eye keeps twitching.  You would never know it because I have learned to deal with the pain.  Although my body is registering everything as pain, I am able to work two jobs, raise a family, and do it all with a positve attitude and a smile.  The fact that people can look at me and say, "You don't look sick," shows what a high pain tolerance I have.     
     Maybe what my doctor meant to say is , "You're not a wimp.  Your nerve endings are a bit confused and think everything is painful.  They are the wimpy ones, not you."  That would make sense because sometimes he gets on my nerves.