I think I mentioned previously that I'm slowly digesting Melanie Thernstrom's book The Pain Chronicles.
If I were still a college student and into highlighting text, I think the vast majority of the book would be highlighted because so much of it seems noteworthy to me.
Here's a quote that made me stop to ponder tonight:
"Like all chronic disease, chronic pain involves a bifurcation. There is the normal state, where you used to live, and you are conditioned to that state. Then you face a debilitating circumstance that lasts for months or years. When you're in that second state, you hold on to an expectation of that first life: you mourn that first life -- you want it, and want it a million times over. But people have to let themselves die and lose their old expectations. If they let it die, they can rise like a phoenix from the ashes and can have a new life. The doctor has to help them die and be reborn with a vital, rich life." --- Dr. John Keltner, a pain management specialist. (p. 209)
What do you think? Is that really what one has to do to "recover" from chronic pain -- completely give up on one's "first life," on ever getting back to one's previous life, in order to move forward enough to have a life that doesn't center around pain and illness? And how does that work, exactly, anyway? How do you die and get reborn in a non-religious sense?
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