I fell in a hole. A deep hole. And it hurt. But when people came to help, instead of getting me out of the hole, they stood around the top and asked me how I got in the hole. What I had done to make myself fall in the hole. How deep was the hole. How long had I been in the hole. When I asked them to just get me out of the hole, they said that they couldn’t because I would just fall back in the hole. They had to know why I was in the hole before they would or could get me out of it. Maybe I secretly liked being in the hole. Maybe I’d put myself in the hole for attention. Sometimes they measure the hole and take pictures of it (the walls, the ground, the sky) only to tell me there is no hole that I’m in. They show me the pictures of myself, the ground in the hole, the walls, the sky, and say, See, there is no hole. You are the hole that you’ve made. We can’t do anything to help you out.
The pain organ is neuro-endocrine but only rarely chemical. It communicates with the bod via quantum tunneling (like photosynthesis, like smell) and cannot be seen with current imaging technology except as a possibility. It has been guessed at, its shadow glimpsed in MRIs, the sketches of pain victims. It is often mistaken for a tumor, but its removal results not in cessation of pain, but its increase as it escapes into the rest of the body. Occasional its removal results in death. Pain cannot be contained; it always has a remainder.
“For the practitioner, the patient’s complaints (symptoms of illness) must be translated into the signs of disease. (For example, the patient’s chest pain becomes angina — a sign of coronary artery disease — for the physician.) Diagnosis is a thoroughly semiotic activity: an analysis of one symbol system followed by its translation into another. Complaints are also interpreted as syndromes — clusters of symptoms which run together over time — that indicate through their relationship a discrete disorder. Clinicians sleuth for pathognomonic signs — the observable, telltale clues to secret pathology — that establish a specific disease. This interpretive bias to clinical diagnosis means that the patient-physician interaction is organized as an interrogation (Mishler 1985).” (16)
“[Physicians] manage as medical problems the symptoms resulting from the social sources of distress and disease. We blame the victim in the ideology of personal life-style change.” (21)
“Clinical and behavioral science research also possess no category to describe suffering, no routine way of recording this most thickly human dimension of patients’ and families’ stories of experiencing illness. Symptom scales and survey questionnaires and behavioral checklists quantify functional impairment and disability, rendering quality of life fungible. Yet about suffering they are silent.” (28)
N44C, an emission nebula in the LMC
Image Credit: Donald Garnett (University of Arizona) et al., Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and NASA
N44C is an emission nebula of about 125 light-years across in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small companion galaxy to our own Milky Way which lies about 157,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Dorado, while it is receding from us at approximately 278 kilometers per second. The nebula is surrounding an association of young stars.
The pain organ is really a body. The pain body. (is the body really a pain organ?)
The pain body lives inside the body and is also its skin (its surface area, its bound). The pain body is the only way I know I have a body (mirrors and cameras lie). Pain is what is out there even when it is in here. We can only know what is out there through the pain body so there is no body without pain so what is the body?
Words often used to describe pain: Burning, stabbing, searing, mind-numbing, terrible, excruciating.
Words rarely or never used to describe pain: Luscious, lovely, pretty, soft, favorite, cute, giggly, fun.
So pain is ‘masculine.’ All the words to describe it are ‘active,’ the words we use to describe maleness on the binary. The hard words. Pain is never the soft words. Pain is something done to you. Pain is active and we are passive. Pain makes a woman of us because what else could we be when acted upon?