Anesthesiologists and neurologists acknowledge five kinds of unbearable pains:
Trigeminal neuralgia is the facial pain that comes with toothaches,
The accumulated trauma of grinding on lost hopes turned to bone,
The horror of a bullet in the eye,
An unremovable moat floating beyond the grasp of forceps and forgiveness,
The tingle of skin at the end of an affair and its discovery,
A lighting bolt of guilt, shame and unredemption, not by God,
But the unforgiving heart,
The unfeeling mind.
Anesthesiologists say it is equal to two minutes of hell,
But only God knows it fully.
Mothers say the pain of giving birth is worse,
But mothers who have had children and than
Trigeminal neuralgia know that it is far worse.
Tegatrol provides temporary relief but also
A lower IQ, spaciness and dysphoria.
Surgeries are limited to opening the skull
And putting a little pillow between
The dilated or hypertrophied blood vessel and the trigeminal nerve
Or ionizing radiation targeted usually deep into the head
And takes what seems like a lifetime to work.
Some anesthesiologists think that the most unbearable pain
Is the pain you can not control,
Often the result of an injury long since healed
(An old battle scar, football injury, a tumble down a tall long staircase)
And yet the pain never fades, eroding prayer, hope and faith.
A pain that only Jesus knows.
Cancer patients who survived chemotherapy
Sometimes speak of the devastating cure,
A hellish pain of hands and feet that last years,
And their doctors acknowledge is impossible to treat.
Other anesthesiologists think the most unbearable pain is the kind without a defined source,
One where every test is negative.
Once again, where only God knows
The why, the where, the what and the when
Of an ache that goes beyond facts and journalistic knowledge.
Fibromyalgia is hard to treat, not impossible, just plain damn hard.
What the scientist can not manage
The psychiatrist is called into soothe,
Opening the patient to the notion
That the pain might be coming from
Some nonphysical source, maybe psychological.
Priests and exorcists have also provided
Some small miracles and been known to help.
Some neurologists think the worst pain is one
That registers in the brain
After the fact of injury.
There have been proven stories of people
Who have survived animal attacks
Who experienced horrific pain
Only after looking down
At what they thought was a scratch,
An unfortunate bump in the wilderness,
To discover the full revelation
Of hell fire in the sight
Of their wholly severed limb
In a savage maw.
Back pain sufferers often attribute their pain
To a slip disc, a vengeful nerve,
When in reality it is their
Insecurity, their fears,
Their sense of unsafeness
Beyond Godly control
That is making it worse.
Some neurologists think
That chronic pain is
The most unbearable pain.
It doesn’t resolve
After the injury
And is not usually amenable
To opioid drugs
In the long view.
It leads to depression, anxiety,
And an overall decreased
Quality of life.
It is pure suffering,
Something Jesus knows well.
Trauma like torture is only temporary
And never lasts forever.
So the neurologist knows to measure pain
By its intensity and duration.
They more or less know,
That perception equals purpose
And purpose equals perception.
Pain is a threat to the certainty of the body.
That much they know for sure,
And beyond that God only knows fully.
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