Here are some personal thoughts and opinions. Yesterday I was the casualty of dental work. I say that satirically, of course. Dentists do wonderful things for people, but who enjoys going to one? I mean really. My dentist gave me local anesthetics so he could work on my teeth and gums with minor discomfort experienced by me, (that’s the idea anyway). Believe me I am grateful for pain and anesthetizing medications when it comes to procedures and things that correct disease, abnormality and dysfunction. After I left the office and for several hours, I avoided eating upon their advice. I began to notice something. Because the entire left side of my mouth (including my lips; oh yes, drinking was a hoot) was numb, I continuously bit my inner cheek, lips and tongue. Being numb, biting down on my precious tissues didn’t feel like pain, just pressure. As the day went on, the anesthetic started to wear off and the soreness started to really emerge from the poking and prodding and the need to keep my jaw as wide open as a boa. I also started to feel a lot of soreness the left side of my lips, inner cheek and tongue. I looked at my mouth and lips in the mirror and saw swelling and redness, abrasions and even blood on my cheek, lips and tongue. This soreness was actually self-inflicted! I was biting my own flesh and didn’t even realize it until damage was already done. Today, I still very much feel the effect of my anesthetized nibble. Oh I won’t be dramatic and say that it hurt so much I couldn’t cope, but for the last two days I haven’t eaten much more than yogurt. Food and drink sting those spots of broken tissue integrity.
So in addition to pain having many levels and facets, it also has an indispensable purpose; whether it is to warn us that we are injuring ourselves or to remind us those things that are precious are worth working hard for. Going back to my dental anesthesia, (I ramble) I stated how grateful I am for pain relieve during and after procedures, for injury and other similar conditions. I believe if someone has experienced physical injury (surgical wound, broken leg), pain management is very appropriate. It’s appropriate because these kinds of things are abnormal or illnesses. Labor and birth, however, are normal, healthy states.