The Pain Game

The Pain Game

Not quite the blogpost I had planned for today, but clear thinking is impossible when you’re repeatedly curled up in foetal position for days on end. However, that little setback did put me in the perfect position to study the mind’s response to pain. Especially excruciating pain…

pain game - excruciating pain and how it affects the mind
Photo: Vincent Bozzo

A bout of enteritis brougth on some terrible and very painful cramps. They were only cramps, I kept telling myself. But even “only cramps” proved sufficient to hotwire my brain.

In short, my body threw a Happy Potter-style Cruciatus Curse on itself. This is what it did.

Waves of Agony

Pain caused by cramps hits in waves. The muscles contract, causing pain. Then they relax a fraction and the pain diminishes. The variations on this theme are endless:

  • A single wave may come on, peak and fade away in any period of time. Minutes are usual, but sometimes it does a hit and run in a matter of seconds.
  • A new wave may start before the previous one has ebbed away entirely. Depending on how much they overlap, the pain can seem practically continuous.
  • The intensity of waves can vary, too, depending on when they “crest”.

Pain can literally short-circuit your brain.


2 thoughts on “The Pain Game

  1. I’m so sorry! This post reminds me of the time in my 3rd pregnancy where I would curl up on the tile in the bathroom and cry because I had been wretching so much that whole body hurt–and I had been doing it night after night.

    1. Hey Juls.

      Sorry to hear about your head-to-head with pain. This stint was just a few days at intervals, but to suffer that night after night… 🙁 People think giving birth is the most painful part of a pregnancy (and often it is…), the 9 months leading up to that can be just as gruelling! <3

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