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…
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.