I came across this BBC Horizon documentary on Youtube that aired this time last year. There are 4 parts. Definitely worth watching, especially if you suffer with chronic pain.
BBC Horizon – The Secret World of Pain – Part 1
How amazing that they are sequencing genes to find how it is that this family is not feeling pain the way people usually do. It's so incredibly interesting that there are 3 generations of this family that have this strange defective gene.
BBC Horizon – The Secret World of Pain – Part 2
Being a person who is in pain 24/7, I immediately was jealous of this woman who never feels pain at all, ever. Yet you listen to her speak a bit more and you quickly realize how horrible it must be to live in fear of doing yourself possibly permanent, or even fatal damage "simply" because you cannot feel pain. My heart goes out to Mae Lynn (I don't know the spelling).
BBC Horizon – The Secret World of Pain – Part 3
I can't help but wonder if the voice of the man who cut off his own arm is hoarse and raspy like it is because of the 24 hours he spent screaming for help. Such a morbid thought, but what he decided he had to do is also pretty morbid. Scary as hell too. Even more amazing, is of course the fact that he felt only "mild discomfort" in doing it.
BBC Horizon – The Secret World of Pain – Part 4
Advances in pain relief that get to the general population are further away than the positive words these doctors and professionals indicate. Years and years away, perhaps a decade or more even. So while I find this documentary positive and certainly moving (especially in the case of Rebecca not feeling pain for the first time in 5 years!), changes and improvements in pain relief can't come soon enough for chronic pain patients like me. If it seems selfish, so be it. When you have 24/7 chronic pain, all you can think about is getting relief. Just like Rebecca said, you want to try anything and everything just for relief.
I know there are advances being made in pain medicine (science) all the time. It's just that getting these advances from the laboratories to the people takes so long because of rules and regulations that we know must exist for health and safety reasons. I just wish that things moved along more quickly to get people lasting pain relief without horrible side effects.
While I know I have only had pain severe enough to not be able to work for the last 2 years, it's been a decade or more of chronic pain for me. I cannot imagine having the pain I have now for 10 years or more, 10 years or more ago. In the 80's and 90s or before where unexplained pain was "all in your head".
Many people who suffer with Fibromyalgia have personally experienced a doctor who seems to cling to a decades-old understanding of pain. Yet the every day ordinary person has a greater awareness of chronic pain and pain medication – either through abusing pain medication, or because they are, or know a person with chronic pain. Not so secret after all? Too bad there is such a huge disconnect between having "legitimate" diagnosed chronic pain and being able to have access to pain relief medication or treatments.
Perhaps things will change sooner than later so that we all can enjoy these advances in pain science.
I still have hope – but what other options do I have?
What did you think about the documentary?