How Are You Feeling?

Mitch Schneider
November 20, 2019

How you are feeling doesn’t qualify as one of the great mysteries of life.

Most of us have a pretty good handle on how we feel even when we are unable to quantify that into a meaningful continuum.

A chart like this suggests more objectivity than most of us are capable of. Pain is subjective. Visceral. Messy. And, too personal to conveniently fit in a box regardless of the shape or size.

My throat hurts, even while being treated for Moderate Graft vs. Host Disease. There are two ulcers that have appeared in my esophagus, accompanied by swelling and soreness in mouth, cheeks, tongue, and gums. I’m feeling better, but…

Pain is Subjective

How much does it hurt? How bad is it? Is it eight? A six? Excruciating, or Tolerable?

Doesn’t that really depend on you? Me? Us?

The real question is how we relate to that discomfort? What does it prevent us from accomplishing or even attempting? But even that fails to tell the whole story. Perhaps, because it is the mental component of pain and illness that is too often ignored. Especially, if that pain is the result of a chronic condition, catastrophic illness or the treatment for either.

It is the physical manifestation of that condition or illness into something we can see, or feel that is just a fragment of what is being experienced. It is what’s going on beneath the surface — the stuff we can’t necessarily see or feel — that torments us in the dark moments when we are left alone to wonder what, if anything, is going on.

How bad it is? How bad is it likely to get?

You won’t find that on any chart or graph.  Nevertheless, it’s just as real.

Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Manage it.

Why?

Because it’s the only weapon I’ve found that works.

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