Pain as a science
This study is dedicated to the presentation of pain, the feeling and emotion that is inherent to every human being, as a science. It is only through a deeper understanding of this phenomenon that we can break through it.
Pain is an enemy that insults the body, through its tiniest nerve cells and the mind in its complex circuits of neurons and electricity. Based on these foundations, it is the purpose of this study to master these unpleasant experiences and strategize its expression and management through another form of survival, self-preservation, the ultimate mission of freeing the body by a controlled response and conditioning of the mind.
From the view point of nursing as a science, the fourth paradigm speaks of the ability of the person to adjust and respond appropriately to the forces of the environment , whether externally as in a direct blow from a sharp edge, or internally , as in psychological response from the self and its being, the mind, its soul.
In my experiences as a young nurse, and looking back through the medical ward of a charity hospital in Manila, I have seen the many faces of pain, ranging from poverty, ignorance and disease. I could not forget how I tried to take care of them all as if it was my duty and responsibility to free them from misery.
Working in the Oncology floor at Mt Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, I could not forget the emotional pain that cancer inflict to the burdened frail bodies of my patients. They’re young, old, sick, yet brave and calm, accepting their fate. How can I forget their eyes that can’t betray their minds and feelings? How can I forget their silence as their voices can no longer express their pain?
How can I forget my patient who got technically stubbed on his chest between his ribs while I hold his arms up so that the doctor can put a chest tube to relieve the air and fluids preventing him to breath?
How can I forget those eyes that I have to close as they succumb from their deathbeds?
How can I forget him, whose blood has poured from his guts and mouth and I have proclaimed dead and yet came back walking to say “Thank you”. How can I forget him whose chest was blowing in and out as the ventilator forces the air and breathe for him?
How can I forget when I cried on top of my lungs when my mother and sister died?
How can I forget the pain of my own birthing, with every interval of contractions bringing me closer to seeing my own baby?
And how can I forget how a man was sentenced to death, carried the cross, whipped, ridiculed and nailed to his death, while people looked and enjoyed him suffering, and had the courage to say in his last breath, “Forgive them”! This is the greatest pain of all.
This study is dedicated to all of them who have pain in one way or another, and have succumbed to death and left their loved ones the bravery to go on living; to those whose pain made them strong to search for answers and successfully found them; to those whose pain and suffering gave the strength and courage to talk about them and to all of us who are blessed to be free from pain and yet finding ways to get through this human suffering.