Week 8. PRN = pro re nata, as needed

Pain, like taste and attraction/connection between people, is highly subjective and individualized. There's no one-size-fits-all pain pill or absolute guarantee of relief. Different people's experiences of the same procedure vary widely. Vicodin may have been candy for House, MD, but might do little for others.

While living pain-free, one does not ponder pain intensity scales, Wong-Baker faces or WHO analgesic ladders, but if one is in pain on an hourly, daily, seasonal basis, those pain measures and meds are like saying the right thing and going to the right houses/neighborhood as a trick-or-treater and getting the good candy.

But sometimes one's family doesn't want one to get the good candy, those big candy bars or entire bags of Skittles and M&Ms. Even if one is end-stage-something-rather, one's family somehow isn't convinced one won't end up on the streets trying to score more candy. So non-opioid analgesics it is. And pain, coming in waves, dull throbs and sudden, sharp stabs, while it rains acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and one's hypnotized into meditating while listening to classical music.

When the pain is bad, a simple movement can be like being ripped open, each cough shattering, a bowel movement reminiscent of giving birth.

There's psychological and emotional pain as well, but if one believes Maslow, physical pain eclipses all else. Pain is a necessary response that aids human survival, but there is such a thing as too much pain, unnecessary pain, and there are times when morphine is a good thing, especially when there's a nifty little button to push when the pain pierces through the thin surface of a barely bearable existence.


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