Today I’m supposed to be out of the range of radiation effects. I’ve been so looking forward to this day thinking about the wonderful feeling of relief. But evidently I’m not of “the” range yet. As I wrote yesterday, it would have been impossible for the pain of yesterday to turn off from one day to the next. There is still a searing pain in the back of the mouth, sometimes the tongue, the throat, the jaw, the ear. Where ever, it’s very uncomfortable and makes eating a chore. I’m gobbling pain pills like candy and I hate it. But they mildly help and even mild relief is most welcome.
Anyway, not to get off track and not to complain, this is only for record-keeping purposes. The question I’ve been asking myself is, whether I really do have a high p-factor when it comes to pain. The question has been with me ever since GV told me I can’t take the pain she doles out to her other patients.
Now I’ve got no medical substantiation for what I’m about to suggest, only logical. But could it be that each of our individual p-factors is not a linear measurement, but itself proportional to cell sensitivity? In other words, is our pain threshold something that starts at the cellular level?
If we go back to the example of those people who can drink hot liquids, which on a bell curve represents those within the first standard deviation — it would be most of the population. Most people I know, including GV, can drink hot liquids, like coffee, tea, or soup and prefer hot. While GV is halfway finished her coffee for example, I’m just beginning to be able to sip mine. The cups came from the same pot at the same time. It’s not that I have a high p-factor for drinking hot liquids. It simply burns. If I try to take a delicate sip at the same time GV takes her first sip, my lips or tongue is burnt. And the burn lasts for minutes, up to hours. It’s a very real comparison. One person can take liquids at xx degrees and another person can’t. It’s not that one is more of a sissy than the other because the person who can take the hot liquid is not getting burnt. When I get burnt, it’s hard evidence of pain. I didn’t think the burn, but I can sure feel it while the person next to me who has taken the same sip is still happily sipping away.
There must be something at the cellular level that makes some more sensitive than others. When I lived in San Francisco, occasionally I’d feel my heart beat slow down and then a surge or a flush feeling throughout my chest. This happened occasionally over the years so I decided to see a cardiologist. After taking EKG and other tests and hearing my story, he told me that I was simply feeling things more acutely, more than most. He actually said that I was more in touch with what was going on inside than most. Anyhow, I didn’t know what to think and he told me not to worry about anything and that I was in fine shape.
A few years ago in New York the same thing was happening and I was again referred to a cardiologist specialist. This time the doctor looked at me like I was wasting his time. Without any tests or touching me and he told me I was fine. He said if it made me happy, they’d do an EKG and listen to my heart but what I was feeling was gasses passing through the chest area causing the equivalent of electrical type currents. They did the EKG and everything was normal. My visit with him was less than five minutes and he seemed to convey that I was reading too much into the chest/heart feelings.
Don’t know if I’d find medical back up, but the logic is smacking me in the face. When I’m with people drinking hot liquids, I’m usually the last person to start and finish, and I try to hurry but the heat prevents me. Could it be that I’m out on the 2nd, or perhaps 3rd, standard deviation of that bell curve? If so, it might explain why even with slightly dialed down doses of external beam radiation my mouth and throat were reacting with full force. Radiation is a form of burning. Could that explain why most people are out of the pain range 24 days after radiation and I’m not? Could that explain why GV tells me that I’m not able to transfer pain as well as her other patients?
I don’t know the answers. I’m just a logical guy. That being said, I do recognize that I have a lot of work to do when it comes to meditating and drilling into the pain until that pain, where ever it is, is transferred into another zone, maybe dissipating into the ether. Perhaps most of us have work to do here. But logic tells me that there is a cellular sensitivity we each have that determines our individual thresholds to pain. There may even be a correlation, inverse or otherwise, to emotional pain thresholds.
If anyone has any other hard evidence or supporting logic, your comments are most welcome.