Friday, September 10, 2010

The effect of emotions on pain

An observation. Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was so happy I didn't even notice any pain, though I was talking almost non-stop. I met with an old flame for lunch, and we had such a great time, I experienced a sense of euphoria and adrenaline for 4 hours straight as we ate and later walked around talking. However, not long after I left that environment, the pain resumed it's regularly scheduled annoyance.

I've been in happy moods before, but the pain still broke through. I usually have to put some medicine in my mouth to dull the burning, or can't completely smile on my left side because it aches. But this time - not at all.

Why do I feel it during the mundane, day to day stuff like working, driving, and caring for children, but not when my body and mind are chemically elated to a degree that overrides the pain and- most of all- can this scientifically cure us of our pain somehow?

So here is my question for those who may be in the medical field: how do we produce this artificially? Medical marijuana? I have no clue. I can't even pretend to be a scientist. I am merely pondering questions here since the wonderful world of the Internet allows me to do so with no one stopping me.

I also notice when crying the pain to be worse. But yesterday, I had a moment where I got pretty weepy as we shared some memories that weren't so happy (close relatives dying) but even then, no pain. That "euphoric" feeling still dominated over any other. If I could bottle it, trust me, I would!!

I imagine that's why they use antidepressants for nerve pain. We aren't necessarily depressed, but creating that little "high" just enough to better our mood a little, somehow dampens the pain. Doesn't eliminate it, just hides it for awhile.

Scientists are not sure how Pregabalin (Lyrica) works, other than it stabilizes electrical activity in the brain, keeping it from becoming overstimulated. Funny thing is, my brain was clearly very stimulated yesterday during our little nostalgia trip - trying to recall events and people, and the excitement of seeing someone you hadn't seen since you're a kid. Possibly even falling in love again. But love alone can't be enough to stop pain, lots of people are in love but still grapple with pain every day.

Still looking for that magic answer that will put a stop to the pain and let me go back to living life normally again.

1 comment:

  1. Jane, unfortunately i don't have answers to your question but i believe the effect of emotion on pain is real. It would be an interesting topic to explore a little more. I can relate to the experience you described in the first paragraph (the meeting with an old flame) because i experienced something similar. Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing.