The brain is a gate for pain

I was watching “House MD” and Doctor House is trying to live without pain killers for a week, and ends up crushing his hand with a pestle to deal with the pain in his leg. Doctor Wilson just shrugs and says “The brain is a gate for pain” or something like that, explaining that the brain only lets you feel the worst pain of the multiple pains you’re experiencing. I’m only too aware of that, as the constant pain in my knees and hips makes it hard for me to feel other pains until they are so intense as to be dangerous. The three days I spent walking around with a burst appendix which I thought was trapped gas is testimony to that, as is the foot and a half of gangrenous large intestine they removed when I finally went to see somebody about it.

And thus, a new sudden shoulder pain is very worrisome. All too often in the past, the first indication I’ve had of a joint pain is when it’s so bad that it becomes permanent. And of course, every new joint pain is just another one that the doctors shrug and say “I don’t know, maybe you’ve just got bad joints”. I don’t even want to bother seeing a doctor about them any more – they’ll think they know what it is, put me through months of treatment, and when all it does is make it worse, they shrug and go on to somebody they can actually treat.