Monday, February 19, 2007

The Pain Industry

Way back in September I wrote about the State Fair. I don’t even remember the article other than there was a photo of the No Spitting sign. I am recalling one of the things that is associated with the Fair and that is all the sales people in tents or packed in booths in one of the Expo rooms. Other than the popular cleaning supply and cook ware that is for sale; there is one industry that is well represented and probably has more products than any other. This would be the “Pain Industry.”

Most people don’t look at a collection of vendors and lump them together, but somehow it dawns on one that there must be either a lot of pain or a lot of perceived pain out there. Think of all the stuff for sale that caters to our pains: hot tubs, foot baths, foot massagers, back massagers, buckwheat pillows, beaded seat backs, bags filled with flax seed that you place in a microwave and use as a heating pad, vibrating chairs. No matter what pain you have there will be a vendor at the State Fair that is willing to sell you a solution.

Pain is a funny thing. It is rare that there is a solution to it other than major life style changes, like losing weight to ease back pain and joint pain, wearing proper shoes to alleviate foot pain. Sometimes surgery such as carpal tunnel or breast reduction will help pain as well.

It is sad that most of the palliative treatments sold at the State Fair have little or no effect on pain other than to distract ones senses from it for the duration of it’s use.

I do not suffer from chronic pain but my wife does. I’ve seen all sorts of solutions come and go. The only two things that seem to help her are the Jacuzzi tub and the Tempur- Pedic mattress. These things were the best investment in pain management that we’ve made.


Blogger Beth said...

As someone who suffers from chronic pain, I'm glad there's "stuff for sale" catering to my condition. I can pick and choose - and have. Some of the things you listed actually do relieve the pain. Maybe just temporarily but that's a big deal to me. A lifestyle change isn't going to help me.
The memory foam mattess certainly does help. I wish we had somewhere to put in a hot tub - I know that works as well.
Sorry for the long comment - I could go on and on. (Took a pain management course which changed my life - for the better...)

6:56 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yes, I didn't mean to stress lifestyle change as much as I did. There are conditions out there that a life style change simply will not help in the least. I just meant to sterss that wirght loss will often help joint and back pain.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Soooooo, what does your wife do about the pain in the ass that she lives with??? What booth at the fair has a solution for that one??

9:45 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

(Speaking of pain...) Moosehead, how the heck are you? Just yanking your chain, my friend.

The answer is the duct tape and sleeping pill booth.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Boo7 said...

Too coincidental that you mention carpal tunnel surgery (out of ALL the surgeries you could have picked)....I am due for that on my left wrist this coming Wednesday!!

Glad your wife's pain is alleviate somewhat with the Jacuzzi and the must be just aweful to live with chronic pain...I can't even imagine!!

Roflmao Moosehead....good comment!! Feisty thing you are!!

Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my sister's are such a sweetheart Guy!!

Love and hugs to you my friend...:)


2:41 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I've heard raves about those Tempur-Pedic beds. We currently have a nice pillow top, but when it is worn out (which is a lot longer, now that we have three kids), I think we'll grab us one of those.

I have some knee pain, especially when I sleep, but I am fortunate that that is pretty much it, though I am getting breast reduction because I literally have sets of grooves worn into my collarbones from the stress of the straps. I'll do that as soon as Litlte Man is done with them.

I think the weight issue is much more pervasive than people want to admit. As a medical transcriptionist, I was stunned at the number of health problems brought on by excess weight...knees, hips, ankles, back, foot problems, circulation, heart, it was amazing. But when my sister in law was told, at over 100 pounds extra weight, by her physician that her neck pain would be addressed with weight loss, she simply went and found another doctor and is in pain to this day.

8:15 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks Boo, I hope everything goes well for you on Wednesday. I'll fully understand you won't be writing for some time.

Mo3, I have to say that I absolutely love you frank and open replies.

9:54 PM  

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