Her name was Megan , and she was 10. She came in with a long and deep cut in her arm which would make the toughest of stomachs flinch. She would need stitches and a loads of painkillers with at least three weeks off the playground that gave her the cut. She wore a pastel green shirt and pink shorts, her long blonde hair was pulled back into a braid at the neck. Her large eyes sat squarely on her face, her thin lips pulled into a quiet smile of contentment.
I contemplated her smile, and then leaned in and asked her “Doesn’t it hurt?”
She looked back up at me. “It doesn’t.”
“Well, that’s quiet a deep gash you got there, how did it happen?”
“I fell down.”
“Did it hurt then?”
“No. I don’t feel pain. I’m a superhero”
I smiled at her indulgently. “That’s amazing! Do you have any powers?”
“Yes, I don’t feel pain”
“Well, a cut this bad might lessen your super powers, so we’re going to have to give you some medication to lessen the pain right?”
“I don’t feel pain!” she insisted.
“You’re a brave little girl” I ruffled her hair, smiled and continued on my rounds.
She used to ask people to punch her in the stomach, to prove that she felt no pain. They hit her with baseball bats and stones, cutting and bruising her, but she felt no pain. She would stand up for the smaller kids, always getting beaten up in the process.She died of a concussion that she didn’t feel.
Pain is there for a reason. It’s your body telling you something is wrong. Telling you something out of the ordinary has happened, that needs to be paid attention to.
Pain is far too ignored, it needs to be nursed, not indulged in, but it needs to be nursed.
Sometimes I bite my lip really hard, drawing blood, just to feel pain. To feel human and whole. Pain defines me. It reminds me that I am nothing but a mere human being that bows before limitations that still need to be crossed.
I die the day I don’t feel pain.