Daydreaming. If you can dream it, you can dream it.
Here we are, the epitome of objectivity as we present our story (true, by the way) of one attempt at eradicating central pain. We even present it from both sides, from the patient’s side as well as the point of view of whatever maintains central pain. Sometimes the bad guys win.Is the story over? Only the NIH can write the end of this story. One day it will be different.
MIRACLE WORKERS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE PATIENT WITH CENTRAL PAIN:
I can see it now. I lurk in my room, isolated, marginalized, and unknown. Somehow, some way, my name comes up to the network as someone who could use a miracle. “What is this Central Pain?”, they say, It is almost unthinkable. Unable to wear clothing. Cannot stand touch. Tormented by bladder, gut, muscles, blood vessels, and wracked with lancinating pains? Shunning and being shunned by the human race. We cannot have this.
A hero doctor, bursting with compassion, brings me to his clinic and then hauls me off to the hospital. My family, who understands what it is all about, has the utmost hope and faith. They realize what is at stake. After days of definitive brain scans, functional MRI, and expert evaluation, I am wheeled into the operating room and there in a tense moment, the camera follows as the stereotactic apparatus is placed around my shaved head. The probe, absolutely terrible in its appearance, disappears into my head, aimed at a tiny spot, deep in the brain, in the VPL and VPM nuclei of the thalamus. I am awake so the doctors can see what thalamic oscillation, what voltage, what frequency, what current settings will get the job done. Up goes the frequency until something happens, something miraculous. Then, the miracle actually happens, as mysteriously as it came, the central pain disappears. I can hardly believe it. Tears of joy stream down my face and my family in the waiting area are overcome with relief. I am myself again. He who was lost is found. The audience is astounded with the courage, the guts, and the unmistakeable moxie of the neurosurgeon.
What is wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, I’ve already been there. The neurosurgeon, the deep brain implant planning, the brilliant resident, and the complete failure of relief. My family was not there and had no idea if I had gone crazy or was actually in severe burning pain. Dysesthesia was a word they did not care to learn. I got there by one of those long international flights and I was there very much alone, scared out of my wits. Everything was on the line, but the cure never came. The hoped for relief was not there, but I did live to tell about it. This isn’t the way the show is supposed to go. The anti-drama was something out of a cruel dream world. Central Pain is not the way life is supposed to be. We all hate sad endings. This TV show has a different title, “Disappointing Failures”.
Am I jealous of the miracles on Miracle Workers? Not at all. I weep with joy at their new lives.
HIS ROYAL MAJESTY OF PAIN:
(If the story were told from the pain’s point of view, MY trip would record a success, an anti-miracle).
This foolish person mortgaged everything to have this risky and expensive thing done. They tried to break me up, the pathetic little creatures, but I showed them that pain is in control. I proved once and for all that I am a force to be reckoned with and that they must deal with me for the rest of their lives. It is a miracle what power I possess to perform my slow subtraction on their hope and their personality. I cannot kill them, for then the parasitization of their dreams must end. I persist. Funny thing is, I am actually quite vulnerable. If the government would get a new priority and quit spending a hundred billion dollars for space exploration, disingenuously characterized as a search for “how life began in the universe”, I could be defeated rather easily; but the vanity of the foolish public allows me to survive. When their time comes, when I come knocking at their door with my pain papers to be served, the realization of their misplaced curiosity will shock them. I will level them so rapidly that they will mount no advocacy. Their time and effort will be expended in trying to withstand me and then, lacking this, trying not to commit the mortal sin of ending it all.
I survive on the pride and vanity of a nation, which could easily defeat me, but I divide and conquer. I divert their funds in the name of science, even life science, knowing full well that this generation will NEVER reach a planet 9000 light years away to see if life occurs there. I am even more sure that if they find anything, it will not shed light on how life arrived on earth. I lay in wait for years when it did begin to form, planning my revenge on living things.
They could not survive without me. I have this little tradeoff. I warn them, but I get in a little suffering, just enough to keep me going. They would pay a terrible price if they failed to protect the body systems in which I am contained; and so, I am occasionally allowed to run wild. I crawl into their guts and have a pain party. .
I observed a foolish person hoping they would finish me on Miracle Workers. This is nonsense, of course. I am too well hidden, and I am legion. We are brothers in arms against the human race, those of the secret pain combination, aligned against happiness, personality, and the enjoyment of the physical body. There are those who even think we constitute a religious organization, something like the illuminati. The ignorant commonly mistake the demonic for the sacred. We might be moving toward you even now, but your eyes peer up into space where you imagine important things lie for mankind. We will take you by surprise and you will not be on Miracle Workers, because it takes more than a miracle to end Central Pain.
We continue to read reports of open skull motor cortex stimulation. The results are mixed. Maybe someone with central pain will show up on Miracle Workers. We hope so. We also hope no phantom limbs with central pain will be created, as such attempts have led to in the past.