Monday, November 7, 2011

Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone?

So I'm wondering. If you know that something is inevitable, is it better to stave it off and experience a low level of discomfort and unhappiness interspersed with bouts of happiness for an extended period of time, or is it better to just face the inevitable and experience a massive amount of pain that may never go away?

Take, for example, surgery on a body part that experiences chronic, yet intermittent, pain. Sometimes the pain might be mild and dull--so mild and dull, actually, that you barely--barely-- notice it's there--and it lasts for several weeks; other times the pain may be horribly acute (this acute pain is often, but it usually only afflicts you for short periods); and still other times, the pain may be gone entirely, at which point you not only feel completely healthy and robust and better than you ever have in your life, but you're so filled with pain-free bliss that you walk around feeling thankful and blessed until the pain strikes again. 

Now, you know that at some point you are going to have to have surgery and that this surgery will be utterly painful and completely debilitating; in fact, after having surgery you may never have proper use of this body part again.  Instead of the varying kinds of pain you now experience--and sometimes don't experience--there is a chance that your chronic pain will never dissipate; it will be constant, it will be major, and it will be there for the rest of your life.  Of course, there is also a chance that after the utterly painful and completely debilitating rehabilitation period, your pain will be gone. But which way things will end up is impossible to know.

Knowing the risk, do you get the surgery now, or do you try to enjoy (as much as you can) the time before the tremendous pain?

What do you do?

What do I do?

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