I have always thought I had a high tolerance for pain. Not that I am puffing up my chest and thinking I am tough but things that tend to hurt other people don't usually hurt me. I have never broken a bone and the most severe pain I have ever felt was giving birth to Julia without meds - but I was so caught up in the moment I hardly remember it. This tooth thing has given me a new appreciation for people who deal with pain on a daily basis. For most of the day yesterday my pain was manageable but it was still there - I am guessing like arthritis. It seems extremely hard to put on a happy face and go about your day without letting every tiny little thing aggravate you when there is this nagging pain. It pushes you to a mental limit. Perhaps you grow used to it - like the eye twitches I have all of the time from chemo. They use to really bother me but now I hardly notice them. Maybe your brain learns how to deal with it like learning to wear glasses.
I am reminded of people from the gym who power through workouts just to go home to ice their knee. Or people who suffer from scoliosis and just the act of walking can cause spasms of pain. People who live with physical pain are strong people. They have to overcome the physical with the mental to function. I know they must relish the moments when they are pain free - those days must feel like a breeze. I am thankful that we live in a time where we have ways of managing pain - extra strength Tylenol has been my friend. I am thankful that I don't normally have to endure pain. I am thankful to those of you who must endure and carry on anyway - you are an inspiration and the definition of strength - this is a high tolerance for pain. I am purely, and thankfully, a wimp.