"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."—
"Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
", by Maggie Koerth-Baker
in the NYT [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Jun 25, 2013 -
"You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth.
posted by Baron Kriminel
on Nov 26, 2012 -
Dr. Justin O. Schmidt likes insects of the persuasive sort, the ones that bite, sting or squirt venom in your eyes
. In the course of his entomological studies all over the world, he has met the defenses of about 150 different insects
, and he has rated them, creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index
. On the low end: sweat bees, whose sting is "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." On the high end: Bullet ants, whose venomous bites cause "pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel." And it can last for hours, leaving you "quivering and still screaming from these peristaltic waves" [of pain]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 4, 2011 -
— Ze Frank posted a phone number and asked that anyone experiencing emotional pain leave him a message. He received a number of very distraught messages. From those, DJs and musicians created 138 samples for him—and those samples have since been made into songs—and the collaborative process continues.
posted by netbros
on Feb 1, 2010 -
"'I am going to get rid of everything, including mosquitoes, that bothers me, anywhere in the world, and then I will be a very happy, content person.' We're laughing, but it's what we all do."
SLYT: A wry two-minute teaching about avoiding pain by Buddhist nun Pema Chodron
, based on these writings
of the 8th century scholar Shantideva
. For those who don't like video, here's a transcript
(scroll down.) For those who really
like video, here's 55 minutes of Chodron with Bill Moyers
. (This too has a partial transcript
posted by escabeche
on Jan 11, 2010 -
The day pain died.
"The date of the first operation under anesthetic, Oct. 16, 1846, ranks among the most iconic in the history of medicine. It was the moment when Boston, and indeed the United States, first emerged as a world-class center of medical innovation. The room at the heart of Massachusetts General Hospital where the operation took place has been known ever since as the Ether Dome, and the word 'anesthesia' itself was coined by the Boston physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes to denote the strange new state of suspended consciousness that the city's physicians had witnessed. The news from Boston swept around the world, and it was recognized within weeks as a moment that had changed medicine forever." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jun 9, 2009 -
At the Toronto Humane Society, veterinarians say
animals die suffering unnecessarily in their cages while pleas to euthanize them are dismissed. Dozens of staff, volunteers and veterinarians have quit in protest. ... A note written by a staff member or volunteer on the medical chart of a cat, animal ID A127495, admitted last fall, reads: "Died Oct 19 3:15 am. Gasped and jerked and cried last breaths, because there was no one in shelter to euthanize or treat. This is not humane." ... [THS president] Mr. Trow says he strives to keep euthanasia rates low for ethical reasons. “How can anyone suggest that, because he might be here longer than anyone would want, that it's better to put [a dog] down?” Mr. Trow asked. “I think that's a strange suggestion, don't you? You live here as long as you can.” Images (yes, they're disturbing.) Video of a puppy adopted out with a broken leg. The THS web site. [more inside]
posted by maudlin
on May 30, 2009 -
When the working poor turn to addictive drugs to manage pain so they can keep working, that's "moral weakness, not a public health problem."
Every morning before sunup, Trapp drives 120 miles.... "This methadone makes you feel like a human being again," Trapp says. With disability rates as high as 37 percent in coal-mining areas such as Buchanan County, the region has many people with long-term pain management needs. As is the case with lots of aging miners, Trapp's addiction to pills began in a doctor's office, not a back-alley drug deal.... The clinic's counseling staff members say that many patients need to be on some sort of drug to cope with severe, long-term pain and that methadone has made them functional. And for those who lack insurance or access to more personalized care, it is often the only affordable option. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Jan 15, 2008 -
"Doctor, it hurts when I do that."
Doctors and patients agree - doctors are lousy when it comes to recognizing, diagnosing and treating pain. The AMA developed this free Continuing Medical Education tool (requires Flash) to help docs learn and understand how to deal with pain - but other folks, folks who are now in pain or might someday be in pain, might find it quite interesting as well. All docs in California have to complete this seminar or a similar one by the end of 2006 to get relicensed; the hope is that this will help the docs and the patients who have to deal with pain on a daily basis.
posted by ikkyu2
on Jul 1, 2006 -
British nurses want patients who are intent on harming
themselves to be provided with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely.
posted by daksya
on Feb 5, 2006 -
You got owned
... an entertaining study of life's little mishaps on video. Some you've seen, some you may not have. (wmv)
posted by crunchland
on May 27, 2005 -
The Painful Truth.
"The Iraq war is a new kind of hell, with more survivors - but more maimed, shattered limbs - than ever. A revolution in battlefield medicine is helping them conquer the pain."
posted by homunculus
on Feb 4, 2005 -
No pain, no gain, they say, and when it comes to real pain, the inverse is true as well
now have research indicating there's a memory of chronic pain,"
said Dr. Doris K. Cope, director of chronic and cancer pain for the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It changes the genic code
sometimes, it changes the biochemistry, and it causes new proteins to
Or in other words, the more pain you have, the more pain you have. (More on this
.) It's no wonder, then, that more money is spent on pain relief than any other medical problem, and that there has been so much pain research
and so many clinical trials
revealing such painful facts as redheads feel more pain
, men feel less pain
, and that there's a genetic difference
between tough guys and wimps. (Much more pain inside.)
posted by taz
on Sep 20, 2004 -