Redeeming Power of Pain

electric fenceI could have also titled this, "God's Bark Collar" or "God's Electric Fence". I recently came down with a case of Shingles. If you have never had it, you have no idea of the pain involved. Shingles is a reemergence of the Chicken Pox virus from childhood. It lies dormant in your nerves. When it reawakens, it travels down a nerve to the skin, and causes an outbreak rash on your skin. The pain from attacking the nerve can sometimes last a year after the rash has healed. This lasting pain is know as Postherpetic Neuralgia or PHN.

I've notice a funny thing about the pain: when I am relaxed and not stressed, I can normally deal with the pain. But when I am upset about some issue at work - the pain comes back with intensity. It almost seems that God uses the pain to get me to relax and not stress. When I stress - I have more pain. When I relax the pain subsides. I can almost see myself as a dog with a bark collar. When the dog barks, he gets shocked. When he stops barking - the electric shock stops.

Believe me the pain from Shingles - or PHN is exaclty like an electric shock. This pain is nothing like musculoskeletal pain (tenderness, achiness or stiffness). The pain from Shingles or PHN is Neuropathic Pain. This type of pain is like Stabbing, Buring or Electric Shock. It has seemed God has erected an electric fence in my life, to keep me in a place of peace. When I start obsessing or stressing - I get an electric shock....

For those who are interested in the science behind all this - Shingles may become a more common occurance. Since the advent of the chickenpox vaccine, there is a much lower incidence of chickenpox amongst children. In the past, Adults were continually exposed to chickenpox, which continuously built up their immune system to the underlying virus. With chickenpox not as prevalent, adults (who have had chickenpox as children) no longer have their immune systems built up against it. Therefore the latent virus is freer to reappear in adults as shingles. There is a research study using a higher dosage of the chickenpox virus to see if can prevent shingles outbreaks in adults.

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