Maybe he was frustrated. I certainly was after he called her to complain about my care.
I had tried to explain to Michael, in lay terms, what Patrick Wall had stated in Pain: The Science Of Suffering:
“Pain is then best seen as a need state, like hunger and thirst which are terminated by a consumatory act.”
I spent 20 minutes asking him where he thought his pain was coming from and tried (without much success, I would discover) to teach him about the creation of his pain experience. I told him that I would provide him with exercises, but that I wanted him to understand that his program was designed to get him to move in a variety of different directions, using novel positions, and never into pain. His program was not designed to make his muscles “stronger”, but to help him move better. I told him, “If pain can be considered a thirst or hunger for an appropriate movement, I would prefer that you think of your exercises as Gatorade to fight your pain…food for your brain. The more you move pain-free, the better.”
I thought it sounded pretty good; Michael, did not agree. Within 12 hours, he was calling my boss to complain that I had told him that I didn’t care about getting him strong, but preferred to give him “brain candy”, instead.
Over one month later, he still thinks his disc hurts; I know he is still hungry.
I will never forget him.