Pain is the most dreaded of sensations experienced by all of us. Pain affects us in all manner of ways. Pain makes us scream or simply stay still in the hope that it goes away, to the piercing pain that hits us deep when we lose someone dear to us. Pain represents loss. Loss of control, loss of function and even loss of hope. Pain brings thoughts of death and dying to the extent that some may even be compelled to an argument that death is kinder to a life of enduring pain.
Despite the incredible advancements in healthcare, we are still somewhat blinded to the dealing with patients with pain. It is surprising that despite the sheer prevalence of pain affecting most patients, it is not a subject that receives much instruction in medical education. Surgeons, physicians, oncologists are experts in dealing with many of the diseases that define their specialty but pain management is an elusive skill often acquired as an aside. A country’s use of medicinal morphine and other similar drugs is often used as an indirect measurement of the level of pain and palliative care services in that country.