I’ve only received fibromyalgia recently, but immediately I noticed that there was a disproportionate quantity of redheads in fibromyalgia and film, which made me remember and think more acutely about redheads. Can a corollary exist? That is,
Can it make the redheads more susceptible to a nervous disorder like fibro if they are actually hypersensitive to pain?
As a child, I don’t recall being especially sensitive or hampered by pain. I played softball with the kids and went down dangerous river rapids on a foam board. A rough, redheaded tomboy who spent as long as possible outside. It wasn’t really like summer without my arms and legs scratching and perhaps a yellow jacket would have stung me up. But I never broke a bone, or even had a sprain, despite my active lifestyle.
I don’t know of the pain that was dental. As a child of the fifties, I was one of many who had boiled and filled cavities without Novocain. I remember seeing my dental prison ceiling tiles with uneven rows across and down and hoping to escape from the intolerable pain in which I was trapped.
I think I learned to leave the body there; rather than immobilizing far below, I felt as if I had safely inches off the ceiling. Now, I wonder whether redheads have learned, in particular, to leave their bodies as a way of dealing with insecure pain. Do we simply “learn” the level of pain that will make others knee?
This was brought to my attention through the endometriosis ‘opportunity for growth.’ I had cramps of unimaginable intensity from around the age of 24 in the 1970s. Endometriosis was not well researched in those days, pain medicines were extremely difficult to achieve and endo-standard hysterectomy.
One had to pray for prescription drugs that were essentially NSAIDs (while it was also said that we were weak because we couldn’t tolerate pain from a period of time). My surgeon said that I could not understand how I could tolerate the degree of pain that my operating data showed when I was having a major corrective operations in my 1930s. Uh, uh. Me too!
Some years later, during my breast biopsy preparation, the anesthetician who shot me with a local didn’t believe me when I told him that I definitely felt the heavy needle he was attempting to insert deeply in the site of the biopsy. I quickly lost my consciousness and slid from the chair into the cold, hard floor – where I had to be revived for “re-anesthetication” and needle location procedure before re-positioning in the chair.
After lumpectomy and lymph node removal, I woke up to respiratory serious breast pain the following month.
I remember listening to the command today: “2 mg of the morphine push.” The 2-mg doses of morphine were continued until I got 18 mg, quite shortly. I am a small woman who weighed 110 pounds at the time. In perspective.
That is the way it is. Have all these experiences been fibro preparation? How have I been living with over 10 years of weakening nervous system pain, i.e. fibro, and also knowing its etiology? I now believe that my long delay in diagnosis was partly because of my ability to work in the face of moderate to severe continuing pain.
When redheads are truly more sensitive to pain, it also seems like they have found ways to deal with it: when we routinely receive sub-optimal pain medical doses, which choice have we but to use the soldier? We have no way or not, but the fact remains, that we have a life before us and tasks to complete, is that an un-redheads is dealing with our specific amount of pain.
Maybe sooner or later, DNA research will support the premise that redheads feel pain more acutely than non-redheaded persons. This would ideally lead to new redhead-specific drug protocols as well as further research channels. The redheads already have “basic” characteristics due to our relative rareness; and if it turns out that we are more susceptible than other people to pain, we may feel that we have our own lane and are not weak cowards just because we are who we are.