Threshold: Also called limen. Psychology, Physiology . the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect: the threshold of consciousness; a low threshold of pain.
People often speak about having either a low or high pain threshold. I think that’s a difficult thing to quantify! My own threshold is the point at which it becomes unbearable, the point at which I break.
I’m often told that I’m brave. I don’t really feel it! Chronic illness doesn’t give you many choices. You just have to make the best of a bad situation, to find and hold onto the good and beautiful things in life.
Some years ago I made a series of self portraits when I was in a lot of pain, both physical and emotional. My Crohn’s disease had recently spread and was causing a very rare set of symptoms. I was in such agony and was having real difficulty in getting the right medical support and treatment.
It’s taken five years to finally get the complete diagnosis and a treatment plan that keeps the symptoms somewhat under control. I have Ano-genital Crohn’s with secondary psoriasis. There are only thirty cases, that know of, being treated by the specialist hospitals in London and the South East. At times I feel very isolated.
My pain threshold has been breached on far too many occasions! Thankfully the latest steroid cream has kept the wounds at a minimum and it’s been about sixth months since I last had to use any morphine.
All this is in addition to my general levels of pain from Crohn’s and Fibromyalgia. Every day feels like I’ve just been in a car crash! I couldn’t really tell you how I cope, I just don’t have any other choice.
So I just wanted to say to people that everyone has a breaking point! No one should feel like they have to put on a brave face all the time. It’s not a competition as to who can hold out the longest. If you know someone with chronic illness, let them be vulnerable, accept that their pain is real and sometimes uncontrollable. Just be there for them when you can.