“I hope it doesn’t hurt too much…!” the Inevitability of Pain and the Optional Nature of Suffering

Cathy Presland
3 min readSep 24, 2017

I hope it doesn’t hurt!

grimaced my husband as I drove him to the doctor this week.

He’d recently had a hip operation and was due to have the staples out. Well overdue actually. His physiotherapist had tut-tutted at the wound when she saw him the week before,

Those staples should really come out,

she said, frowning,

Otherwise they can become embedded under the skin and that makes them impossible to pull out. And very painful.

Pain. Great!

The delay was due to some paperwork mix-up with the GP.

Couldn’t be helped,

they said.

Hubby was worried though, imagining the embeddedness and, no doubt, violent extraction of said staples.

Is Pain a Problem?

Is it a problem that it might hurt?

I asked him, glancing over.

He looked at me with surprise.

What do you mean? I don’t want it to hurt!

Sure, none of us wants to experience pain, but in some circumstances, pain is inevitable, and it looked to me…



Cathy Presland

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