New York : Basic Books, 2022.
Book - Regular Print
Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-292) and index.
"One evening, while completing his medical training in Pakistan, Haider Warraich went to the hospital gym to work out. He was in the middle of a set when he heard the sound of a loud click in his back. His body went limp, the weight held above his chest came crashing down, and Haider was rushed into the hospital, now suddenly a patient where just a few hours earlier he had been a doctor. A decade later, Warraich is now an internist in Boston, and pain is a way of life. As he treats the suffering of his patients, he battles with his own chronic, occasionally debilitating pain. Neither he nor his colleagues have been able to understand its source, and he has come dangerously close to an opioid addiction trying to manage it. Eventually, Haider began to wonder whether the problem was the pain, or the way it is treated. In The Song of Our Scars, Haider Warraich offers a history of pain, both as a personal experience and as a medical ailment. We have only recently begun to treat pain as a purely physical sensation, and while the goal was to be able to offer safer, more reliable treatments, Warraich finds that it has actually had the opposite effect. Modern attitudes about pain paved the way for the opioid epidemic and made an already biased system of healthcare more racist, sexist, and classist: Your pain is more likely to be minimized or dismissed if you are a woman or a person of color, for example, and while the rich are offered ample assistance in managing opioid prescriptions, the poor are often left to fend for themselves. The medical community's attitudes toward pain have inspired us to make arbitrary and ill-supported distinctions between the 'real' pain of the body and the 'fake' pain that's in your head. And they have blinded us to the possibility that sometimes learning to live with your pain is better than trying to eliminate it. In the end, Warraich considers the possibility that pain, particularly chronic pain, is sometimes more usefully treated as an emotion than a sensation. A deeply felt investigation from a rising talent, The Song of Our Scars is both a trenchant indictment of a system gone astray and an empathic plea for a more holistic understanding of the human body"--,Provided by publisher.