What is the point of sufferring in the world (rhetorical)?

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snappy
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 5/22/2009 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I promise I'm not just some moody teen (I'm 40) but lately I've spent some time wondering just what the point of suffering is. I understand death (don't like it but I see it's purpose) but what good is suffering? How are our lives made better or how do we improve the world by just hurting? I know I'd be a much more useful person if I didn't hurt all the time so I can't believe the point of my pain is to turn me into something better. I'm very athletic, outgoing and charitable but I can't fully realize my potential only because my butt hurts. BAD!!!! And there are billions of people in the world worse off than me.
 
I just don't get it.
 
Feel free to reply with your coments be they religious, philosophical or even just silly. eyes
Bad fissure Feb 2005, still have it January 2006. On Pentasa and Imuran 100mg. Some slight swelling and ulceration of terminal ileum. No other symptoms. Now on Remicade!


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/22/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I have had alot of pain in my life with Crohns, but I think the disease has made me a much more compassionate and understanding person. It has also made me stronger. How many people do you know who could maintain a fulltime job, and feel like we do everyday? JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 5/22/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
It must be because misery loves company LOL...seriously though we don't live in a perfect world and part of life is misery, suffering and all, just like we get to experiance joy too, although I have to say I know there are parts of the world where many people don't know joy or happiness at all, just fear, pain and loss and that is sad.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Homeboy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 5/22/2009 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I think about this alot too.

All I can come up with are a couple of things.

1.) You need to experience something bad, illness, before you truly appreciate your health. This also spills over into just about everything in life, positive, negative, people chase pleasure, and run from pain.

2.) You will be constantly reminded of the important things in life, less vulnerable to fixate on things like material possessions, and the false comfort they bring.

As far as a point, I don't see a silver lining really. Nobody should be forced to appreciate anything period. Einstein did alot of thinking on this one too, and makes really good points. You may be interested in reading some of his work, if you have not already. Nietzsche and Vigil are my personal favorites. Constancio C. Vigil -- The fallow land, is an excellent book, and talks alot about suffering, and illness.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 20mg every other day
Phenergen PRN
Zantac 150 - Twice Day
Pain Meds
Vitamins


Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 5/22/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
As the child of a Crohnie and a Crohnie myself, I think it has made me more compassionate and I think it has made my children more compassionate. Also I believe that everyone is given something in life that they must deal with. Having dealt with my Mother's illness all my life, I would rather have CD. Its kind of the devil you know thing. I understood what I was up against, rather than something I had no idea about. But seriously, doesn't everyone have something that they have to deal with, even the people we all envy in the world. Otherwise the tabloids would have gone out of business long ago!!!
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


aoccc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 5/22/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
agree with pb...i've seen parts of the world where our problems are nothing compared to what they deal with daily..It is enough to make the hardest person, very soft and compassionate. Our life is so weird, early in life all the sudden you notice your in a world from absolutely no past knowledge, from nothing really.
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional random junk food breaks :)
No meds ever.


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/22/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I feel like it allows us to become more understanding and strong to make it short (and if you don't want to read the rest).

You can never know pleasure without pain. I was thinking about this for a while last night while I was looking at our apartment 'lake' actually..wondering why and how we put up with all the difficult things that we do because so often I've felt like giving up. But I think we still have so much to offer to the world in spite of our bodies, and I feel like it really does make us better people.

You never had a Saint who didn't suffer...
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


snappy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 5/22/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   

I love all you people. I really do. Great replies.

I told my doctor one time that I heard about a soldier who was shot through the gut and he survived by swimming across a sewage pond but of course became horribly infected. I told my doctor that I felt selfish for even considering my condition "pain" after hearing a story like that. But my GI offered some pretty good advice. He said "Never compare your pain to someone elses.". In other words, it's all relative. And I'm sure that soldier would no more like a case of crohn's than I would like an infected gut wound.

Anyway, I do believe pain and sufferring can make you a stronger more caring person but since we've all become that way can we turn it (the pain) off now???!!!! I really do want to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity and get a better job. But I guess right now I have to take the hand I've been dealt and just make the best of it. Hey, it already got me out of jury duty and I get off of workd once every other month to get my Remicade. Yippee!


Bad fissure Feb 2005, still have it January 2006. On Pentasa and Imuran 100mg. Some slight swelling and ulceration of terminal ileum. No other symptoms. Now on Remicade!


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/22/2009 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I am ashamed to admit though that when I start feeling better I forget little by little the pain I've experienced. Constant suffering is necessary in my case in order to maintain that sense of humanity Crohn's has given me.
It's just that after a while I begin to become too comfortable with comfort itself. It seems like as soon as I begin to slip in that respect everything else begins to physically and it helps me remember how fortunate I am when things are all right.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 5/22/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello,

I believe pain and suffering can be benefical because they help us focus on what is really important in our lives.  Suffering and death are the result of our separation from God because of sin.  People just don't naturally seek God when times are good.  When we honestly seek Him, such as in times of suffering, He shows us what life really is about, and his mercy and grace.  “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) 

Here are links from a good website.  Email me directly if you want to discuss.

http://www.billygraham.org/LFA_Article.asp?Articleid=117
http://www.billygraham.org/LFA_Article.asp?Articleid=131

My apologies to the Mods if this was too much discussion of religion.


Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


aoccc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 5/22/2009 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
good answer fallcolors, so true
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional random junk food breaks :)
No meds ever.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/22/2009 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I think being ill for me has been a transformitive experience. I was athletic and had what I considered a meaningful career. But had I not gotten injuried and sick I would not have been able to hug my dad on the day he died. I would not have been here to take care of my Mom when she was sick with cancer. I am certainly more tolerant and compassionate. It has definately been a humbling experience. But now I understand why people feel disenpowered. Like I always wondered why people stay in bad situations. Now I know. It has really made me understand the concept of intradependence. I think perhaps I was a bit shallow of an individual and certainly fiercely independent.

As to the religous aspect there is the idea that one's suffering maybe offered up.
There is a spirtual aspect of God doesn't give us what we cannot take, but sometimes I wish s/he would not trust me so much.
There is also the lessons will be repeated until one learns them. I wonder what is the lesson in endurance? What is the lesson I am to learn from being nice and helpful even when I am in raging pain (rather then allowing myself to be mean)? There are time that things just get to me too much. Perhaps I need to learn patience and smooth....
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/22/2009 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't have the answers to your questions, snappy. I only know that I take solace in what God teaches us, too. Especially appropriate for this topic is
Romans 8:17-18.
Mom to 17 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too.


FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 5/22/2009 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi EMom! I wouldn't stop at verse 18 -- keep reading!! At least through verse 39!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 5/23/2009 1:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Why does your suffering have to have a point, Snappy? Isn't it just what it is?

As the Buddha says, "existence is suffering". I think the take-home message there is to accept your suffering - it is horrible; it is probably pointless; but it exists and you can't get rid of it - and then get on with living your life as well & nobly as you can, given your limitations.

I shouldn't write philosophy while drugged. I hope that made sense.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New meds thread


PSA
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 498
   Posted 5/23/2009 4:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much all of you. Your thoughts are so meaningful and touchy. I really appreciate it. I don't have much to say, except that we are still fortunate. There are people in the world, for whom even the thought of living is much more painful and scary than death.

LMills I really like your signature - Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."
45 years Male Attorney
Diagnosed UC October 1989
 
Had two stage J Pouch Surgery Nov 2005; Take Down March 2006
Complications after surgery - Incisional Hernia and Ano Fistulas
 
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle: Albert Einstein
 
"What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you."
 


pillpopper
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 5/23/2009 5:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Snappy,Your thought on the Remicade infusions and time off of work is so true.
It struck me as how lucky we are every 8 weeks,while the chemo patients might not
be around in 8 weeks.
diagnosed 1981
remission until 2006
Remacade,resection
B-12,Pentasa,Loperamide,
Entocort, 6mp,Hydrochlorothiazide
Remission since surgery
and 8-week Remacade.
d since 1981(enjoy the look
on Dr's faces)


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/23/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   
PSA,
Do you recognize where it is from? It is from Victor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning." When ever I get too down I read that book, because nothing I have gone thru compares to that. He was in the concentration camps during WWII.
Navy
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 5/23/2009 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Pain in life has made me much less fearful of death. Otherwise, the only good thing about pain is that it feels so good when it stops.

Such is my tidbit of philosophy for today.

But at least I feel good at the moment. That is something to be thankful for.

cheers,
Robert

"The poor patronize pawn shops. The rich patronize drugstores."
- Chinese proverb
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/23/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Indeed that is a quote of Frankl's. I highly recommend that book by the way. It's something else to read about their experiences and then reflect back upon your own.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


*Phoebe*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/24/2009 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Ivy I find that quote inspirational, and much easier to 'believe' than religious views.

Thanks for the input, made my afternoon.

snappy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 5/26/2009 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Ivy,

Coming from an Anthroplogical background I just like to think that everything in nature has a point. Makes me comfortable.

My wife says sufferring and pain are just your body's alarm system to tell you something is wrong and it will keep going off until it's fixed. Stinks when you can't find a way to "put out that fire", though. 

 


Bad fissure Feb 2005, still have it January 2006. On Pentasa and Imuran 100mg. Some slight swelling and ulceration of terminal ileum. No other symptoms. Now on Remicade!


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/26/2009 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
As my Drill Instructor once said pain just lets you know you are still alive.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 5/26/2009 7:24:00 AM (GMT-6)


Probiotic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2831
   Posted 5/29/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
If there was any point in extreme suffering, why would a patients who already know they are 100% terminal still have to suffer horribly in their final hours to the very end? I don't believe there is any "point" at all to suffering- it is what it is. However, I agree that we who do suffer can use it, up to a point, to be stronger, and also to divert ourselves from a vicious cycle of self-pity. But the strengthening argument applies to relatively low grade suffering too, such as studying for tough exams or anything. Brutal, searing suffering of the sort many of us go through with IBD seems completely pointless- as obsolete as the old school of medicine that discouraged the use of painkillers for extreme pain. I recall Christopher Reeve being asked if he thought that, because he inspired so many, there was a "purpose" to what he went through, and he replied almost angrily (rightly so in my view) that no, there was no purpose to it at all, it was simply because he fell off a horse in a bad way, and his inspiring people was not and should not be some sort of "purpose" for his suffering. This is not to belittle anyone or any of us for learning anything from our suffering, or from inspiring others (every time I see a story about a horribly wounded young Iraq war vet recover through a ton of surgeries and prosthetic limb it inspires me), but we are all as capable of kindness and wisdom without extreme suffering. Or to summarize more crudely: crap happens.


Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering pred again, maybe surgery this year
 
 


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 5/29/2009 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, Probiotic. I agree.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New meds thread

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