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BBC Radio 4:Canon Angela Tilby - 08/11/2017

Good morning. I woke up in hospital in the early hours the day after a knee replacement operation. I was alert, pain free and clear-headed. In a state of enhanced lucidity I began thinking about my day job at the time: the provision of in-service training for Church of England clergy in the diocese of Oxford. I found myself making bold and radical plans that would transform the lives of Oxford diocesan clergy for the next decade at least. I felt better in myself in that post-operative early morning than I would do for the next two years. Such is the power of OH PEE OID based pain killers. I have to say this was a one off – my usual experience is that drugs based on medical morphine make me feel sleepy and slightly sick, and indeed by the time the morning shift came on, sleepy and slightly sick was exactly how I felt. But that first feeling came back to mind when we started hearing about the pain-killer epidemic in America. It is really serious. People suffering from chronic pain are getting hooked on new drugs which can produce powerful highs. There have been numerous fatal overdoses. The ingredients of these new painkillers are found in nature and have been known about for centuries. Even the Bible speaks of God creating medicines from the earth. But today, chemical processes can greatly enhance their effectiveness and some of the drugs available are many times more potent than heroin. Pain is a complicated phenomenon. In its simplest form it is nature’s warning that something is wrong. The human experience of pain though is varied and subjective, and has mental and emotional aspects: the fear of pain increases pain, the memory of it can bring it back. We know now that mental distress can express itself in physical symptoms, and constant physical pain depresses the spirits. Most people are ready to accept painkillers when necessary. I have never been one of those stoics who refuses to take pills for a headache. But I do think we may as a society have become na?ve about pain, refusing to accept that suppressing it comes at a cost. We all have drugs which soothe the stresses of life, my espresso in the morning and gin and tonic at night are accepted with prayer and thanksgiving. Trying to mask all pain, though, can weaken us. As St Paul says in the letter to the Romans: ‘Suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope’. There is a vast moral difference between the thankful acceptance of life-shortening drugs in, say, terminal illness and dosing ourselves with drugs which reduce our resilience, and often stop working over time. So though drugs are often part of the answer the problem of chronic pain cries out for a more holistic approach. Medicine should not rob people of their spirit but encourage them to bear wisely what Hamlet described as ‘the heartaches and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to’. 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/17/11/BBC-Radio-4-Canon-Angela-Tilby-08-11-2017.html