Congenital Insensitivity to Pain
By: Gracyn Conniff
Why Pain is Helpful...
Think about when you break a bone, pain is the sense that tells you that you're hurting so you can go to a doctor and get it fixed. If you break a bone and you can't feel it, there are chances of infection and it could lead to having to get a limb removed. When a person can't feel any pain, it is called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain. Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, where the victim feels no pain, is an incurable and fatal disease. Many people would view this disease as a a cool superpower, but in reality it is very dangerous.
What's Happening on the Inside?
When a person has CIP, they are missing their sensory apparatus which is the nerves that sense pain. So when a person has chronic pain, [long lasting pain] they're brain chemicals that are supposed to dissolve when the body shouldn't be feeling pain anymore, do not dissolve causing the pain to last longer.
How Insensitivity to Pain is Helpful...
When a person has CIP (Congenital Insensitivity to Pain) they can agree to help with a cure to chronic pain. This is possible because if they do not feel any pain but people with chronic pain feel too much pain, they can find out the difference between the mutations to find a cure for both of them.
Feeling No Pain...
Ashlyn Blocker is a 13 year old girl living with CIP. She has agreed to letting doctors observe her so they can find a cure for chronic pain and CIP. So far in her short life she has opened up a camp for people like her called "Camp Painless but Hopeful" so they can talk about how they feel and and talk to people who understand how they're are feeling. This camp also gives their parents a chance to talk to other parents who deal with the stress of taking care of kids with no pain.
They Still Feel...
Even if a person doesn't feel pain, they can usually still feel pleasure, happiness, and sadness. They can still feel heat, a touch, a hug and all other feelings except physical pain. So even if someone betrayed them, they would still feel betrayed and sadness. But if someone were to pinch them, they wouldn't be able to feel the pain. This disease is very rare and people who live with it are incredibly inspiring
Heckert, Justin. "The Hazards of Growing up Painlessly." The New York Times Magazine 18 Nov. 2012: 26[L] Student Resources in Context. Web.4 Nov. 2014.
Whitaker, Phil. "Pain helps us to survive but in rare conditions it can turn our own into an enemy." New Statesmen  15 Nov. 2013: 67. Student Resources in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.