Introduction to special issue

The future of pain research

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 564-565
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.564

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  • RE: Is it Possible to Better Manage Pain in Spontaneous Pneumothorax?

    Undesirably and at a relatively young age, I had the opportunity to be admitted in the Division of Thoracic Surgery and go through a video-assisted thoracoscopic lung surgery (VATS). In this letter, I describe my patient experience and propose a minor modification to the treatment guideline for management of spontaneous pneumothorax [1]. I believe that my patient experience may be of an interest for patients and clinicians.

    Imagine it is a regular Thursday, the beginning of another day. You wake up, brush your teeth, have a cup of coffee, and prepare for a day full of adventure. Your life is intense and filled with activities, and you have great ambition and plans. But suddenly, all of that changes.

    On a Thursday evening in March 2008, I found myself, with no warning, being driven to the emergency room. The trip felt endless and painful, and I felt every bump the car passed over. No words could describe the direness of the situation. When I arrived at the ER, I was immediately connected to oxygen and had an X-ray and other tests. I was told that I had developed a condition called spontaneous pneumothorax (an accumulation of air in the space between the lungs and the chest cavity that can result in a partially or completely collapsed lung). The doctors were going to drill a hole in my chest, and they were going to do it immediately. The ER staff said I would need to be hospitalized for several days. I realized then that my life would never be the same.

    ...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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