Pain is not just experienced by individuals who are terminally ill but also by those who experience chronic, persistent pain due to a variety of reasons, including but not limited to serious medical conditions. It was also noted in the chapter that non-invasive pain management techniques can be very beneficial. To assist students in gaining a better understanding of both the range of experiences that can result in chronic pain as well as provide them with an interesting example of an alternative technique for pain management, have students visit the PAIN Exhibit at www.painexhibit.com/homepage.html. As noted on their homepage, “this is an educational, visual arts exhibit from artists with chronic pain with their art expressing some facet of the pain experience. The mission of the PAIN Exhibit is to educate healthcare providers and the public about chronic pain through art; and to give voice to the many who suffer in abject silence” (PAIN Exhibit, 2008).
Browse through the homepage and “about the exhibit” sections. Students should then review the “pain and art” section (eight sub-sections that each relate to a different theme), select a minimum of two exhibits, click on the work of art, and learn about the background of the artists and what their art represents in relation to their experiences with managing pain. Please answer the following questions:
What are your impressions of/reactions to the main purpose of the PAIN Exhibit?
The exhibit includes work displayed in eight different areas: portraits of pain, suffering, pain visualized, “but you look so normal,” god and religion, isolation and imprisonment, unconditional love, and hope and transformation (PAIN Exhibit, 2008). What thoughts, reactions, or feelings did you have to the different themes and works of art visually displayed?
What did you learn about the experiences and perspectives of the two exhibitors whose works of art and personal statements you reviewed?
How might this exhibit relate to what you have learned about the major challenges posed by the under-treatment of those who experience chronic pain or pain associated with the dying process?