Pain is something that the vast majority of us just have to deal with, and sometimes on a daily basis. Not being able to feel pain is almost unimaginable, but that's the life one woman in Scotland has been living for 66 years. She does not feel cuts, burns, and even surgery does not register with her, and she's lived her whole life thinking that was perfectly normal
Her case, which was published in the British Journal of Anesthesia only caught the attention of doctors after she recovered from orthopedic hand surgery with no reported pain. As with all patients, she was given a suite of pain-numbing meds while the surgery was performed, but even after the drugs wore off she reported absolutely no pain whatsoever. That's when doctors realized something was amiss
The woman's post-surgery pain score was a "0/1
After diving into her medical history, doctors realized she had never complained of any pain of any type, including after various operations. She told the researchers that she had a history of "painless injuries" including broken bones and burns that she only noticed on her burning flesh, but pain never factored in.
According to the report, the rest of her family feels pain Normally with the exception of her son who has "some degree of pain insensitivity" but nothing compared to his mother. The woman also has no history of anxiety or depression, and scored zeroes on all mental health questionnaires, indicating zero symptoms. A recent car crash that she was involved in did not phase herself, and she does not know what panicking feels like
An examination of her genes seems to have provided the explanation for all of this. Researchers note that she has a microdeletion in her DNA, as well as an abnormal FAAH gene, which has been linked to varying degrees of pain insensitivity in others
The researchers suggest that the woman's "genomic rearrangement" is probably more common than we think, and that's probably there are other living pain-free lives without actually realizing how special that is.