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The kid who feels no pain
kyupol at 4:59PM, Dec. 17, 2007
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4195437.stm

The toddler who cannot feel pain
Like any other toddler, Ben Whittaker has had his fair share of bumps and bruises. The difference is he doesn't feel any pain.
The 17-month-old from Royston, Yorkshire, is only the 33rd person ever to be diagnosed with the condition.

When Ben fractured his heel bone, he ran around as if nothing was wrong, and he shed no tears after pulling out a tooth.

His parents, Wayne and Joanne, say they cannot let him out of their sight.


You just can't let him out of your sight
Wayne Whittaker

The couple first noticed that Ben was different to other toddlers when he was nine months old. He took a hot chip from his father's plate and blistered three fingers - without showing any signs of distress.

The health visitor suggested there may be something unusual about the way Ben dealt with pain.

The toddler then broke his heel bone while he was playing at home.

When he was taken to hospital for treatment, doctors saw Ben running around despite having a plaster cast on his foot.

Wayne Whittaker told the BBC News Website the doctors had said Ben would have been “in agony” if he had been an adult.

'It makes things difficult'

After a series of tests at Sheffield Children's Hospital, Ben was diagnosed as having congenital indifference to pain, an incredibly rare condition.

Experts have suggested it could be caused by the failure of a substance called betaendorphin, which occurs naturally in the body and modulates pain sensations.

Mr Whittaker said: “It was a case of putting two and two together. He didn't cry when he banged his head, and he didn't cry when he had his inoculations.

”He may feel no pain at all, or he may feel pain differently to other children. We won't know until he can communicate.“

He said the condition was becoming more of a problem as Ben got older.

”When he was a baby, it didn't really affect him. But when he started to crawl, and now he can walk and run, it does. He keeps banging his head, but it doesn't bother him.“

Ben is healthy in all other ways, and has a toddler's natural curiosity - meaning he is at the stage where he is keen to climb and explore.

Mr Whittaker said the couple were terrified Ben would put his hand into the fire or burn himself on the radiator - but not feel anything.

The couple have another child, Katie, who is three months old, and Wayne said it could be difficult for his wife Joanne to keep an eye on Ben.

Mr Whittaker added: ”It obviously makes things difficult. But you just can't let him out of your sight."

Doctors have told them there is nothing they can do to alleviate Ben's condition, and it is something he will have to live with. They have been warned it is possible Katie will also be affected.

I could just imagine him going to school and getting into a fight. It would be HELL for whoever tries to fight him.

This kid could make a good soldier or MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter. He will never quit. He will never submit. :)

I feel jealous of this kid.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
SarahN at 5:59PM, Dec. 17, 2007
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“Oh is my arm missing? I didn't notice.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:23PM
ozoneocean at 11:43PM, Dec. 17, 2007
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Ah… no.

That's actually one of the worst things that could happen to you. ;)
Why do you think leprosy was so bad? Diseases like that attack the nerves in the extremities, meaning you can't feel if you get hurt, meaning that you get infections that lead to gangrene, that lead to limbs dropping off.

This kid has it worse, because he's born with the condition, there's no disease to cure…
Yeah, that kid is f*cked. :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
therealtj at 7:24AM, Dec. 18, 2007
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ozoneocean
Yeah, that kid is f*cked. :(

Aww, I wouldn't say that. It IS possible to live a healthy life, even with the condition, But it would be hard. You constantly have to check yourself for bruises, broken bones, cuts, ect. since you couldn't feel them. You'd need a doctors visit every week or so to make sure you don't have anything

It would suck.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:26PM
Fenn at 12:38PM, Dec. 18, 2007
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kyupol
I could just imagine him going to school and getting into a fight. It would be HELL for whoever tries to fight him.

This kid could make a good soldier or MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter. He will never quit. He will never submit. :)

I feel jealous of this kid.
No military in the world would take him. Pain is important, it's nature's way of letting you know something is wrong. If you don't know something's wrong, you can do permanent damage to yourself. The kid might win a fight because the pain didn't stop him, but he could die later that day because he had internal injuries that he was completely unaware of.

I feel sorry for his parents… they're in a living hell right now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:26PM
Custard Trout at 2:16PM, Dec. 18, 2007
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kyupol
Royston, Yorkshire

Well no wonder. I wonder if he knows the Dentons?

Jokes aside, it must be hell for the parents. I couldn't imagine caring for a child who couldn't tell when something was broken. It's an interesting condition though, I'm going to have to look this up.

Hmmm, does hunger count as pain?
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:59AM
ozoneocean at 2:42PM, Dec. 18, 2007
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Yep, therealtj, you can live with it, but it's hard.

These guys talk about broken bones when the smallest splinter could kill him: Unnoticed infection can be fatal. A normal person would feel it if it started to get infected ;)

Hahaha, let's draft up a bunch of diabetics and lepers into the army, we'll win every fight! …not.

Custard Trout, I think that's a good possibility. :)\
The Dentons that is.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
SeriousQuiche at 5:34AM, Dec. 19, 2007
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Pain is a good thing. It alerts your body when something is wrong so you know that “I should take my hand out of the frying pan.”



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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
Priceman at 8:29AM, Dec. 19, 2007
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I have to agree that this is a bad thing. As we grow, we learn to fear the things that are bad for us because of the pain associated with them. You don't know to fear fire until you get burned once. If you never feel pain, you are basically walking blind in the world. Also, just cause you don't feel the pain doesn't mean you can't get the side effects of injuries; like infection for instance.

Other than that, it would be cool to fight and not get hurt.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
kyupol at 1:42PM, Dec. 19, 2007
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No pleasure and pain = bad.

No pain but only pleasure = good.

And another interesting thing:

If pain is weakness leaving the body, that means this kid has no weakness?



NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Inkmonkey at 6:04PM, Dec. 19, 2007
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His parents, Wayne and Joanne, say they cannot let him out of their sight.


You just can't let him out of your sight
Wayne Whittaker



Huh.



Yeah…. that's top-notch journalism right there.

And I'm not sure if you're joking or not Kyupol. But I would say that the inability to feel pain, in regards to pain somehow equalling loss of weakness, does not imply a lack of weakness. If anything, the inability to feel pain implies the inability to lose weakness.

Your way of thinking on the matter reminds me of something from Kinnikuman (I'm not sure if it was used in the bastardized “Ultimate Muscle” shown on TV), where the main character is fighting an enemy who also cannot feel pain. It's presented as a strength at first; since he can't feel pain, he'll never stop. He's like a machine, basically.

The problem, though, is that at one point in the fight he ends up with a broken leg, and just keeps running on it. Eventually the whole thing swells up and basically incapacitates him.

I don't normally say this on wholly speculative and/or belief-based statements, but you are wrong. Painfully wrong. No pain but only pleasure = bad.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
Ladyknight17 at 10:50PM, Dec. 20, 2007
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In all honesty I kind of see it as both bad and good. Sucks to not be as aware of your own body, but on the plus side, getting hurt is inevitable. If he can't feel the pain, he can't suffer through it the conventional way. I mean…he'll have other effects, naturally.



I'm trying and failing to be clear on this I fear.

…The only way I can really think to put it, is I've seen kids who are active with out usually causing themselves injury. But it eventually happens, and it's hard to seem them cry, and go through the pain. It's hard to see a child cry. It's hard to see them suffer. So…to know that yes…they will be hurt, but no, they won't feel pain, is kind of a mixed feeling. Relief they won't hurt, and worry they won't learn.
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Thanks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
ozoneocean at 11:29PM, Dec. 20, 2007
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Ladyknight17
and worry they won't learn.
What concerns me more is the fact that there's a very real possibility that the child will die young or at least lose a limb due to this disability, like so many other who have a similar condition :(

That's what it leads to… the poor little bastard will have to check his body constantly for bruises, marks or scrape, every single day of his life he will have to be 100% vigilant. He won't be able to relax properly ever in case he ends up lying in a position too long that reduces the blood flow to a limb and he's unable to realise that due to the loss of sensation, or if he's resting on a sharp edge that's doing damage to him and he doesn't know it…

I can't image how shit his life will be, every single aspect.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
Dark_Elf_Designs at 6:23AM, Dec. 21, 2007
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Yeaqh like My old Sword Fighting Teacher used to say “pain's a good teacher” he was right!

SeriousQuiche
Pain is a good thing. It alerts your body when something is wrong so you know that “I should take my hand out of the frying pan.”



Worst holding your breath under water candidate ever.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM

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