Dave's Rave

Why are we doing this bike ride? It's one month until our third Rural Outreach Tour begins, David Butler goes soul searching...

Guest Author - Pain RevolutionPublished on 20 February 2019

Dave at the desk

Bloody Lorimer Moseley and his big smart ideas...

Pain Revolution's Rural Outreach Tour in Tassie is a month out and I am trying to fit in and organise speakers for 22 events. It’s like a tetris game of sorts. It's easy to get grumpy and pissed off around this time and Mongrel Moseley is a good relief valve.

My strategy is to imagine I am in a picture, deep in the picture, and I need to crawl to the surface of the picture to take a look around at the big picture of the one I crawled out of and beyond it to new pictures. I ponder – “Why am I volunteering to do Pain Revolution; this multi-tentacled massive growing thing - I should be retired and flippant and fishing and farting at will and using up the world a bit?"

But why am I doing it? Sure, there is the data of 1 in 5 Aussies with persistent pain and how much of the national treasure it devours; numbers that mean little when confronted with personal stories of the horror of the chronic pain on families and life.

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It’s the personal realisation that we can all do so much more; for me, driven by knowing that so many people have been victims of learning experiences with never a chance to control the experience. It’s the very nature and challenge of pain - this invisible hidden thing bubbling throughout the body, that society still wants hide.

It goes back to my own personal jolt as an undergraduate student when a chronic pain sufferer went and shot his surgeon and the “why” which I grappled with then, and still do now. And I’m a country boy - Pain Revolution is in the country and country people, already hurting more than city people keep getting hit – the bushfires in Tasmania, the masses of dead fish and cattle elsewhere. And yet I want to help without being seen as patriarchal or a smart arse from the Northern Island.

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Yes, as I write this I can begin to justify why I do it. There’s more - it’s a chance to be a revolutionary and an activist in our safe and smug society. There are more selfish reasons as it’s a chance to grow professionally on the stories of pain and suffering and to realise again and again, how one nonverbal, word, phrase or nuance can make a difference. It’s the increasing awareness that the more I understand about this remarkable bodily production we call pain that more I can understand myself.

It’s the rather bizarre situation of being away for a week and having fun and mixing it with pain. And it’s the memories of the ups and down of Pain Revolution 2017 - from the elderly woman in Wollongong who yelled out “orgasm!!” in response to finding SIMs to everyone sharing Lorimer’s tears at the end of the ride. And importantly, it’s doing it because deep inside, wherever that is, you know that it helps but that we can do ever so much more.

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It all comes back to our vision and how I believe in that vision: that every Australian will have the knowledge, skills and access to local support to prevent and overcome persistent pain.

I feel better now Loz, you’re not such a bad bloke and it is now much more than an idea – back to sorting out the teaching program.

- David Butler

Guest AuthorFebruary 20 2019

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