One patient in particular has pain that's so severe she's become wheelchair bound, chronically depressed, and regularly experiences times where she contemplates suicide on a daily basis. Most primary care physicians, I've observed, are woefully undertrained in chronic pain management, often more concerned about painkiller addiction and drug-seeking behavior than quelling excruciating pain they don't feel themselves (studies show such concerns are generally overrated in these patients). But even physicians who find themselves comfortable treating chronic pain aggressively with all the tools we currently have available sometimes find those tools inadequate. Most people outside the medical profession don't routinely encounter people whose lives have been ravaged by chronic pain so don't realize they even exist, much less grasp how awful their lives typically are. But such people do indeed live among us.