The heartbreaking saga of Aimee Copeland's struggle with a relentless case of necrotizing fasciitis that has already claimed her right foot, left leg, and both hands continued Friday with news that the beleaguered young woman is refusing pain meds because of personal convictions. This comes on the heels of a Tuesday update on Copeland's status from critical to serious, "a major victory," according to her father, "that cannot and should not be diminished."
The AP reports that Copeland has so far eschewed pain medication because of her graduate school study of holistic pain management. She has said that she doesn't want to be a "traitor to her convictions," and so has endured the pain caused by her first successful skin graft without the sweet, sweet fruits of modern medicine. The nurse who performed Copeland's subsequent dressing change was rightly astonished by the young woman's insistence to forgo morphine during the procedure. Andy Copeland later wrote that, though he knew his daughter's pain must have been tremendous, "Aimee's courage is greater." It's certainly greater than mine — I can't even stand the dentist's scrapey tool without asking for a little happy gas.