The next time your toddler has an absolute diva shit meltdown because she stubs her toe, instead of thinking, "Oh my god, what a little freaking drama Queen," thank your lucky stars! For think of little 5-year-old Isaac Brown who can't feel pain. That might sound pretty awesome -- wow, I can't feel pain! I can run 40 miles! I can stick my hand into a flame a wow everyone! -- errr, no. We feel pain for a reason. A BIG reason. Like it keeps us from sticking our hands into flames. But Isaac was born with a rare genetic disorder that makes him impervious to pain. Which means his parents have their work cut out for them.
"The toddler years were an absolute nightmare," Isaac's mom, Carrie, told ABC News. "He would just drop to the ground and smack his face on the table. He thought the fall was fun." Ahh, yikes. And while that might make for a funny photo, you really don't want your baby running smack into things on purpose because it's fun.
In fact, Isaac, who has congenital analgesia, has done loads of similar things. He put his hand into a steaming cup of coffee. Scorched his hand on a hot oven burner. Grabbed a sharp pane of glass. Broke his ankle and hardly flinched!
When you think about it, pain is the ultimate babysitter. You generally don't have to tell your toddler not to grab a shard of glass, because as soon as he did it, he'd instinctively stop once the pain set in. And he'd probably never do it again. Isaac has no such teacher.
So it's up to parents Carrie and Randy to be his pain teachers. They have to TELL him what is painful and teach him how to say "Ow" so they know if he's injured himself.
But even this has its drawbacks. After Randy accidentally stepped on Isaac's foot during a game of hide-and-seek and Isaac started laughing, Randy had to sit down with him and explain that his foot being stepped on is actually a bad thing, and that he should say "Ow."
An hour later, their family cat brushed up against Isaac who, absorbing this lesson, cried, "Owie, owie!"
When Isaac broke his pelvis on the playground, he was able to identify that he was hurt -- though it took X-rays to figure out exactly where.
Experts say that Isaac's condition is caused by a mutated gene that makes him insensitive to pain. There is no cure for it.
Fortunately, Isaac has good parents who work constantly with him to help him learn how to live with his condition.
Makes you see your kids' overly dramatic temper tantrums in a new way, doesn't it?
Do your kids overreact to pain? Underreact?
Image via Olivia Wilmsen/YouTube