Several years ago an elderly man came into the emergency room at Cook County Hospital in Chicago with a large, painful abscess (boil) on the back of his neck. When I told him he needed a minor procedure to lance the boil and drain it, he became ashen, asking, “Doc, is this going to hurt?” I told him that if at any time the treatment hurt too much, he could tell me to stop—and I would. I opened the boil with a very sharp scalpel. He did not make a sound for some time. “When are you going to start?” he finally asked. “It’s done,” I said. “How did you do that?” he replied. “I didn’t feel anything.”