Physical pain is a phantom.
It is terrifying, all-consuming when it visits. It makes you shiver in a cold sweat. It makes you lose control of your bodily functions. It chases away your language and leaves only muffled banshee moans in its wake.
Then, when it suddenly, mysteriously disappears, when it releases its raging grip on your existence, you can’t help but look around and ask, “Was it real, or did I just imagine it?”
Either way, the memory continues to haunt you.