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Aster's avatar

What Was the Most Physically Painful Experience You've Had Thus Far?

Asked by Aster (14900 points ) June 21st, 2010

Probably will get a few “natural childbirth” answers which I’ve never gone through and never would. Broken bone? Toothache? What was Your worst? Mine was cosmetic surgery.

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78 Answers

janbb's avatar

Getting out of bed the first few days after Caeserean sections.

Kayak8's avatar

Having surgery on my ankle hurt like #$&* but in all honesty, I think breaking and dislocating my pinkie was worse. The pain was easily relieved when it was “relocated” but for the time it was going in a really unpleasant direction compared to my OTHER fingers, it was the worst. Can’t separate how much of that was the psychological impact of looking at it (imagine pinkie ok to the first joint and then at a right angle across the joints of the other fingers to get a sense of things).

Kayak8's avatar

By the way, I gave you a GQ for allowing us old farts a space to complain about our aches and pains!

Aster's avatar

@Kayak8 OK Thank you, Kayak8 !!!

cookieman's avatar

Absessed Tooth – which, of course exploded at 1AM with no dentist to be had until 10AM.

It felt like an angry orangutang was hammering an awl into my head.

Vunessuh's avatar

I’ve been pretty lucky thus far. No major surgeries with pain to deal with afterwards. No broken bones except for my toe which wasn’t too bad.
And I haven’t given birth.

My senior year in high school, severe dehydration sent me to the hospital and that was more painful than one would imagine. It was horrible.

DominicX's avatar

There are three incidents that I can think of as being the most painful and it’s difficult to put one over the other, so I’ll include all three:

1) May 2007 – I fell off my bike by riding over a leaf-pile, which caused the bike to slip and me to basically fall on top of my bike. The gear made five “holes” in my right leg and there were scratches all over it. It was actually after I rode home that it just burned with pain and I couldn’t help but cry a bit.

2) September 2007 – I’ve gotten bad intestinal cramps before as a kid, but it had been a while since I had had one, but this time, during school, one hit me hard. It was so bad I could barely stand up. During class, I just put my head on my desk and zoned out of the class. It lasted for 50 minutes.

3) January 2010 – I had a really bad earache. Still not sure what caused it, but all I know it was the same night I was supposed to go out with my friends to a sushi bar and we did, but I was in quite a bit of pain the entire time, though it went through periods of being less painful. Lasted for 2 hours. Finally went away after taking Tylenol.

syz's avatar

An ectopic rupture. I made it to the ER at 9:42 and was in emergency surgery by 9:59. I’ve never seen the emergency room move that quickly.

dpworkin's avatar

I think either kidney stones, or the time my gall-bladder had to be removed. They were probably about even.

KhiaKarma's avatar

Steam burned the whole top part of my thumb. All of the skin swelled up and eventually pulled off. I was afraid that I’d have permanent damage (like nerve damage) but now it’s not even noticable- just a little darker tone. I could hardly do anything that day the pain was so intense!

Val123's avatar

So…two kids natural childbirth doesn’t count?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

The few days after having uterine surgery.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Almost losing my right arm, reconstruction of my shoulder followed by two years of physical rehab. The morphine was stopped a week after the last operation; the next two years were constant pain.

MacBean's avatar

Last summer, one day I had what I thought was a backache. It kept getting gradually worse and worse as the day wore on. Finally, that evening I popped a couple of aspirin, took my dad’s heating pad upstairs with me, and went to bed, hoping I’d feel better in the morning. I managed to sleep a little bit but when my dad got up around six and knocked on my door to check on me, I couldn’t get up on my own. He helped me out of bed and I felt a little better once I was standing. I hobbled to the bathroom by myself and managed to pee without incident. But when I hobbled back out into the living room and he was waiting to see how I was feeling, I could hardly stand and it took three or four breaths to get out, “I think I need to go to the emergency room.” By the time we got there, I was completely incapable of movement or speech and I was in considerable respiratory distress. I’m told the doctors gave me morphine and oxygen after my dad explained the situation as best he could; I have no memory of this, since I was busy feeling like I was about to die. Once that kicked in, I was able to answer the doctors’ questions myself. They ran about ten million tests, never came to a solid conclusion, gave me a prescription for an antibiotic (wth?), told me to see my GP in three days, and sent me home. Nobody ever figured out what was wrong, but it hasn’t come back.

Also, once I got second- and third-degree sunburn. That sucked.

Aster's avatar

@Val123 Of Course two kids natural cb counts!!!

filmfann's avatar

Kidney Stones.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Age 2: Third degree burns on my right hand and wrist sustained when my birth mother’s brother-in-law held it over a gas stove as punishment for something.

Age 19: Broke my left big toe when I stubbed it over a mostly-hidden boulder while playing tag on a beach at night.

Age 35: Calcified tendonitis in the joint between my right upper thigh and hip. I couldn’t walk properly for weeks, needed injections and had to see a physical therapist for 6 weeks.

Strangely enough, getting the operation to remove half my thyroid at 29 didn’t hurt nearly as much – I didn’t even need the painkillers.

gemiwing's avatar

Either kidney stones or a jaw infection. They were both horrible, yet different.

Fly's avatar

Just this month I had this food poisoning-esque virus that caused extrene abdominal pain. I could barely move and only got up to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t even hold down water, so the pain only got worse as I got severely dehydrated. That lasted about 24 hours…the first time I’ve cried out of pain since elementary school, and I have a high tolerance for pain.

Draconess25's avatar

Breaking a few ribs when I was 12, & getting stabbed in the stomach when I was 10. Enjoyed every second of it.

knitfroggy's avatar

I would say my abscessed tooth. I was in such pain with it before the antibiotics kicked in I was seriously thinking about getting a plyers and trying to rip it out myself. It hurt so bad, I was out of my mind. I’ve had two C-sections and a knee surgery and I would much prefer those to the toothache!

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

Childbirth. I wanted pain meds but the little bugger was so impatient to come out that it was too late! It was very painful but it was mostly over within two hours.

Broken knee cap runs a close second. That was incredibly torturous.

tedibear's avatar

It’s a tie between:

The tooth that was infected and needed a root canal. Which was fine once the antibiotic started to work. OR

Hitting my foot against the coffee table four days after bunion surgery.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

After a laproscopic tubal ligation I refused to fill the prescription for pain killers because I was fresh from getting off of abusing pills for several years. It was a horrid recovery to where I couldn’t sit, lie or anything without pain that made my body cramp, shake, sweat and throb. Next to that was when I kicked my little doggies stuffed hedgehog across the floor and stubbed my big toe into a foot of our refrigerator, the whole nail split and hung on by hust a thread which I had to remove myself. That was a painful month of air blowing on my foot causing intense pain and me drinking a whole lot.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Post-operative pain from orthopaedic surgery on my shoulder and hip (simutaneously) 1970

Lacerated Kidney from fall off horse

Neck, shoulders, hips, lower back pain from being rear-ended first at 120 Km/hr and then 90 Km/hr a minute later

Those pains have continued from 2004 to now – what a pain!

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence – :(

Though it’s encouraging to see you keep on keepin’ on, sir!

AmWiser's avatar

Like @cprevite and @knitfroggy, years ago I had and absessed tooth on a Saturday night and no dentist until Monday. I was litterally banging my head on a wall because the pain was so excruciating. I now know what it means to be ‘out of your mind’.

MissAusten's avatar

@Neizvestnaya The toenail thing horrifies me.

For me, it’s a toss-up between two different events. The birth of my second child was extremely painful, much worse than the first time (which was natural simply because it happened so fast). My doctor gave me pitocin, which made me feel like William Wallace at the end of Braveheart as he’s being disemboweled. When the doctor had to check to see if I was dilated enough to push, it took everything in me not to scream from the pain. They’d given me staidol, which didn’t help with the pain but made me high as a kite. Fortunately, once labor had kicked in it was all over in less than two hours.

The other horribly painful event was, like many others here, kidney stones. I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest and had a toddler at home. My husband was working in an area where he didn’t get cell phone service, so once that awful pain hit and I started puking, I couldn’t get in touch with him. I had to drive myself to my OBGYN, who suspected I had a kidney infection. She wanted to do an exam just to be sure it wasn’t back labor. There I was in the stirrups while my 16 month old entertained himself with the medical equipment. I was instructed to go to a lab and pee in a cup, then fill a prescription for an antibiotic. The thought of running errands with a toddler just made me sit in my car and cry. It was almost time for my daughter to come home from kindergarten, so I had to go home and collect her first. Luckily, I was able to call my father-in-law, who came over to watch the kids so I could at least give a pee sample and pick up the medicine without any little “helpers.” When I got home, I collapsed in bed and he stayed at the house until my very ashamed husband got home. I was too sick to be mad at him. Then…it just stopped. I was dozing on the couch and suddenly realized I had no pain at all. The next day my doctor called to say my tests were clear so I must have had kidney stones. After my son was born, I had a CT scan that showed several stones in each kidney. It’s been five and a half years, but I’ve never had another attack (knock on wood). That was one of the hardest days of my life so far, just getting through each moment in that much pain while pregnant and caring for a toddler.

stardust's avatar

Ruptured cysts, ugh! That’s probably been the worst for me.

vbabe96's avatar

I have had quite a few painful experiences

1. The time I had to have a spinal tap done. This was so awful because the ER doctor had to stick the needle in my back 12 times (seriously I had a friend count my scars) because the fluid in my back was not coming out. I was hospitalized for a week because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

2. The time I was hospitalized for having a kidney infection.

3. The time my whole hand was covered in 2nd degree burns from accidentally pouring boiling water on it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Septicemia. I had E. coli get into my right kidney and my blood (due to a structural abnormality in my kidney that I wasn’t aware of until this happened). The kidney pain was excruciating. I had started having nausea and vomiting on a Saturday the went away by the time I went to bed so I thought it was just a bug. The next morning I woke up with severe right kidney pain, nausea, vomiting, and a fever. I could barely move. I crawled out of bed to a phone and called my mom to come get me (and my son) and take me to the hospital. I had to crawl down the stairs as I could not get up to a standing position at all. My mom helped me practically crawl into the car. Once we got to the ER, they took me right back. My temperature was up around 104 or so and I was still vomiting and doubled over in pain. They gave me 10mg of Morphine that did not do anything at all to the pain. Then some Demerol (I forget what dose). They also gave me Phenergan for the nausea and vomiting and put ice packs on various places on my body to bring down my temperature (that really sucked).

Once I was stabilized, they admitted me and I was kept mostly sedated because of the pain and nausea (basically every time I woke up they had to knock me back out). From what my mom told me, I was given antibiotics that caused my veins to blow after each dosage. She also said they were starting new IVs on my ever 4 hours and drawing my blood every 6 hours. I spend a week in the hospital and only remember getting there, little bits and pieces during the week, and then going home. My mom was ready to plan my funeral at one point, so I guess it was pretty bad and I’m glad I don’t remember much of it.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I have 6 stiches on my chin from smacking the brick edge of the pool when I was 7. No anesthesia.
I got a concussion from a 14 foot fall from a slide when I was 3.
Burned my inside left ankle when I was 4 from climbing onto the counter to get something out of the microwave.
Those are the ones that I remember hurting the most or the ones that left the biggest scars.

Nullo's avatar

Wisdom teeth, most likely. They had to turn off the anesthesia early (apparently I was trying to hit the doctor while unconscious), so I was half-awake for the finale. The recovery wasn’t bad, though; I just took all the meds that they gave me and went to sleep for a couple days.

After that, I’d probably have to go with either a broken hand or else the time that I gashed the spot right over the knuckle on my index finger. Came within a hairsbreadth of severing the tendon.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@Nullo Ohhh, you just reminded me. When I got my wisdom teeth out, I found out just before they started that I would be awake. Not what I expected. It was the meds that damn near killed me. I was given some painkiller that started with a P, I can’t remember what it was called. A couple weeks after the surgery, I was getting these weird pains in my chest and stomach. Like someone was grabbing inside my chest and squeezing like all hell. I finally went to the emergency room, and they took a blood sample, i.v., and did an x-ray. Apparently that medication was eating at my stomach and esophagus linings. Found out I can’t digest narcotics. If a doctor other than your own says, “Here take this”. Don’t.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Although my own injuries were severe. I found inspiration in a young lady who was far worse off than I. While recuperating, I accepted a volunteer position as security at a womens shelter my mother had helped to found.

A young woman was brought in who had gone through a terrible ordeal. She had been held against her will for six months and terribly abused. Her physical injuries were sickening: a mutilated nipple and infection in her left breast, second and third degree burns to her genitals along with urinary tract infection, infected anal fissure requiring a temporary colostomy to heal, seven broken bones in her feet that had healed wrong as well as ruptured plantar fascia. Over four years, she went through 17 major operations, orthopedic and reconstructive, and numerous painful dermatology procedures; all borne stoicly and courageously. She also had deep psychological injuries; PTSD flashbacks almost daily.

My self-pity and depression melted away in her presence. I went from being her bodyguard to semi-skilled caregiver, friend to lover. 2½ years into this, I proposed marriage. She declined, citing her inability to yet perform her “conjugal duty”.

Our relationship was consummated a year later in a night of gentleness and profound love, followed by breakfast in bed with a 200 year old emerald ring on the tray. I proposed on my knees as a gentleman should. Our marriage was postponed at her insistence until physical therapy enabled her to dance at our wedding.

We were married in November of 1999. She walked down the aisle of Manchester Cathedral without the slightest limp. She danced beautifully at the reception. We won a ballroom dancing competition on our honeymoon in Barbados.

This remarkable lady changed her major from Fine Arts to Psychology, graduating four year later Summa Cum Laude; two years later with an MA. She overcame her psychological demons and had her PTSD under control. While working on her PhD, she counseled other women who had experienced similar trauma. She also diagnosed my Aspergers Syndrome while a third year undergraduate.

With her PhD thesis complete, waiting only it’s defense, she was taken from us in an automobile accident last November. The Womens Center has been recently renamed “Meghan’s House”. Her life, courage, compassion and determination deeply affected all who came in contact with her. Megs PhD was awarded to her, posthumously, at Spring Commencement this year. I accepted it for her with tears in my eyes.

partyparty's avatar

1. Being hit by a snowball as a child. Got a bad infection in my ear and spent six weeks in hospital. I remember banging my face on my pillow at night because I couldn’t deal with the incessant pain. My face swelled up to twice its size. I almost died.
2. Being thrown from a horse. Back pain excruciating. Whichever way I moved I was still in pain. It lasted for weeks.
3. An abscessed tooth while I was on holiday. I lived on painkillers until I arrived home. Came straight off the motorway and went straight to my dentist. Again dreadful pain.

partyparty's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Oh my physical pain seems like nothing compared to your beautiful Meghan. Such a beautiful, strong and intelligent lady. My heart goes out to you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’ve been through a good handful of things that I would think should have been the most painful. Broken bones, ruptured cysts, having my bottom lip bitten off. But, it’s a tie between 2nd degree sunburn and having the packing removed after sinus surgery for the absolute worst. I think having the packing pulled out of my nostrils might have been more traumatic, since blood came out of my eyes. It was pretty awful, all in all. Yep.

BoBo1946's avatar

Kidney stones, hands down!

Aster's avatar

Horrifying stories. Mine just makes me wince when I remember it:
My sister informed me we were going to clean her Venetian blinds-not mini blinds but those old-fashioned , METAL, sharp-edged ones.
She got sponges and a bucket of soapy water. I took a sponge, dipped it in the water and went all the way across the first set of blinds and sliced the end of my finger. Like those meat slicing machines in the deli. A very deep cut that kept throbbing while I cried (I was 12). My father said I needed stitches but I wouldn’t hear of it. It took decades for the scar to go away.

Facade's avatar

Life?
I’m always in moderate pain. Painkillers don’t work. I quit school 3 or 4 times because of it. And it makes me hard to be around when it gets bad. Thank God for marijuana.

Mariah's avatar

My my, haven’t a lot of us Flutherites had kidney stones?

@MacBean I’ve had a similar, albeit a little less severe incident… twice. I also have never gotten a conclusive diagnosis but my doctor suspected it might have been pleurisy. For me, the pain started in my shoulder/back and then progressed to extremely painful breathing. I never had a cough with it, though, which is odd for any kind of lung infection. Hurt like hell.

I have trouble comparing different kinds of pain. But I think I can safely say that most pain I’ve ever been in was when I had sepsis. Nobody caught it until a very late stage (The lovely doctors at the ER told me I was probably just having muscular pain from exercising too much and sent me away without doing any tests whatsoever), so I’m actually extremely lucky to have survived that. I think the pain was worse than the kidney stones I’ve had. Blehhhhhhh

downtide's avatar

The worst pain I’ve ever experienced was when I fell down a flight of steps and fractured a vertebra. Not only was the pain off the scale, I was also temporarily paralysed, and terrified that it was going to be permanent. Fortunately the paralysis wore off after an hour or so, and the pain eased off soon after too. It hurt for a couple of weeks after, but nowhere near as badly as that first few minutes.

Val123's avatar

@Draconess25 You got stabbed the the stomach when you were 10??? What happened??

arpinum's avatar

I rank kidney stones pretty low.

For me: 90 degree knee hyper-extension and popping of ligaments.

Kayak8's avatar

@Mariah OMG, I can’t even believe I forgot pleurisy! I have had it three times, but the first was the worst as I was flying from Japan to the US when it hit and I could not get comfortable at all. It was more manageable the other two times—painkillers and the ability to lie down were significant improvements!

MissAusten's avatar

@downtide My husband fractured a vertebrae in a car accident. The ER docs were more concerned with his head injuries, but he was begging them to do something about the pain in his back. :( He had to be on bed rest for six weeks with heavy painkillers.

I’ve never broken a bone (knock on wood) so don’t know how that would compare to kidney stones. I consider myself lucky to have not experienced more examples of horrible pain. A lot of these stories make me cringe.

Draconess25's avatar

@Val123 Crashed my bike. Handlebars. Wasn’t deep at all, but it hit a pressure point or something. Nearly threw up.

Val123's avatar

Ah hell. Well, I was worried that some person stabbed you. Glad that wasn’t so. I got my first (and only) set of stitches at about 10 from a rusty bike fender…......it was deep. Another story. :)

Draconess25's avatar

@Val123 I’ve never had stitches. They’d probably try to give me some drugs, too. I always just let my wounds bleed out, no matter how bad they are. I tried stapling a gash shut, & it only bled more. Kinda defeated the purpose.

Mariah's avatar

@Kayak8 Terrible, isn’t it? Oddly enough, with whatever I had (dunno for sure if it was pleurisy or not) it was made a thousand times worse by lying down. I had to sleep sitting up for over a week.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 Have you at least had a tetanus vaccination? This could be life or death.

FutureMemory's avatar

Peeling off one week old gauze that had been applied to a very bloody wound was more painful than anything else I’ve ever experienced – maybe only because I was doing it to myself, so there was no ‘surprise’ factor…felt like I was being skinned alive. Even after soaking the wound for at least one hour it took about 45 minutes to remove the bandage.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 Try butterfly closure next time instead of a stapler. It’s basically just tape.

Nullo's avatar

@Draconess25 At the very least wrap the thing up. o_o Pressure keeps blood in, after all. I once read about a guy who soloed his way across the North Pole who would bandage his wounds (frostbite, mostly) in duct tape.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land @Nullo Meh, I like blood anyways. I usually just lick it up.

Val123's avatar

@Draconess25 Or superglue.

Draconess25's avatar

@Draconess25 Superglue probably tastes bad.

Val123's avatar

You don’t use it to glue your lips together!

Draconess25's avatar

@Val123 But I lick my wounds.

Nullo's avatar

@Draconess25 It’s messy stuff, though. Try getting it out of carpet.

Draconess25's avatar

@Nullo What, blood or superglue?

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I’ve dealt with blood on the carpet before. Got in a nasty fight when I was 16, & came home all bloodied up. I forgot how I got the stains out, though.

Val123's avatar

When you’re done licking and ready to close the wound, use super glue!

Aster's avatar

@Draconess25 _ I like blood anyways. I usually just lick it up._

You enjoy the flavor, do ya? You could get a job at a blood bank.
ewwwwwww..!!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 Remind me to pick up a box of blood-flavored lollipops for you at Honeyduke’s, next time I get to Hogsmeade.

Aster's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land You can make your own: pour blood into a small paper cup. Put in freezer. When half frozen, insert popsicle stick into the center. Freeze until hard. eeewwwwww

Tarf's avatar

when i jumped on a blade accidently and the blade went all the way through my toe so my toe amost fell off and it was my big toe.now i can NOT at all bend my toeand i have a huge scar.

Tarf's avatar

oh and that popsicle thing sounds delicious!

Draconess25's avatar

@Aster Why? They’d fire me for drinking the merchandise! Actually, it’s probably kept cold, so _ew.
@stranger_in_a_strange_land Well, they sell this & this! The latter actually tastes like blood! But the 1st sounds healthier. It’s also more expensive.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 ROFLMAO and properly grossed out! :^D

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

When I got kicked in the groin—- really, really hard. :(

BoBo1946's avatar

loll… true @MRSHINYSHOES but, have one question….have you ever had kidney stones? There were other comments about kidney stones not being as bad as blah blah etc., but apparently these people have never had kidney stones. I’ve been hit in the groin playing ball, tore an ACL in my knee, etc, but NOTHING compares to kidney stones. You want to die!

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@BoBo1946 Never had kidney stones, but I’ll take your word for it my friend. Getting kicked in the groin was solely my fault during a “fight” I had. I have to say the pain was not only devastating, but it was slow torture. :(

casheroo's avatar

Root canal- felt everything..total nightmare.
Csection: um, hello major abdominal surgery…people act like it’s no big deal. If everyone had to get major abdominal surgery then care for a newborn and other kids, they’d know how ridiculous painful and emotionally difficult it is. I love how I know people with minor surgeries and they can’t do a thing after, I just can’t imagine.

I’d say toothache is the worst pain ever.
So is eye pain. I keep getting close to an ulcer in my corneas. SO painful I tend to overwear my contacts so it’s my fault :(

rOs's avatar

When I was a care-free child, I thought I would show off to my new “girlfriend”. I let her ride my bike while I faced her, standing on my new pegs. I felt really cool until I fell flat on my back, cracking my skull on the cement, then she rolled over my junk with the front tire.

Ouch

I’m lucky I’m not sterile.

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