Keeping in mind that pain and experiences are very subjective, here are the ten most painful things I’ve ever experienced.
10. Stubbing only my pinky toe: This is the worst isn’t it? Especially because it’s never expected. I’ve done this several times because there is absolutely no way to prevent it from happening unless I wear steel-toed boots all the time.
9. Tore a tricep muscle in a scooter accident: You know those little razor scooters that used to be popular among kids? (see picture below) About 6 years ago, when I was still a full-grown adult, my family was going to go out to dinner. My son was playing over at a friends house and did not yet own a cell phone, so I hopped on his razor scooter to zip over there and tell him it was time to go home. I have a downhill driveway and those little scooter wheels have absolutely no traction. Needless to say, when I tried to make the turn at the bottom of the driveway the scooter and I went our separate directions and I hit the ground on my left elbow.
8. Big toe possibly broken by a speeding baseball: My middle son used to be a very good high school baseball player. During a pitching workout I played catcher for him. I wore all the catchers gear because he could throw the ball around 80 mph (125 kph) or better. One place the gear doesn’t cover is the end of your feet. Often pitches move towards the end of their flight. Towards the end of one balls flight it dropped low and away from the center of the plate and struck me right in the big toe. Well, not right on the big toe. I was wearing sneakers. It felt like my toe exploded.
7. Getting a novacaine injection right into the roof of my mouth: I was having one of several oral surgeries I’ve had in my life. The needle into the roof of my mouth hurt enough that I reflexively grabbed the armrests to prevent me from shooting out of the chair. To add insult to injury the oral surgeon said “Oops” as blood spurted out onto his hand. It was my blood, not his. If I have a top ten list of times you don’t want to hear oops, when a needle is in your mouth is definitely one of them.
6. Paper cut: The pain doesn’t last long, but for a fraction of a second you think you’re going to bleed to death.
5. A combination of bone spurs and a torn labrum: These things were both occurring in my right shoulder at the same time. The labrum is a cuff of cartilage-like stuff that goes around the ball and socket joint helping to hold it in place. One day, the day I decided to finally have surgery, I was walking down a hallway at work and suddenly something happened in my shoulder, possibly the torn labrum got pinched in the joint. The pain literally staggered me.
4. Guy fell on my head: I was playing basketball and I dove for a loose ball. Another player fell right on my head, driving my face into the floor. I needed stitches above my right eye and broke a tooth.
3. In bare feet at night and stepping on a Lego you didn’t see: Here’s my advice: If you’re not a parent yet, you can avoid the whole thing by just keeping the status quo. If you are a parent, never ever buy your children Legos. Even if you’re vigilant about them picking them up, one time they’ll miss one and you’ll step on it and fall to the floor.
2. Childbirth: Look, you women can whine all you want about pushing a watermelon out of a garden hose, but you get to lay down and take pain meds. When my wife gave birth I had to stand next to the bed for hours. My feet and back were exhausted and sore. I put this in to see how many of you read this far and want to yell at me now.
1. Inadequate local anesthesia for a cut into my spine: For many years I had a small, cyst under the skin right over my lower spine. The doctor said it was just some skin cells that clogged the pore. For a decade that cyst sat there doing nothing. Then one day it blew up to the size of a golf ball, on my back. A painful golf ball. It was infected. I went to a general surgeon who put some local anesthesia around the cyst. Then cut it open and started cleaning the infection out. It felt like someone took a scalding hot, razor sharp knife and was directly poking at unprotected nerves. It was the kind of pain that made me grip the corners of the exam table and grit my teeth.
Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil