Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the most painful physical pain you've ever felt?
Dear Matt Meese,
When I first started regularly rock climbing, if I climbed too hard too often, I would get this inexplicable pain in my left shoulder. I never figured out what it was, but I stopped climbing as often and it went away. But one day it was really bad, and that's the only time I can think of that the pain was past what I could tolerate.
In a more non-conventional sense of pain, I tried the special Buffalo Wild Wings sauce with scorpion peppers in it a couple months ago. I got a couple of my friends to try one each, but I was left with the other three, so I figured I'd just eat them all and get it over with. It felt like my eyeballs were on fire.
Dear You Could Have At Least Gone With Scott Sterling,
Growing up, we had an in-the-ground trampoline. To keep the dirt from falling in, we braced the pit walls with plywood. As time went on, the dirt pressed on these walls and made them cave in slightly, causing the trampoline springs to rub up against them. This made the top of the walls splinter.
One day, I ran out and started jumping on the trampoline. I went close to the edge in preparation to do a flip. As I came down for a big bounce to launch me higher into the air, the heel of my right foot came down hard one one of the spintered plywood walls. The end broke off, and I found myself with a plug of wood jammed into my heel. It was about 3/4 of an inch long and 1/4 of an inch thick, and it hurt like the Dickens (by which I mean Charles Dickens, who was known to punch people at random as he walked down the street in Victorian England).
Eventually, by utilizing pliers, Mère Rubik was able to extract the plug. I assumed that would be the end of it, but it wasn't so. Over the next few days, the wound healed, but my foot was still super tender. It got to the point where I couldn't even walk on it anymore, so my parents took me in to see the doctor. He examined my heel and determined that there were still pieces of wood lodged in my foot, festering after the wound had closed off. He determined to get them out, and he did so by ripping open my heel with tweezers and no anesthetic.
So, yeah, that's probably the most painful thing I've ever experienced: a doctor digging around in my heel and extracting pieces of wood with tweezers. Even just typing it out rustles my jimmies something fierce.
P.S. Ento's response above also reminded me of the time on my mission when I tried a member's homemade Ghost Pepper hot sauce, which was extremely uncomfortable, but I think the splinter story above takes the cake.
May or may not have been the worst ever but one time I got random unexplained abdominal pain so bad that I ended up in the hospital getting ultrasounded and stuff to figure out what was wrong with the inside of me (we never figured it out and it stopped.)
Alternately I guess I could hold this question until mid-November and then be like "labor LOL." But probably the editors wouldn't like that.
I've actually just been thinking about this because I woke up in agony the other night, and it made me wonder about other times I've experienced excruciating pain.
Anyways, here are two top contenders for the most painful experiences in my life:
- Getting my top braces removed and the subsequent placement of my permanent retainer. What made this so horrible was that it lasted for two hours, I didn't have any pain medication whatsoever, and the orthodontist for some strange reason decided to install my permanent retainer inside my gums. So basically I was trapped for a couple of hours while someone was actively drilling/cutting into my gums with the only reprieve being when the orthodontist had me get up to rinse all the blood out of my mouth because he couldn't see what he was doing anymore. Over a year later, I was at my dentist's for a regular check-up. After working in my mouth, one of the nurses asked if I had recently gotten braces removed, remarking that my gums were still pretty swollen and inflamed from the incident. When I replied how long ago it had happened, she was slightly horrified.
- A few years ago, I was quietly reading on my couch when I suddenly started experiencing sharp pain from my abdomen. The pain quickly grew to the point that all my insides felt like they were on fire. Once it got past that excruciatingly agonizing place, it undulated. The pain would briefly recede slightly only to come back in full force a few moments later. At the peaks of this pain, I was convulsing on the floor, moaning (or possibly half-screaming--memory has thankfully blurred the particulars). Luckily this attack didn't last for very long, and it went away as mysteriously as it came, leaving me feeling ginger for the next week.
One time, I got a root canal but it got infected shortly after. My dentist prescribed pain medication until I could see him again to get that fixed. The pain medication was too high of a dose for me, though, so it just made me really nauseated and didn't even alleviate the pain. I was throwing up and dealing with throbbing mouth pain for several days because I kept taking the medication, hoping I'd develop a tolerance for it, but I didn't. It was basically 48 hours straight of sobbing in the bathroom. I reached a point where I just wanted to take a hammer to my jaw because it hurt so bad, though in retrospect, that probably would have worsened the situation quite a lot. So, uh, I'm lucky there were no hammers around.
On the bright side, I found out that OTC pain meds make me sick so no risk of developing addiction there.
My first instinct was to say the time I got tangled in barbed wire, but when I think about it, it actually didn't hurt too much thanks to all the adrenaline. So on second thought I've got to say the aftereffects of getting a gum graft.
Gum grafts are usually reserved for old people whose gums have started receding thanks to old age, but I got one at the ripe old age of 19. My gum had been receding for several years due to the bone damage caused when I had an extra tooth removed when I was 12, and when I went to the dentist shortly before leaving on my mission, he said I had to get a gum graft immediately or the gum would recede so far during my mission that my tooth would fall out. I had a horrifying vision of my tooth suspended in the air by my permanent retainer, with a gaping hole underneath where the gum should have been, and immediately agreed to get one. They took a big chunk of tissue out of the roof of my mouth and stitched it onto the offending part of my gum. The gum itself didn't hurt too badly afterwards, so the problem was that it turns out having a giant hole in the roof of your mouth is incredibly painful. The roof of my mouth, where they took the tissue from, took about a month to heal, and bled pretty consistently for the first couple days. After that it was fine unless anything touched it, in which case it was excruciating. And do you know how often your tongue brushes the roof of your mouth? It hurt to talk, it hurt to swallow, it hurt to eat, it especially hurt to sneeze. It was also super sensitive to temperatures, so any time I ate anything that was either hotter or colder than room temperature, my whole mouth would ache. There was no one moment of absolutely horrifying pain, but the whole thing combined to be pretty awful. But on the bright side, my tooth didn't fall out during my mission, so that's pretty cool.
When I was about four or five I had a really terrible headache. It felt like someone had chopped my head in two. I have no idea what caused it, and I have never experienced such a headache again.