Choice of pain: Momentary screaming agony or barely tolerable ache. All day. Every day.

Imagine that you’re given a choice: Every day for a year, you will experience pain. You have a choice: you may select an incessant ache that lasts all day and you can just barely tolerate; i.e., you can still carry on a conversation and carry out light household chores, say. Or, you will experience, just for a moment, the worst screaming agony you have ever felt, where you can’t think and everything filling your entire universe is pain. But only for a moment – just BLAM like that and it’s gone. No other symptoms, not a sign of any disease or condition. Just pain.

Every day for a year.

In addition, does it matter whether you know beforehand when the momentary BLAM takes place? Would it be worse if it were totally random, and could catch you at any moment? For either choice, does it matter which part of your body it’s in?

I’m kind of on the fence. If it were random, I don’t know if I could tolerate the anticipation. On the other hand, I couldn’t take ongoing pain if it were constantly in my head, such as in the sinuses or in the form of a toothache.

And aside from the pain itself, which do you think would be worse for you in terms of causing stress and impacting your health that way?

Instantaneous horrible pain. Actually, the more interesting question would be how long you’d tolerate the horrible pain, at which point your decision would switch. IE would you take 20 seconds or 2 minutes of the horrible pain or constant lesser pain. 10 minutes? “Moment” is vague but I would guess we’re talking something not too long, under a minute at least. Constant pain is just too annoying a prospect to pass up on momentary pain, no matter how horrible. If it’s not physically crippling, you’ll get over it fast enough.

As far as anticipation - if the pain is that bad, and you got it while driving or something, it could make you get into an accident, so it’d be bad if you couldn’t anticipate it. But assuming for our hypothetical it’ll happn at a safe time, I’m kind of indifferent to the anticipation. It would be difficult if you had to initiate it yourself, just like people who are afraid of needles keep saying “ok ok wait a second” every time someone tries to jab a big needle in them.

If it were random sudden pain, I’d go with the ongoing tolerable type, definitely.

If it were, say, at 7am every day, and then it was gone? Makes the choice more difficult. But I think I’d still go with the incessant long lasting ache - I think being reduced to a screaming mess daily would be much more damaging long-term, even if it didn’t last long objectively…

Sure, I’m willing to adjust to make that the main question instead. For my personal preference, it’d have to be under a minute, I think.

Barely tolerable constant ache. Since I already have that, it’d be no change. I imagine the momentary screaming agony would be worse than getting a nipple piercing, and there’s no way I’d want to go through that daily for a year.

Having had the pleasure of experiencing both, I’ll take the screaming agony any day.

ETA: Depending, of course, on how long that “moment” is.

Constant euphoria was not listed as an option. Unless I messed it. Either way, that’s my choice.

Screaming agony for a short while.

When I fractured my arm, right after the fracture and until I went to surgery, I had a numbing tingling, constant pain… it felt just like when your arm or leg “falls asleep”. After half hour of it I’d had enough and wanted pain meds. Unluckily, none of the pain meds really did much for that pain. At least percocet didn’t make me puke and chilled me out.

I think there is actually research done on this topic. It’s almost a General Question. People are generally happier with the short burst of extreme pain compared to the niggling injury. I can’t remember where I read that, so treat it as the ravings of a lunatic. A lunatic who will take the screaming agony and then get on with wasting his life reading pointless shit on the internet.

Short duration, almost no matter how you couch the question. Having experienced life with chronic pain I can tell you that I would gladly have taken your moment of agony just for asn equal moment of total cessation.

It is true though that knowing when it would come would make it far more tolerable.

I’d take the all day ache, since I’m doing that right now anyhow, and have dealt with such pain for so long that I don’t notice it anymore, except for when it goes away for a bit.

Short, screaming pain. I get migraines and although they end eventually, having that pain for a few days is draining and terrible

As another migraine sufferer, I vote for the moment of agony. I’ve had weeks where I have the barely tolerable ache for 3 or 4 days per week, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be when it’s your head throbbing.

Another vote for a minute of agony. Chronic pain is miserable and exhausting.

Ditto. I lived that way for many years when I came down with arthritis. I seriously considered suicide more than once because of the pain.

I’m recovering from knee replacement surgery. I’d much rather have the momentary screaming agony than dull constant pain. I know what I’m talking about.

If I can know when it’ll happen, I’ll definitely take the agony. Chronic pain is just exhausting.

Um, I get both of those every day. I have severe nerve damage in my right foot from surgery to immobilize the ankle. Anything that puts pressure on my foot causes pain. Socks hurt. I usually sleep with the covers off my foot because sometimes it hurts my toes. There are parts of my foot where rubbing a qtip across it feels like dragging as knife through it. Walking feels like walking on a foot you sprained 2 weeks ago, kinda of a dull strong ache. The longer I walk on it, the closer it feels to a freshly sprained ankle, that hot sharp pain. It takes roughly half an hour to get that point. Shopping is fun.

In addition, I get ‘twinges’ that last anywhere from 10 seconds to half a second. Depending on where they occur, they can feel like someone jamming a large needle into the joint between my toe and foot, or someone grabbing my toe with a pair of pliers, or just someone drilling a hole from the middle of my foot heading out.

The surgery was about 5 years ago, and the pain has gotten better since then, but not by much. It hasn’t changed much in the past few years, so I think it’s done healing. Nothing short of hard narcotics can even touch the pain. It’s been all kinds of fun. I’d give quite a lot to be able to choose just one kind of pain.

I’m married, so obviously I’m going for the barely tolerable ache.

Tried both - give me the sudden, short agony please. Before you do that, take away the daily pain I have now please.