Experiences that were worse than you imagined

You ever look at a homeless person and think, “oh I would love to have no responsibilities,” only to become homeless in the future and realize that it sucks worse that you imagined it would?

Maybe you never experienced homelessness, but what else did you go through that you never realized just how horrible it was until you experienced it yourself?

This is a trivial example, but twice I’ve slept in camps in essentially the open air, on a board, with no blanket, no sleeping bag, no pillow…just whatever clothing I had on. Both times I thought “Eh, I’m tired, it’s not cold out, I can sleep anywhere…”

Nope. Both times, it was miserable, cold, and I barely slept and was miserable the next day. I need at least a blanket, dammit.

Being pepper sprayed. I did it for work. I’m not a complete hooligan.

Worst. Thing. Evar. So far.

Being consensually facefucked. I’m glad I can put it on the list of things I’ve done, but at the same time it’s on the list of things I will never voluntarily do again. I used to fantasize about it a lot but not any more.

Had a blood vessel inside my nose cauterized. More pain that I could comprehend, I nearly shredded the padding from the arms of the chair.

An appendectomy. Routine surgery. But not when the appendix has ruptured, and the ER mis-diagnoses it and sends the patient home. My entire body had become septic, and I came damn close to dying. Then, after barely surviving the surgery, I had a drain tube sticking out of my abdomen for two years. Even now, 37 years later, the incision sometimes hurts.

I had a mysterious growth removed from my nose - a tiny red zit that never went away. I went to a dermatologist who decided to remove it and test it for cancer. I went to his office and sat down in like a dentist chair, looking out the glass wall during a ferocious thunderstorm (that part was cool!). He snipped it out, but it was bleeding ferociously. I mean splashing on the ground. He tilted the chair so I was practically upside down and he pinched the incision with a rag, with all his might. That went on for almost 15 minutes, and it hurt like hell. There’s still a little hole on the tip of my nose that never filled in, like he said it would.

My daughter had to have four teeth extracted before they put braces on her. We went to have this done (the oral surgeon’s was right next door to the above mentioned dermatologist’s office, oddly). They put her under with gas and took out the teeth. When she came to, her mouth stuffed with bloody rags, she took a swing at me (!), and then vomited. We were there for 2-1/2 hours, and she puked every 10 minutes. They gave her some ginger ale to sip and it kept coming up. She puked at least 20 times, and finally, at noon, I said, ‘come on, let’s go home’. She threw up twice in the car (into a grocery bag, but there wasn’t much in her poor stomach) and three more times at home before, thankfully, the nausea went away. Jeez. Louise.

I had an exploratory laparoscopy in my pelvic region, and didn’t think the recovery would be that big of a deal. I mean, a few tiny incisions that can be covered with a Bandaid each, that’s not so bad. Except that these incisions go through muscle too, and I thought when I sneezed that I was going to lose some internal organs.

Never. Not even once.

I didn’t expect that the test for whooping cough would be as unpleasant as it was. When I felt that nasal probe coming out the back of my head, I was pretty sure I wasn’t having a good time.

Being widowed. It was the worst experience of my life, by far. I expected it to be bad, but not that bad.

I thought I’d be fine to have an early morning session of root canal work, then head straight to work for the rest of the day. I was wrong.

Marriage. It’s not nearly as enjoyable as I once thought.

I had that experience too. I told my project manager that I’d be out for the day having surgery and that I’d be back in the next day. I ended up spending the week on my couch, damning my surgeon to the fiery pits of hell.

Having my heart broken.

I thought I knew what it meant. You read enough about it, hear enough songs about it. I thought it had already happened to me. Now I know I’d felt sad about breakups before, maybe even mildly depressed - but this was a drop in the ocean of misery that I experienced when it happened properly. It fucked up every aspect of my life, for a very long time. I don’t think it’s right to compare it to bereavement, as I’ve never been seriously bereaved, but I’m guessing it comes close. Fucking hell it was awful.

Nearly every clothes-shopping expedition I’ve ever been on.

Wait, what? When I had whooping cough, they didn’t do this.

Emigration. I knew it would be hard work, but the total disorientation of not speaking the language, not knowing anyone, and just being cut off from anything and anyone I had ever known was unimaginably difficult.

I’ll go with getting attacked by a dog as my primary one. In this case, it was a large German Shepard type guard dog that had gotten out of someone’s yard and attacked my corgi. Not fearing dogs, I jumped on the German Shepard and tried to pry his jaws open, then started punching it, at which point my hands and lower arms were bitten. Amazingly no bones were broken and the dog did not have rabies. The owner felt really bad and paid for all the bills both at the emergency room and the vet hospital for my dog, which they gave 50/50 odds as to whether she’d survive. Luckily she did.

Prior to the attack, I used to watch shows like ‘Cops’ where the 250 pound guy would get taken down by the 70 pound German Shepard and I always thought that didn’t make sense given the weight advantage the guy had on the dog. I always assumed most people were just afraid of large dogs and they submitted for fear the dog might grab their throat. Boy was I wrong. I got my ass absolutely kicked by that German Shepard and I’m a reasonably strong guy. I couldn’t imagine how strong and fast the dog was, and in retrospect sitting in the emergency room, I kind of freaked out knowing that if that dog had gone for my throat or other vital area, I would have been dead and there would have been nothing I could have done about it. It still freaks me out even today.

Another one was the effect of being unemployed and the feeling of depression. I was laid off from a dot com many years ago and thought I would have no trouble getting another job. It took many months and the fear of not knowing whether I’d ever get an interview, dealing with rude HR departments, and the fear of eating into my savings took a bigger mental toll on my than I ever would have imagined. Thankfully I have a job, but in this economy, I always have some nagging anxiety.

Law school, until I switched to another.

They didn’t? I was led to believe that it was standard procedure.

The doc took this long plastic probe and stuffed it up one of my nostrils. Just when I thought he couldn’t fit any more of it in, he’d go farther. I’d be that he put a good six inches up there. And while it didn’t really hurt, it was amazingly uncomfortable. And then my nasal passage was raw and sore for a few days.

And I was feeling better long before I got my test results back.