One thing that I have sometimes encountered and that I don’t really know if I am peculiar that way happens when I severely stub my toe/take a tumble that hurts but with nothing broken etc (fortunately I have never had to endure real pain, so I don’t know what I’d do in that case)
Scene: I have just taken a football (soccer ball) in the gonads/have badly stubbed my toe/fallen down two steps but broken nothing.
Other Person: Oh, tschild, what’s with you?
me: ::grits teeth, trying to wave Other Person off::
Other Person: What’s the matter? Do you need help?
me: ::shakes head frantically::
Other Person: So, what happened? You look like you are hurting.
me: onemeoment. bewithyouinaminute.
Other Person: I didn’t get that.
me: waitabit. pleasenoconversation ::again, make waving-away motion::
Other Person: I still don’t get what happened. Please tell me.
me: **Shutup. Shutup. Shutup. **
Other Person: (hurt) I just was concerned for you.
The thing is: from Other Person’s behaviour it seems that what I want (a few seconds alone with my pain which is going to subside shortly, without the work of making conversation just now) is not universal - or is it, and Other Person just does not think?
Being quiet for a few moments while the pain dies down after an accident is pretty universal in my experience and I would say Other Person’s just oblivious. I tend to just ignore the person that tries to engage me in conversation at those times or reply tersely to let them know I’m not interested in talking at the moment.
Yes. As someone who regularly carries the scarring emotional pain inflicted by the wicked ways of the world, I frequently do not want to talk to anyone. So this makes sense.
I had been friendly once toward a guy I met on the internet. He moved to my city the same week that I had major abdominal surgery. The idiot decided to visit me in the hospital unannounced on the same day that I was moved from intensive care. I had never met this person before. Can you imagine how happy I was when he came bounding through the door?
I was not yet at the stage where I wanted to live another moment on this earth. I was jamming that morphine pump for all it was worth and my husband was doing what he could to help me get some relief. The DROP-IN FROM HELL just kept jabbering away and had the nerve to ridicule my husband for hovering over me.
I know exactly what tschild is talking about. When I stub my toe or have some other kind of sudden, bad pain, I need people to be completely silent RIGHT THEN. If they don’t, I will become belligerent and borderline violent. It is as if the need for them to be quiet is the most important thing happening at that moment. My wife has never understood this simple fact and it has led to some tense moments after the pain dies down. I have been that way since a child and I think that it is the result of some kind of crossed wiring or weird stress reaction. I always worn people with “please stop talking” and then escalate it from there because I NEED them to stop.
I think it’s because we are trying to focus on the pain and how to deal with it, and distractions will keep us from trying to get through it. It’s sort of “I’m a bit busy at the moment” because your brain is going Jesus Flipping Christ what the fuck did you do now?
I do the same thing. The best example I remember was badly spraining my ankle playing tennis. I immediately stopped playing and started screaming but when the other players rushed to see what was wrong I began hobbling away waving my hands at them like a pantomime, so I am told, of a cripple running through cobwebs. I ended up sitting on the seats beside the court with the others lokking at me as though i had gone crazy.
I was going to post about my uncle’s attempt to drop in on my mom just after her knee replacement surgery, but I think Zoe’s got me beat.
Or, one could visit a woman in labor and attempt to chat her up. I’m sure that will go just swimmingly.
As the others said, your desire to be quiet at such times is totally normal. I think it’s just that people feel helpless when they see someone in pain and want to “do something”, but the only thing they can think of to do is ask dumb questions.
I’m not a huge conversationalist to begin with, so I think if someone tried chatting away with me while doubled over in pain, no doubt something obnoxious would come out of my mouth like, “Look - if you’re not gonna help alleviate my pain, please stop talking cause I ain’t hearin ya right now…”.
I think generally it’s, as **lavenderviolet **says, because people want to help but don’t know what to do other than ask dumb questions.
Sometimes, though, it’s important to get information from someone in pain. If I come across you on the street and you’re doubled over (that is, I didn’t see what caused the pain), I’m going to ask you what hurts, how long it’s been hurting, how badly it hurts and if you need medical attention. If you can’t/don’t/won’t answer, I have to make a judgement call as to whether you’re just trying to find your happy place or you are insensible, incoherent or suffering a seizure or stroke.
It’s not just pain, either; I think it’s any kind of sick. I’m just getting over a cold, and I am not usually the cranky, leave-me-alone type, but while I was in the thickest misery, I did not want ANYONE around me, including my husband and cats. Just let me suffer by myself. Bring the chicken soup and go away. Please.
I have equilibrium problems since I was in my teens. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling even though I’m not; sometimes I actually just fall down without having tripped or anything: one moment I’m walking, next I’m on all fours and OUW! This is a lot more likely to happen if I’m tired.
Last year, I fell like that while we were on vacation in Prague, with the misfortune of hitting a rough spot. My slacks were ruined; my knees weren’t ruined enough to need doctors but they were both bleeding. OK. So, I’ve just fallen down, I’ve said “OW!” loud enough to startle a stone statue, I’ve followed it with several open-mouthed deeeeeeep air intakes while my remaining braincell tried to convince my eyes to get back to their normal location, then I start cursing an ultraviolet streak… and Mom, who’s gone on glibly commenting on the store window decorations (Lilbro had turned as soon as I fell and made some “Mom, hey Mooom!” noises) finally turns around at the cussing, grabs me (which hurts, dammit, the top of my arms is just very sensitive from all the times she’s hit me there) and says “oh, my, are you OK?”
“NO MOM GODDAMIT IM NOT FUCKING OK HOMISUPPOSEDTOBEOKDAMNYOU! HANDSOFFTHATHURTS! God!”
She got all pissed that I’d yelled at her, but Lilbro pointed out that when he’s hurting he’s not exactly at his most sociable either. I’ve fallen in front of her twice since and she’s been able to keep her hands to herself and her mouth shut until I’d verified that nothing was broken. Oh, and now she accepts that it’s a Good Idea for me to wear clothes that are not flimsy and can survive one of my falls. Yay (:rolleyes: me)
In the example given by the OP it sounds like the other person might just be panicking in a “Oh god, is he seriously hurt, should I call someone?” kind of way. Not that that makes it any easier to listen to when you’re in the OW DAMMIT LEAVE ME ALONE moment.
So basically, yes, completely agreed. Like featherlou said, it’s not just pain either; I get horribly sick in cars, for instance, and sometimes people will insist on trying to chat to me to “take my mind off it”. Noooooo. I don’t want to talk, THANKYOU, just leave me alone with my misery. (And I’ve noticed that if I do try to be polite and chat with them at those moments, it makes things much much worse and harder to bear, for some reason.)
If you’re not unconscious or clearly out of your senses - i.e., you’re standing (but not wobbling), wincing, writhing, cursing, etc. (any or all of these) - I think it’s fair to say you don’t require immediate medical intervention. Which means concerned bystanders can wait a minute or two to see if help is needed, and don’t have to find out right this very second if they should do something. I imagine most people, though, aren’t thinking this way and just have a reflexive “omigawd” reaction.