It’s hard to describe physical sensations - we’ve got words for them, but you can never be sure that one person interperates a word the same way you do, and no proof that other people even experience ensations in the same way.
Throughout my life I’ve experienced strong sensations that I thought of as “discomfort”, because they feel like the opposite of comfort. The sensations are emphatically not pain, but are at least as unpleasant. I tend to get them where my skin folds and touches or rubs against itself, so between my fingers and toes, inner knees and armpits, and the corners of my eyes, nostrils, ears and lips. The worst place is around my fingernails, which I have to keep as short as possible at all times. Lately, I’ve started feeling a related but more diffuse sensation in my forearms, which thankfully can be moderated with topical analgesics like menthol cream.
So I’ve seen some doctors about this over time. When I was a kid I had an MRI and some nerve tests - I forget what, but they involved sticking needles deep into my leg muscles to read electrical signals or something. That got me nothing but “looks normal” results and a doctor sitting me down and telling me “God just made you special” (moron). Later I got hold of some of my medical records and there were a lot of quote marks around phases like “not pain”.
That was a little more rambling than I meant to do. Mainly I’m just looking for a way to describe my problem in a way that makes sense to people. To do that, I need to relate it to a sensation normal people feel, but I don’t know if that exists. It seems to me that when when most people hear the word “discomfort” they think of mild pain, or unpleasant tissue sensations like pressure or tightness. There’s a couple other words, but they don’t quite fit. From Wikipedia:
Paresthesia is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person’s skin with no apparent long-term physical effect.
Dysesthesia is defined as an unpleasant abnormal sensation. It is caused by lesions of the nervous system, peripheral or central, and it involves abnormal sensations, whether spontaneous or evoked, such as burning, wetness, itching, electric shock, pins and needles.
All of these refer to ordinary sensations produced in the absence of appropriate stimulus. Still doesn’t help me describe my problem. So here’s the actual question: Do you ever experience unpleasant sensations that aren’t pain, and don’t resemble a particular kind of stimulus like the ones described in the definitions above? Or do I have no point of contact to help explain to other people why I need to clip my fingernails RIGHT NOW?