What's the most physicallly painful thing you've ever felt?

So I’m walking across the icy parking lot this morning, and my knee does that sort of slidey-thing it can do as if to say “I’m dislocating! . . . Kidding!” It about stopped my heart, but nothing happened.

But it made me wonder and want to ask: What’s the most physically painful thing that’s ever happened to you? Which part of your body has given you the biggest OUCH?

For me, as you might have guessed, it’s dislocating my knee. Step on it funny and it can just pop right out, pulling (or tearing) all the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are supposed to hold it together. This is the “10” on my personal pain scale – as in literally screaming in pain when it happens (which, fortunately, it only has three times).

I know we all have different pain tolerances, but I’d like to hear about things that really hurt. I swear I’m not a sadist; just curious. And I had to specify “physically” painful, because I don’t really want to hear about that time your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you. :slight_smile:

The cluster headaches I used to get as a kid. Thank God I don’t get them anymore.

Spinal injury. Lost all my spinal fluid, leaving my pore brain high & dry. Felt like a razor-wire sword going up my spine and into my head. Also, I was throwing up constantly, from the spinal fluid in my system . . . April 1986 was NOT a good month for Baby.

My Mom has broken both of her kneecaps, and says that’s the worst thing SHE’S ever been through. Well, besides raising ME, of course . . .

Dislocated my elbow in gymnastics. Of course, that’s better than a dislocated neck: I fell off the beam and was heading straight for the old noggin’ and had my arms out. I guess I’m lucky it wasn’t worse.

Eve, you’ve got my vote. Eeeew, it just sounds painful!

I have two:

  1. While at work, two cups of boiling water spilled on my back. I ended up with 2nd degree burns covering me from my bra line to my panty line completely around my torso (except for about 4 inches in front) and some other burns on my leg - the blisters were about a foot long and ranged from 2 - 6 inches across. As soon as it happened, I started screaming (like horror film scream, no words, just scream) and kept it up full lungs until we got to the hospital and they started treatment, 2 shots of Demeral (ummmmmmmmmm) later, I’d stopped screaming. I was on narcotics for 24 hours, it hurt to breath (the act of breathing moved my burns against the bandages), was in bandages for 10 days, which meant I was never comfortable. For an additional 4 months, hot or even warm showers hurt.

  2. This I’ve had done twice. Fundus photo - they take a picture of the inside of your eye. First, they dilate your eyes. Then, they take you into a dark room, place your face into one of their machiney things (don’t you love technical terms), have you stare into a bright white light (by this time, your eye is tearing up, and I had to manually hold the eyelid open), then they take pictures. With a flash.

1 lasted much longer (pain and aftermath), but #2, you know ahead of time it’s going to happen, and you have to go through it.

Gee, Jodi Thanks for asking! ( :D)

How about when I was 12 and loved unravelling golf balls. My underdeveloped brain decided to place a ball in a vise and then use a very sharp knife to dig in. I nicked the cover of the little ball holding in the liquid center. The fluid shot right into my left eye. I don’t remember the trip to the hospital, but I do recall the scraping of the eyeball and the stitches.

Another pleasant one… I crashed my bike during a triathlon and crushed my collarbone. At the hospital I was refused drugs until someone could come and take me home. Of course, that was the only race my wife did not go to. I was there for 4 hours, nearly in shock, before I found a neighbor to take me home.

Ah, memories…

Yes, terrible pain.

2nd place winner for me is the sting of a scorpion on the palm of my hand.

I used to think the worst pain possible was being hit in the ribs with a baseball bat, until I started kickboxing.

Then I thought the worst pain imaginable was clashing shin bones with a professional fighter during a workout (purple from knee to instep, tennis ball sized swelling at point of impact!). This lasted until I was on the receiving end of a bullet.

Then I thought THAT was theh worst pain imaginable until I woke up after surgery to repair the damage from the bullet. They carved bone out of my hip to rebuild a shattered bone. OUCH!

That’s currently the worst pain I can imagine actually experiencing.

AboutSeven Years Ago.

Lying in bed in the morning. My wife drops our 22 month old daughter on the bed while she gets ready for school. My daughter proceeds to dig her claws (her fingernails were a little long) into my right eye. Scratched the hell out of it.

Hurt a little at first. Splashed some water on it and got ready for work. An hour later I’m on the floor of my office in complete pain and misery. It felt like someone stuck a branding iron into my eye.

My co-workers couldn’t fiqure out whether I was having a heart attack, a seizure, or some kind of flashback. As I tried to explain what happened, do they call for help? Only after about 5 minutes of laughing their asses off.

Daughter is eight now. My revenge is only 9 years away. I I have this great bathtub picture of her that I will gladly share with the first significant boyfriend she brings home.

I broke my left clavicle doing something stupid as a kid. As the swelling reduced, the two pieces of bone began to shift. Unfortunately, muscle tissue would get caught between the two jagged pieces causing brain searing, breath catching pain. My muscles would then spasm, causing the bone to reposition itself and catch a new piece of tissue. This cycle would start at random and go on for ten to twenty minutes at a time. I would have passed out from the pain each time had it not been for the fact that the bone would keep releasing certain nerves and catching others, changing the nature of the pain.

At hospital, I was informed that nothing could be done because of the way in which the bone snapped. The only solution offered was to take more drugs to dull the inevitable and subdue the spasms. This madness went on for about four days before the bone was able to start settling back together.


I know that when I was 3 years old, and our family was stationed in Arizona, I was pushed by another child and fell onto a cactus plant, but I don’t really remember it. I suspect it was painful, but I don’t know.

So, I’d have to make it a tie between the nausea-inducing migraine-type headaches that I get from time to time, and the time three days after my vasectomy when I went to the movies (The Shawshank Redemption, FWIW) and was afflicted with some serious swelling.

Second place is when I broke my leg in summer 1999.

There are two that come to mind. The first was when I was 12 and my appendix started to rupture. I remember playing tag and had such a terrible pain on the right side of my stomach. It felt as if someone buried an axe in me (pure conjecture, that’s the pain I would guess).

The second was when my knee went. I was in bed and my leg had fallen asleep. It had never happened before and has not repeated. I got out of bed and tried to take one step and fell. I went down so fast, in such a strange way, twisting around 180 degrees. My shoulder blades put a hole into the sheet rock wall about 10 inches above the floor. I actually saw stars, broke into a sweat, it sucked.

Headaches from a sinus infection. They were so bad that I wanted to die. This was definitely the worse type of pain I could ever have imagined. And this is in comparison to pain from a herniated low back disc.

Pushing out the twins without benefit of anesthesia was pretty painful. Not in the sharp, Jesus that fucking hurts, kinda way. More like the grinding, please God will this ever end, kind of agony.

My sciatica can lay me out. But this is not so bad because if I don’t move, the sharp blinding pain subsides into something managable.

When I had pnemonia I wasn’t in pain so much. It was more a certainty that I was going to die. No way could anyone could be so weak, not be able to breath and be so fucking sick and not die.

*Memories, like the corners of my mind
Misty watercolored memories of how sick I was. . .

Okay, I think some of you have me beat, but I’ll pony up my horror story, too.

Breaking my ankle - doesn’t sound so bad, right?

Caught my shoe on a pavingstone while turning to put the BIG stroller into the trunk of the car. Did the little hop thing to catch my balance, expecting my foot to move to the left - and I put my full weight down where I expected my foot to be, only it wasn’t there, it was still where it HAD been…


Snapped the end off the larger of the long bones in the lower leg (tibia?). I heard it go, and felt it go (reverberated up my leg). I caught myself with the stroller, then dropped the stroller. I then stupidly tried to put my broken foot on the ground… HOLY SHIT! Labor (for 66 hours with NO MEDS) was a 6, this was a 10! It took 15 minutes to convince myself that I could put the stroller in the car one-legged. 20 more minutes before I could see normally after I got to the driver’s seat. (Now I know what a ‘haze of pain’ is!)

My 2 yr old son was already strapped in his seat, fortunately (merrily repeating ‘oh SHIT, oh SHIT, oh SHIT!’). Unfortunately, I was alone with him at the time, and I had a two hour drive to get home - I was NOT going to go to a strange ER with a 2 yr old and nobody to help. Drove home with my left foot jammed in a plastic bag with the ice packs from my son’s lunch. Made it into the house with my DH’s help, but realized this was really bad (DUH!) when I flat-out REFUSED to go sit on the sofa while we waited for the on-call doctor to call back (instead lay on the floor of the kitchen) on the grounds that I was NOT going ‘all that way’ just to have to come back so I could go get in the car and go to the ER.

Only mildly less painful were the domestic abuse questions at the ER (“so, what orthopedist do you USUALLY use???” - “and can you tell me just HOW this happened, again??? MMmmm, really??” -“So, where is your husband, now?” accompanied by HUGE pauses and lots of raised eyebrows…)

And actually MORE painful than the break itself was having to straighten out my foot and hold it still while they x-rayed it. I don’t cry from pain, but I was crying, and ready to beg them for I-don’t-know-what just to make it stop. The cast helped, but it still hurt like hell for days.

It’s a close call, but they’re both related to a car accident I was in about 4 years ago. I had broken my left leg, left arm, 3 ribs, and hyperextended my right knee. My whole body hurt. Then after that was over, I was in a wheelchair for a while, and leg broken legs and arm didn’t hurt as badly as my ribs everytime I moved. I mean it was constant!

After that, the whole physical therapy I had to undergo to be able to walk again was none too pleasant, either. I really can’t discern which pain was worse - breaking my bones or the process of healing afterwards.

Any phycal therapists out there have my sympathies. Part of my therapy was holding on to the edge of a pool and kicking my legs in the water to get the muscles used to moving again without putting weight on them after being in a wheelchair for so long. I got cranky at my therapist and snapped at her. She got out of the pool and said, “Ok, tough guy, you don’t need me? Get yourself out of the water.”

I learned a new respect for her and what she was doing for me right then, cuz there was no way in hell I was getting out of the water without help. When it was all over and I apologized for being a such a little shit, she explained she was actually used to it, that many of the people undergoing therapy take out their frustrations on the therapist. And to think, I have the audacity to bitch about my job sometimes!

My most painful thing happened when I had a root canal. The problem, as I later found out: NO GAS. Although I had been injected with about a lb. of novacane when he broke through to the root I couldn’t believe it. There was a blinding white flash, and I couldn’t hear anything but my heartbeat for about 5 seconds. The only good thing was that it was brief.

Now I have more of a fear of the dentist than I had before. And I now know the joys of nitrus(sp?).


I have sprained both ankles countless times. Over the summer I shredded a bunch of tendons in my foot. I have also broken my nose, cracked both elbows, cracked 6 ribs at a Metallica show when I was a teenager, and dislocated my knees a few times. But I’m not a clutz or anything. :slight_smile:

The worst pain by far was a bursting ovarian cyst, which has happened a few times. I thought I was going to die, if I could have gotten myself to a phone to call 911 I would have. I passed out on the bathroom floor instead. There is a serious ick factor to the rest of the story, but I’ll save that for another day.

Getting zapped by an indeterminate amount of volts. It actually came from a broken payphone on a particularly nasty/rainy/thunderous day, or something. I’m not sure. It was a long time ago. Besides–once it happened, the only thing I remember was all the strength draining out of my body as it seized up and falling face-first onto the cement walkway. Unable to move, except for the occasional muscle seize. It was very painful. But I lived–so I can’t complain. :stuck_out_tongue:

When the dentist drilled my teeth. Without Novacaine. He said the cavities were too small to bother with it, and was done in about 2 minutes. But that was a very long two minutes. :frowning: