Picture this: you pour yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea. Eager to take that first sip, you don't wait until the liquid is cool enough. Ouch! Your tongue pulls back, your arm jerks, and now you've spilled your beverage.
When we experience pain, that's our body's way of keeping us safe. The nerves send a signal to your spinal cord and up to your brain to let you know, "Hey, this hurts!" That's acute pain.
There's also chronic pain, which is long-term pain that usually has something to do with a miscommunication between the nerves and the brain. There's a signal that something is wrong when really nothing is wrong.
Some people have experienced excruciating pain from accidents, surgeries, and illness. We wanted to know what was the most intense pain that people have ever felt.
Redditor Bright_Vision asked:
"What is the most physically painful experience you've had?"
These will make your toes curl!
Spinal cord collapse.
"When my spinal cord collapsed down on to the nerves going to my legs I legitimately wanted to die."
"I feel this. Broke my neck and back and ruptured 6 disks and blew out every ligament in my neck. The worst pain was putting a trail spinal chord stimulator in and running the leads from my butt to mid back. I was awake and was given no sedation."
"Toss up between kidney stones and appendix bursting. Wanted to die."
"Came here to say this. Appendix burst. Insane pain."
"1 week in hospital for infection. It was just horrible. Literally an organ bursting inside you."
"Were there any symptoms to begin with? Or is this one of those things that can just randomly happen to anyone without warning?"
"You’ll feel it, but it's hard to know that its the appendix. Feels like a stomach ache increasing in intensity over time from what I recall. Moving hurts quite a bit, especially if you wait before getting it checked out."
"Or you could be like me and not present with anything but some abdominal discomfort, no fever, no loss of appetite. I'm grateful they did a CT on me to check and make sure otherwise it could have been dismissed as gastro. I went from CT to ER to surgery in like 3 hours."
"Had an abscessed tooth. For two weeks, my life was nothing but absolute misery, and nothing would kill the pain. At one point, the dentist had to drip numbing agents on the exposed root because it would not freeze, and that felt like a hot needle being jammed behind my eye."
"Cue a new dentist phobia that has me terrified to even call them when I know there's an issue."
"My mom had an abscessed tooth, and at the worst stage she cried worse than I personally have ever heard her cry. Awful stuff."
Ovarian endometriotic cyst rupturing.
"An ovarian endometriotic cyst rupturing."
"I remember taking about ten minutes to crawl down the stairs to get to the phone so I could call my mom, 100% convinced I was dying."
"I woke up one morning before school and told my mom I felt like I was gonna be sick. She sent me to school anyways."
"I threw up twice on my way to my first class. Then I threw up during that class and went to the nurse. I threw up in the nurses office probably 10x by the time my mom came back for me (~45 mins). She took me home (at roughly 9am) thinking it was just a stomach bug and went back to work."
"She came home by 5pm and I had thrown up possibly another 15-30x since she left me at home. Instead of going to the doctors she rushed me straight to the ER worried my appendix burst. Threw up another 3x in the waiting room."
"I threw up/dry heaved somewhere between 30-60x in less than 12 hours at 11 years old. I legitimately thought that this was the end and I was dying with how awful the pain was. All to get told, 'Yeah it looks like you had an ovarian cyst rupture, so you might be getting your period soon.'"
"11 years old, hadn’t even had my first period yet, and my female organs already wanted me to feel like I was dying."
"That time a neurosurgeon drilled out the base of my skull, installed a plate there, and then drilled holes in my top two vertebrae to connect it all."
"Excruciating pain for months, but the worst was the first two weeks. Any time the pain meds wore off, I was in hell. It felt like nothing I’ve ever experienced before or since. I became an animal. I wasn’t capable of human thought or anything but screaming. It continued for a long time in a more muted way. When I tried to turn my head reflexively, when I accidentally shifted it forward. But the worst BY FAR was when I tried to sleep because I had no control over my movements then. I just woke up screaming many times each night."
"There was no escape. I was tired all the time, terrified of falling asleep again but also terrified of every potential movement. I had a very secure neck brace on 24/7 for months, but nothing was enough to stop this pain."
These Low Effort Jobs Have Surprisingly High Salaries | George Takei’s Oh MyyyHave you ever worked one of those jobs that paid you to kinda sit there? If you have, you know the joy that comes with watching the entirety of Breaking Bad ...
"Receiving Adriamycin chemo. The side effects made me wish for death at times."
"I actually get nauseous just seeing that shade of red now. No kool aid or fruit punch for me!"
"At least I’m alive though. 9 years NED."
"11 years later I still have the fear of that disgusting red. I'd get panic attacks just walking along the corridor to the chemo ward. It was always cleaned so thoroughly that even the smell of whatever cleaning chemical they used made me nauseous. It took me at least 5 years to be able to go outside without crippling anxiety."
A virus that caused 3 other illnesses.
"When I was a kid I was severely ill with a virus which led to extreme dehydration. At one stage I couldn't hold down food or water for days. I frequently woke up with severe abdominal cramps but one night I woke up and thought my head was splitting open with the worst migraine of my life. I was in so much pain that I couldn't stand or see. I just curled up and begged for the pain to stop."
"My father carried me to the doctors and my mother sat with me while the doctor told them it was 'just a virus and it will pass.' The doctor had been saying this for nearly two months. My mother snapped and demanded the doctor to at least examine me and not dismiss me. The doctor quickly concluded my appendix had burst and to bring me to ER."
"The second my father carried me into ER the nurse just took me to the back and I was rushed to ICU. Turned out the cramps were also from dehydration and the virus caused my lungs to collapse and gave me pneumonia."
"The headache and cramps was something I never want to experience again and make sure to find a way to always be hydrated. I was in so much pain I didn't even notice my lungs were failing."
"Honestly wasn't shocked reading this. I'll be dismissed 3-4 times before anything I have is looked at. Now I collect dismissals in writing so when there is a big problem I have the trail."
For many of the stories in the comments, the pain being so excruciating is what rushed them into surgery. For others, it was the result of such surgery.
What's important to remember that if it's acute pain, and it's intense, see a doctor and advocate to be evaluated. It might save your life.
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Americans often drop popular sayings in conversation that have some element of truth to them.
You've undoubtedly come across phrases like, "Kill two birds with one stone" or "it's raining cats and dogs."
While those are used to describe actions, like the state of the weather, there are other phrases that are dispensed as words of wisdom to help individuals through a challenging situation.
But the endeavor to console someone by using this tactic is not always effective.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor Braca5 asked:
"What popular sayings are bullsh*t?"
These sound familiar?
The Survivor Mentality
"whatever doesn't kill you just makes you stronger."
"Looks aren't important."
"It's true. They don't always or entirely matter, but they do. That's kind of how superficial humans are."
Not Every Pain Heals
"Time heals all wounds."
"There's another one that goes like this 'time heals nothing, it just replaces memories.'"
The stigma around this is so foul, the guilty will lie about their offensive crime.
"He who smelt it dealt it"
"Whoever said the rhyme did the crime."
Psychology Around The Guilt
"The irony is it's almost always the opposite that's true. Most people would rather just be quiet about a fart than try to put it on somebody else and as it is you usually become pretty accustomed to your own and probably don't even smell half of the ones that slip out so likely the person who dealt it is going to be one of the last to actually consciously smell it."
Playing by the rules doesn't always get you places.
"Cheaters never win."
"A better saying:"
'Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.' John Harington (1561 - 1612)
Comeuppance Never Comes
"What goes around, comes around."
"Bullsh*t. I've seen people be jerks my entire life (I'm 57 y/o) and they never got what should have come around to them."
Thing About Karma
"Worse, it's an excuse to not take responsibility. A few years back, I had discovered a nasty person who was fooling the public by buying dogs from Amish auctions of out of state, bringing them, unvaccinated, across state lines, and pawning them off on the public as 'rescues' but also taking loads of donations when she was not registered as a charity. She was not using the funds for medical care. The gal was a flashy blonde in designer clothes and knew how to fool people."
"The county authorities were investigating and needed more evidence. I approached the owner of a local pet supply store where she operated her scam and asked him to cooperate. He banned her from the store but completely refused to cooperate with the investigation. Excuse, 'Karma will get her.'"
"B*tch got off with just a fine when she would have faced animal cruelty charges."
"Karma? No, it's not a thing."
Those who adopt a passive way of thinking end up making up for lost time.
Turning A Blind Eye
"Out of sight, out of mind."
"Ever lost track of a spider?"
How Much Time Do You Have?
"Good things come to those who wait."
Lond Distance Relationships Aren't For Everyone
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
I think those who say "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," is debatable.
Depending on the situation, being forced to do something you once loved so you could earn a living can potentially breed resentment.
I'm a former dancer who absolutely lived off the adrenaline of performing on a stage. But when the cast I was performing with at a theme park was forced to do the same rigorous show five times a day–sometimes in intense heat–I was miserable.
Once, I severely twisted my ankle mid-performance simply because I was physically exhausted but continued giving it my 100% when my body was ready to give out. That's when most performance-based injuries occur.
That phrase certainly got a second hard look from me back then.
No two people share exactly the same likes and interests.
But on occasion, one might find themselves being among the few, if not the sole members of a certain fan club.
Indeed, while Cats earned a place on the list of the worst movies of all time, its 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes suggests that there are a handful of people who actually liked it.
Or while many people dread having to clean their homes, some simply can't wait to get started, and will look for any and every opportunity to do so.
Redditor StardustNova_ was curious to hear where members of the Reddit community found themselves in a distinct minority of appreciation, leading them to ask:
"What's something you like that the vast majority people hate?"
You've got me all tied up in knots!
"I love untangling things."
"Your Christmas lights end up in a ball and there’s no telling where it starts or ends?"
"Got a necklace that got rolled up into a total mess?"
"I’m your de-tangler."
"Headphones come out of your pocket looking like a Tangela? "
"Total zen for me."
"Wish I could make a few bucks with it tho."- Not_Jo_Mama
I'm all ears!
"People that talk a lot so I don’t need to."
"I like listening to them & I find their energy refreshing."- krasavetsa
"Everything about the airport."
"Idk why but it’s so fascinating."
"Honestly I like it more than the trip sometimes lol."- abigailgwhitneyairport GIFGiphy
"The cold never bothered me anyway"
"A Winnipeg winter day where there's not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind, but it's so f*cking cold out your nose hairs freeze together every time you breathe."- FakeLordFarquaad
When life gives you lemons...
"Apparently a lot of people don't like the lemon/yellow starburst candy, and that's the one I prefer."- mermaid_with_pants
Sudsy, soapy dreams...
"Doing the dishes."
"I find it so calming."- shakensunshineSeason 5 Episode 10 GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
The gift that keeps on giving.
"It's super therapeutic and relaxing to me."
"I'll wrap everyone's presents in the house, even the ones they have to give to other people!"- happygoose2022
Sweeet and sparkly!
"Fruit flavored sparkling water."- suitcaseinherhand
"It's raining, it's pouring..."
"Gloomy and rainy days."- eggtart_princerainy day GIFGiphy
Can't dive too deep!
"I got addicted to research when I was in college and something about putting everything together to present a coherent argument is just exciting for me."- ILoveFoodALotMore
It's always interesting to hear the thing which would make some people groan with misery that would make others cheer with glee.
Nor should always look down on someone for loving something you absolutely hate, as they could help you wrap those presents you've been putting off because you hate it so much.
And who knows, maybe Cats wasn't as bad as you remembered...
It's usually a good feeling to be "on top".
To be found at the top of the list of a notable or unique accomplishment.
Though having the distinction of being in the top 0.1 percent of something might not always be something to brag about, resulting in some keeping this distinction to themselves.
If only because some people might be unusually fascinated by their so-called "accomplishment", that they'll never stop being bombarded by questions.
Redditor ImLostInTheForrest was curious to hear if any members of the Reddit community believed they were in the 0.1 percent of anything, be it commendable, bizarre or unfortunate, leading them to ask:
"What’s something you believe you may be in the 0.1% of?"
A mighty heart indeed
"Scars on my heart."
"I have about 30, I think."
"On my 4th heart procedure, I had 24 cardiac ablations."
"They use radio waves to kill tissue to create scarring so that effectively signals can't travel through that way."
"During one procedure, epicardial, meaning both inside and outside the heart. by the top electrophysiologist on the east coast."
"He said only one other patient of his had more done in one procedure."
"Took 10 hours."
"I could hear the nurses gossiping about me in the hallway."
"This was 7 years ago, and now my heart is working great!"- pearlie_girl·
Extremely comfortable in my skin
"Half of my body is a birthmark of tan skin, and the other half is pale white."
"It's right down the middle of my stomach and same with my back."
"I've only ever seen 1 person online with it saying 'chimerism' but idk if that's same with me."
"Idk but it's uncommon." - User Deleted
"Still living with stage IV lung cancer for 13 yrs."- Flashy-Cattle-8086
Big shoes to fill indeed...
"I wear a size 18."- wearegoodthings
Love your job!
"Don't know if it's less cool because I do it for work, but I 'photograph' atoms and crystalline atomic structures most days."
"I get to see the world in a way few ever do which is kinda neat."- RayseBraizeAnimation Loop GIF by xponentialdesignGiphy
An exclusive club no one wants to be part of...
"I have this condition called Miyoshi Myopathy, which, thankfully, affects only my calves and hence my walking capabilities."
"My doctor told me it is rare, but tbh statistically rare does not really mean anything, everyone might have it but they either did not get out of their way to test it, via taking blood and had it examined in a lab, or they just never realized there was something wrong at all."
"If you are wondering why I said 'Thankfully it only affected the legs', it is because it is a muscle disorder, and some disorders affect Cardiac, heart, and Pulmonary, lungs, muscles that will obviously not be pretty."
"I have to get tested every year to make sure all my vital functions are normal and as of now nothing significant is noted and I should be living a long and healthy life."- 1123Icantthinkofname
It's harder than you think...
"Folks who know percentages."- mrg1957Giphy
"Apparently only 0.1% of people become mechanical engineers in the US and an even smaller percentage are women, so maybe that?"
"I was also less than 2 lbs when I was born, and I think the percentage is probably similar."
"I somehow have no lasting physical issues from that, though my sister has cerebral palsy."- s_p_o_c_k
Plenty to go around!
"I have 3 functional kidneys."
"No it doesn't mean I pee more."
"No it doesn't mean I can drink more alcohol, thats the liver."
"No I won't sell it for under $71,241." - User Deleted
While some wouldn't necessarily consider some of these things an accomplishment, all of them certainly make for fascinating conversation starters.
Seriously, where would the third kidney even go...?
They say there's no use crying over spilled milk, but that doesn't mean there's no use in saying something to diffuse the tension.
When something goes horribly wrong, a comment that comes out of left field or a quippy comment can make everyone feel better.
Once a particular comment proves effective, there's also no real reason to look for something else. Instead, the aforementioned comment becomes your go-to.
In order to find out what those effective comments are, Redditor CruelHandLucas asked:
"What is your favorite thing to say when something goes terribly wrong?"
It's A Story
"This is good for the plot."
"I always say "It's just a part of the character development""
"whenever something goes completely the wrong way i think “ooooh plot twist”"
"“Let’s start again, but this time with feeling,” is one of my favorites."
"I want this on my gravestone"
I Meant To Do That!
"One time when I used to work in a kitchen the head chef accidentally clipped the chip/fries bowl where you dump freshly cooked chips/fries to season them and sent it flying across the kitchen and crashing to the floor with the clang that only stainless steel kitchenware can emit. Without missing a beat he went "I'll just pop that there for a sec" totally deadpan and turned back to the counter by the passe where he was finishing plating some dishes. Something about the humour of it cut through all the chaos of the busy kitchen and I was in tears of laughter. 10 years later I still say "I'll just pop that there for a sec" any time I knock something over, no one else seems to find it as funny as I do but it still entertains me."
"In my kitchen when someone drops a plate or anything its mandatory for someone to tell them “that doesnt go there”"
"Sometimes before things even hit the ground I'll proclaim "Take that, floor!""
""Well that's not ideal, it's it?""
"Best friend is British. When we play golf and she hits a bad shot she just says, "well that's unfortunate." And I love it."
"i usually just shout “BIT SAD INNIT” in a British accent."
"…. My friends hate me"
"YES, QUITE BLOODY MISERABLE, I MUST SAY"
Show No Emotion
"With a neutral expression, and unemotionally."
"I do that but I say “Joy. Deep joy.” Completely deadpan lol."
You Never Saw Me. You Never Even Knew Me.
"I was never here"
"I was never given a name"
Stopped Too Soon
"I picked a hell of a week to stop sniffing glue"
"Whadda week to stop shooting shark adrenaline."
– Deleted User
"Ah gee scoob..."
Those Cartoon Responses
"Great googly moogly"
"I'm with this or "Oh bother" like pooh"
All Eyes On Me
"I like to pause time with a loud record scratch and say "yup. That's me. I bet you're wondering how I got here.....""
Sometimes, when things go horribly wrong, all you want to do is bang your head against the wall...sometimes, until you knock yourself unconscious.
Or, maybe you want to scream and cry and hide in a corner.
However, finding something fun to say may be the best response...and the best way to de-stress and move on.