I've been so fortunate never to have broken a bone, and I'm hoping it never happens. (Something tells me I wouldn't handle it well.) I have herniated a disc before, and it's an experience I don't recommend to anyone. Have you had sciatica before? You don't want it.
After Redditor qwerrtyqwerrty asked the online community, "What was the worst physical pain you've ever experienced?" people mined their... um, trauma, and shared their experiences.
"I came to Japan..."
I have an approximately 6" third-degree burn on my arm that became infected; I've had a board go through my bottom lip; broken bones; landed on my back after doing a backflip off a 30' bridge. But by far the worst pain for me was an infected tooth.
It was like scorching hot sheet metal being sheared in my jaw. I don't know how else to describe it.
I had a metal crown on over a root canal but my tooth had broken not big enough for me to remove the crown, but enough that the inside was exposed.
I'd lay on the floor with my head between my knees and I could feel the infected liquid come out and hit the metal crown. It was like drip drip drip and each drip was almost blackout-inducing.
I took a diabetic needle and filled it with the strongest liquor could get and squirt it into the hole to numb it and disinfect it as well as I could. I couldn't afford the dentist in the US. I remember getting the tooth pulled would be ~$600 but I was a super broke college student.
This lasted like 2 years.
I came to Japan and they mostly fixed it, no more pain, in like 45 minutes and it cost ~$30. I cried when I paid. I couldn't believe is gone through so much pain for so long and it was so easy and cheap to fix outside of the US.
"I am losing my molar..."
I am losing my molar and the pain is unbearable. I live in the San Francisco area and remember reading about the people that jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and one back in the day wrote on a note "nothing more than a tooth ache" I used to think it was wild. Now I understand.
"I had a root canal treatment..."
I had a root canal treatment once, and for some reason part of the tooth nerve was in a place it shouldn't be. So the dentist didn't remove all of it. The first few days were just very painful, but after that it became horrific. The dentist couldn't find the problem until after almost two weeks, when the infection was gone and I could pinpoint the place where the pain originated (actually, the dentist poked with something in my tooth and I had to say where it hurt most, direct metal-nerve contact wasn't even that bad at that moment). Painkillers barely did anything. There was only pain. Couldn't eat or sleep or think, just continuous excruciating pain. Basically, the nerve was lying in the open and continuously in contact with disinfecting paste.
Whenever a doctor asks me to score the pain for something, I have to remind myself that this tooth pain isn't the norm. Otherwise I'd never score above 2 or 3 on a scale from 1 to 10. Some pain can be very uncomfortable, but up to now it never even comes close to this. Even though I passed out from pain twice, it doesn't really compare with the root canal horror.
"I accidentally hammered..."Giphy
I accidentally hammered my penis one time. I was hammering nails in a weird position. With each leg hanging of one side of the plank. The nail was being hammered about a quarter foot from my crotch. I sneezed mid swing and the hammer hit hard. It didn't leave any lasting injuries but it hurt like hell and preening did too for a week.
I was changing the brake pads on my car and the jack collapsed. The entire car crushed my arm and pinned me to the ground. It was in an apartment complex and there were people outside that heard me yelling for help. A guy and an older lady came and tried lifting the car enough for me to pull my crushed arm out. The skin was peeling off as I pulled with all my might once I felt some pressure release and just before my arm was out, the car slipped out of the lady's hands and crushed my hand. At this point I'm trying to get her to lift for 2 more seconds so I can get my arm out and after what felt like an eternity I finally got it out. I can't describe what having your arm and hand crushed feels like but it was the most intense pain I've ever felt. I kept going unconscious because of the pain until they hooked me up in the ambulance.
"I had a condition..."
I have a condition called Proctalgia Fugax. This is an uncontrollable spasming of the rectum and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. It always happens in the middle of the night and feels like I've been probed by aliens without lube. They don't know what causes it but I can go months without an attack and then 2 or 3 nights in a week. It is absolutely brutal.
"A few years ago..."
A few years ago, I was going to the dentist often since my teeth were damaged due to teeth grinding. After he fixed like 5 teeth he's like "oh, we missed something here" And he started diving into my tooth without any anesthesia going "shhhh, it doesn't hurt". It was the last time I went to to see him.
"Well I get to my dentist..."
I was born missing one of my adult teeth so I needed a false tooth to replace it. I had a surgery to insert a titanium rod into my skull and once that had healed I would have a porcelain tooth attached to it.
Well I get to my dentist three months after the initial surgery and she gets a special screwdriver and starts unscrewing the cap. Except she's going the wrong direction. She thinks it's stuck so she pushes harder I start to feel the flesh in my head pulling, then ripping and the sharp pain of bone splintering.
I scream and try to push this lady out of my mouth and she looks at me with the most condescending face and says "it doesn't hurt that bad you need to calm down"
And that's why I'm afraid of dentists.
"Was later told..."
Septic shock with systemic organ failure. Was later told it's to closest to dying you can feel without actually dying. 1000/10 don't recommend.
"When I was 5..."
When I was 5, me and my family had just arrived at our vacation hotel. I was super psyched since the car ride was like 8 hours. I walked up to the pull door, with flip flops on, and flung the door open right on my foot. It pulled my big toenail on my right foot clean off, and it bled for a super long time. Took the better part of a year for it to heal fully.
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