Everyone has varying pain tolerances, so there’s a good chance that what you find to be unbearable, someone else could handle with barely a wince.
That said, there are some experiences that rock the human body no matter who is in charge of it and how tough they are when it comes to pain – the kind of physical pain that’s impossible to forget.
These people are explaining those moments in their lives, and so maybe take some notes so you know what to avoid in the future.
1. Kidney stones are terrible.
Kidney stone blocked my urinary track and got stuck, basically the sharpest pain I’ve ever felt in my lower back, and my bladder would just fill up and it would make me puke and I just kept doing it until I got to the ER, definitely wouldn’t recommend lol.
2. Ahh the infamous “period pain.”
Appendicitis. Was sent back to work for two weeks when it was misdiagnosed as “period pain”. I was pretty ill when I finally got to hospital.
I had it when I was 13 and I remember just rocking back and forth in my bed sobbing. It was nighttime so I didn’t want to disturb my parents but it finally got to the point I had to.
My mom drove me to the ER and the doctor said oh it’s just a bad stomach ache here’s some antacid. I said no way, took the medicine, and as they pulled the curtain back to let me go I vomited all over the floor.
They did a few more tests and then rushed me into surgery for an emergency appendectomy.
3. Extended pain.
As horrible as it looks, the rash itself doesn’t hurt all that bad. The nerves underneath are inflamed, and will send out a 100% pain signal at the slightest touch.
Even a light sheet brushing over it was enough to take my breath away and leave me writhing.
And it lasts for weeks.
4. His father cried.
I had a birth condition called pectus excavatum. In a nutshell, my sternum did not grow out with the rest of my ribcage, and my chest appeared to “cave in”.
When I was 15, I had a Nuss procedure to correct it. I had a metal rod placed and my sternum was “cranked” into place. The rod was fixed to allow the sternum to grow into the proper position.
I grossly simplified these two things, but its just for context…specifics aren’t relevant.
Was in the hospital for a week. My chest was inflamed as hell, eating was sometimes difficult but not unbearable, and moving around was a bit uncomfortable. Nothing really painful happened at the hospital oddly enough. It was they day I went home…
I had not produced a BM since the procedure (1 week +). The doctors and my parents tried everything from a suppository to a full blown aenema and nothing. I get home and my dad starts pumping me full of prune juice.
That evening, we are eating dinner, and my dad keeps telling me to drink more prune juice. I tell him that I’m full and not feeling all that good. Dad pushes me to keep drinking more. I relent and keep drinking. And then….it hits….
I beeline to my bathroom to try and puke…but my chest is still inflamed and my body simply could not throw it up. Whatever it was that was coming up was fighting against a swollen chest cavity and it felt like I was being ripped open from the stomach up.
At the same time, I couldn’t breathe. I was basically drowning in my own vomit. I genuinely felt like I was going to die and I was powerless to stop it.
After what seemed like minutes, I finally vomited it out. I dont even know what it was, and I didnt care. I was laid out on my bathroom floor wailing in pain to the point that it drove my siblings out of the house.
After it was all over, my dad helps me off the floor, hugs me, and says “I’m so sorry, son”… it’s one of only two times in my life that I saw my father cry….the other was when his mother died.
And in an instance that can only be described as “…because of course”, the BM occurs a few hours later.
5. At least you get a baby after labor.
I totally agree about shingles pain. When I gave birth to my second child I had no painkillers at all, and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. Got shingles on my neck a few years ago and it felt like someone was holding a blowtorch to my skin.
Even good pain killers couldn’t touch the pain. At least childbirth was over in a few hours, the weeks of shingles pain was the worst thing ever.
6. I cannot do tooth stuff.
Had a tooth drilled and pulled out piece by piece. One of the roots of the tooth that was being removed was stuck under the root of a healthy tooth.
The dentist stopped and told me to go to a emergency surgeon where I waited in the lobby for an hour and a half for him to finish up with someone else.
The numbing from the previous dentist was long gone and I was stuck waiting with a drilled hole in my mouth and exposed root waiting. I can’t even think about that memory to long before I get sick to my stomach.
7. Seriously, stop it.
I had a wisdom tooth pulled in prison. The toothbrushes they give you are super short (so it’s harder to stab someone with them if you file one end to a point), so my already damaged wisdom tooth on the bottom needed to be pulled. It took months to finally get an appointment with the prison dentist.
When I went in, I told him what the problem was, he said they’d pull it and gave me a form to sign basically releasing them from all liability. I laid back in the chair and then someone came over and held me down, the “dentist” pried my mouth open, and took a tool and literally jammed it under my wisdom tooth in one swift motion. He then yanked it up in another swift motion, basically ripping my wisdom tooth out in the most violent possible way.
No numbing shots or even any fucking Orajel. The pain was literally blinding – my ears started ringing and I just saw white for several seconds. They then just stood me up, pushed me out of the room, and the guard there gave me a single, small square of gauze and told me I could get some low-strength ibuprofen from commissary next week if I had any money on my books. My jaw and mouth were sore as fuck for like a week.
I also had a molar that was infected and abscessed at one point while I was locked up. They wouldn’t do anything for me and the ibuprofen wasn’t cutting it, so I traded some stamps to a guy from laundry for a safety pin and traded some more stamps for a lighter.
Sat in my bunk one night and heated up the end of the safety pin to sterilize it and then dug it into my gum below the infected tooth and dug around until I managed to drain the abscess. Hurt like f**k, but my tooth felt so much better afterward.
8. Well that’s terrible.
A few years ago I randomly got pain circling my abdomen around my ribs. It had me screaming on the floor in tears while wrapping my arms around my middle.
It came on so suddenly and my brother (who was with me) had no idea what was happening. He rang 999 and they sent a paramedic. By the time the paramedic had arrived, maybe 15-20 minutes later, it had already started to subside.
The paramedic couldn’t figure it out so I ended up going to the hospital. After multiple tests no one could give me an answer to why I just suddenly had such agonising pain.
To this day it’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt and I don’t even know what triggered it.
9. Cancer can go piss up a rope.
I have cancer, on chemo I have to take these bone marrow booster injections. They cause bone pain. The first time it happened I thought I was dying.
I swear I could feel every vertebrae…my ribs had toothache…it felt like I had rodents IN my bones trying to gnaw their way out.
I now take oramorph to counteract the pain, it’s bearable then.
10. That dang gallbladder.
Woke up around 4am with a horrible, searing pain on my right side like, inside my ribcage. Felt like the worst side cramp I ever felt in my life. It hurt so badly that I could hardly actually breathe, bc breathing aggrevated the spot.
Somehow managed to get myself to the minute clinic down the road right when they opened at 7am (spent my time lying in agony in my bed up until then, pretty sure the pain was so bad I cried a bit too).
Minute clinic immediately wanted to send me to the hospital, I was in no condition to drive myself there, so I found my only friend with a car awake at 715 in the morning and I spent the day in the hospital. Did a bunch of tests but nothing came back conclusive so they told me they thought I had pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs.
I still to this day dont really think that’s what I had, I still think it must have been something potentially gallbladder related
11. I feel like that’s not the correct procedure.
Post joint replacement wake-up. Because of the anesthesia, they said they had to wait for me to be fully awake before giving me any pain killers and f**k did it hurt a lot until the third round of Dilaudid.
12. No coffee?!
Gout is my #1 as well. I get mild cases often and deal with it but I feel like it’s misunderstood by many people how debilitating and painful it can be. The worse case I had was when the inflammation was up to my left knee and barely got my shoe off because of the pain and swelling.
The pain is like when your foot starts coming too after falling asleep, that intense tingling, well amplify that, if doesn’t go away and gets worse if you touch it or step.
Caffeine triggers mine so I live with constant inflammation or lethargy, thanks Dad lol.
13. One of my nightmares.
I was supposed to get a spinal, but apparently after they dosed me with the sedative/amnesiac I decided not to let anyone near my spine, so they just knocked me out instead.
Had to have the same surgery on the other side a few months later and did get the spinal, which made for a better post op, but the flip side was that I woke up during the surgery and the nurse had to lean on my chest to keep me from trying to get up off the table (which I’m sure would have been disastrous). They put me back under in short order, at least from the perspective of my memory.
14. There was no escape.
This may get buried in the comments but when I was 23 I got Rhabdomyolysis. Basically it’s when you’ve broken down your muscles so much that the proteins clog your kidneys.
I kid you not it was the absolutely worst thing I have ever experienced. The smallest of movements sent excruciating pain through every muscle in my body. Even when I was trying not to move to avoid the pain there was still a deep pain, there was literally no escape.
I eventually had to go to the hospital to get constant fluids for like 4 days. Moral of the story, always drink water, and when working out, if your body says stop then stop.
15. It’s another level.
I ended up breaking my tooth in half while eating chipotle, bout lost my mind so I made an appointment at a dentist office that was open on the weekends. I went to the dentist office and their confidence comforted me. “Oh yeah we will just fill it in and then that’ll be 400$” okay sweet. HA not so sweet.
The pain NEVER went away, it would slowly grow. I couldn’t eat anything or even drink anything cold. The pain grew to where I couldn’t move my jaw and tears would just come out as the shocks of pain would continue. Went to back to the dentist I went to, and long story short when they filled in my tooth, they filled it right on top of a nerve AND NOT ONLY THAT, but it also caused an infection.
The dentist who told me said “man I don’t know why they would do that.” Then proceeded to tell me that it will be 2800 to get it fixed. So I said eff that, left in horrible pain, took the stupid prescription they offered me, had my parents go get it from the pharmacy because I was basically dying in bed, blacking out from the pain.
The pain medicine was love. No more pain. Ah so great.
Next day went to a different dentist, they fixed me up, gave me a root canal and boom bam all better aside from the minor lock jaw for two hours from those bite guard things lol
16. Back pain can put you on the floor.
I once pinched a nerve in my lower back moving a 3 pound chair 6 inches. You want to talk about then kind of pain that leaves you a crippled mess on the floor?
And this is coming from a dude who’s been hit by a car while riding a bicycle. Granted, I don’t remember much of that, but still!
17. Give the people their drugs.
I recently went through two major surgeries back to back including a C-section. After it was over the hospital didn’t give me any good pain medication because they’re worried about addiction apparently.
My spine was hurting terribly, my stomach, and my neck. I was pretty much only able to move my arms without pain and had to deal with that having only maximum strength Ibuprofen. Recovery was painful.
18. That sounds highly unpleasant.
I’m highly tolerant of anesthesia (numbing shots), and that diagnosis did not reach my Urologist when I got a vasectomy.
I felt the whole thing. Everything. All of it.
The nurse took me aside afterwards and asked me how I was doing and she said, “I’ve done 5,000 of these, and I’ve never seen a patient feel that much of the procedure.”
19. Pain everywhere.
Sepsis. I was feeling awful. Pain everywhere. Nausea. Back pain. I went to the doctor, he said I had the flu. The flu test came back negative, but, he still thought it was the flu. (It was New Years day, I think the doc just wanted to go home.)
Three days later, I felt like I was dying. Went to the ER.
I woke up four days later in the ICU. Doctors and nurses looked really surprised when I was talking and asking questions.
Turns out, I had had full blown septic shock. I had 105 fever for days. They really didnt think I would make it.
It’s a great story to break the ice with.
20. Time for a new dentist.
I was getting a cavity drilled out and told the dentist I could still feel everything. He said it had been long enough and it must be working and went ahead with it. Hurt pretty bad.
Whole mouth went numb 10 minutes after I left the office.
21. Sounds like a nightmare.
Been there too. I was 17 and in the hospital ICU for 9 days total. It was only the third time I went to ER because I puked up not just undigested food, but actual rotten food that had been sitting in my stomach for days.
My intestines had completely stopped working, I had barely been walking for days, I looked pregnant but no one believed me. They told my mom if I hadn’t been admitted there was a good chance I would have died in the next 24 hours.
I had a pic line in for a month and a half after I left the hospital. 3 surgeries total for it. I weighed 107lbs when I left the hospital, I looked so sick for a very long time, I felt so sick for a long time.
I had to see specialist after I left. They could never figure out WHY I went septic.
22. A fluke, for sure.
Going off a bouncy castle slide wrong and getting a friction burn that took off most of the slim on my knee cap. (wasn’t the most painful but it’s a bit more memorable than what actually was).
23. Stop it. I don’t want to hear more.
Toss up. I had my hand covered in 700 degree hot asphalt. It was horrible. Took four hours I’m the ER and two pain killer shots to make it through. They basically had to chisel it off in sections because they couldn’t tell what was still living tissue and dead tissue.
Also had my GF of the time poke me in the eye with her long finger nails. It went straight through the pupil slicing it exactly in the center. It starting squirting liquid and good out. Went to the hospital three days later because my dad said it wasn’t that bad. Excruciating.
24. It’s the worst when you don’t know what it was.
I’ve had Epididymitis(Inflammation of the tube at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm.) It constant pain that lasts for a couple weeks usually and feels like you got kicked in the balls.
Also, not sure what it was, but I had a sore throat that felt like I’d just swallowed a baseball with razor blades in it that was sprinkled with salt and some lemon juice thrown on it for some extra kick. My throat still doesnt feel right and its been years since that happened.
25. A shocking moment.
I was helping my dad to replace the windows at our house when I was in high school. I went to carry a rotten frame to the trash pile. The window glass slid through the frame and hit me in the shin, slicing a piece of my shin bone out.
It hurt so bad that I went into shock, fell down, and vomited on myself. It was a 105 degree day in Texas and I managed to burn myself on the asphalt I fell on.
My dad didn’t realize I’d been hurt for about ten minutes and had to help me get up and get inside because of blood loss and being in shock. It was the worst.
I kept the piece of bone that came off my shin.
26. It’s the worst.
Labour after they gave me pitocin (oxytocin).
I had the easiest labour, but it was moving slowly so they gave me pitocin, and then it just felt like death. It was basically one constant contraction after that point.
27. Most people feel this way.
Toothache. I have given birth without pain meds three times but I would rather do that every single night of my live than feel one second of tooth pain.
28. Ear stuff wigs me out.
Worst overall: Endometriosis. Shit sucks.
Honourable mention: involuntary ear lancing. I had an ear infection and we went to A&E. While looking in my ear with the torch on a stick thing they use the nurse pushed a little too far, I heard a snap noise in my head, and then an apocalyptic pain in my ear.
I started screaming (which really worried my mum because I was usually a silent sufferer as a child) and the nurse basically told us nothing was wrong and sent us home. Blood and pus came out of my ear for days, I had to sleep with an old towel on my pillow.
Funnily enough, purposefully bursting the eardrum is a thing, to relieve pressure from fluid built up behind it. Only it’s usually done with anaesthesia :’)
29. More than uncomfortable.
The insertion of a Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomy (RIG) tube into my stomach.
I was told that it would be “uncomfortable” by the ward consultant and junior doctors but that I would be fine. I was awake for the procedure but sedated and given a strong painkiller before it got underway (Midazolam for the sedative, Fentanyl for the painkiller).
During the procedure I felt nothing, being essentially stabbed by a medical professional in the stomach wasn’t painful when these drugs were still in my system. But a few hours after my last dose of the medications and the pain was… out of this world INSANE.
It felt like the equivalent of being relentlessly punched by a bodybuilder continuously in the same spot if you can imagine that. They administered morphine every hour or so on the first day but it did little to reduce the pain and to make things worse, because I also had pneumonia at the time, any time I would cough my abdominal muscles would contract and it would be unbearable but I couldn’t help it. It took probably a week for the pain to go away completely(ish) and that was with daily opiod administration in the hospital Wars.
30. Probably afraid he was paralyzed.
Stupid move doing a belly flop on a trampoline. Did a human scorpion something fierce and felt every bone in my vertebrae pop, even up and through my shoulder blades.
Took me about 10 mins to catch my breath and move from the spot.
I’m going to do my best never to find myself a victim of these things, y’all.
What’s the worst physical pain you’ve experienced? We want to hear about it in the comments!