Things That Are Far More Painful Than You Probably Think


One thing I’ve learned since being married to a man is that everyone’s pain tolerance scale is relative. It must be really hard to be a nurse and to figure out if someone is over or under-shooting on their pain unless you know them.

Me, for example? Yes, I wanted an epidural for childbirth and an IV of morphine when I passed kidney stones, but other than that, you have to force pain meds down my throat.

My husband had to spend THREE DAYS in the hospital following his hemorrhoid surgery because he was in pain. The nurses were rolling their eyes so hard I’m surprised they all didn’t end up on the floor, but listen – that’s his pain tolerance. Zilch.

While this means there might be wiggle room on some things, we think that these 15 things are, across the board, far more painful than most people think.

15. I’ve had a headache make me cry.


14. Having experienced horrible back pain just a couple of times, I can’t even imagine.

Spine injuries and back pain from it are no joke. I have eight herniated discs. When one of those strikes a nerve, literally, it will bring you to your knees.

13. You feel like a total wuss when it’s “just your finger” but yeah, it can be bad.

Finger injuries.

They seem so small and inconsequential compared to other types of injuries and pain, but I once managed to shut (and LOCK) my finger in a car door and discovered a whole new meaning for pain.

I’d always wondered why animals thrash themselves into greater injury when caught in a trap, and boy did I find out. There was no capacity for thought, only blind panic and me flailing wildly like a fish on a line.

I’ve had serious injuries before and since, had major abdominal surgery with a lengthy recovery time, developed repetitive motion injuries, etc, but nothing compares to that, even though it makes me feel like a weenie to say.

12. It hurts to breathe, but you can’t quit.

Breaking a rib. People see it all of the time on TV and think “I can survive that.” Plot twist, you can’t move for a while and when you do it hurts more than you can imagine.

11. Getting one as an adult really makes you sympathize with your kid.

Ear infections. It hurts to move your jaw at all and feels all stuffed up, but you can’t blow it like your nose. Stuff constantly coming out if it. Hurts and the only thing that helps even a little is having a hot compress on it, but the second you take it off it gets worse again. Not fun.

10. Can confirm that kidney stones are in no way a joke (and I hear they’re worse for men).

When I was 19, I was in a car accident. A lifted F-250 (big truck) hit our S-10 (little truck) in my side at 65mph. The frame buckled, which broke the seatbelt, and I went through the window. I bounced off the hood of his truck and rolled down am embankment. I broke basically every bone on the right side of my body, needed physical therapy for years, got a medical discharge from the Naval Academy, had three surgeries on my shoulder and two for plastic surgery to remove glass from my face. After six months my deflated punctured lung was back up to 80% capacity. I get my jackets tailored to have the right arm shorter than the left because of a bone graft.

I would do it all over again to never have another kidney stone.

9. I honestly never want to find out.

Not pooping. Constipation is no joke. I once went about a month without pooping and it was the worst time of my life. It took multiple enemas to get everything going again. Even just a couple days of not farting can hurt like hell.

8. Tooth pain is unholy.

Infected tooth – holy moly

7. I drink SO MUCH WATER in the hopes I will avoid another.

Kidney stones. I have a high threshold for pain, but my third stone was a doozy. First time I’ve puked/passed out from pain. Now I drink lemon water all day for fear of number four.

6. Every parent of a toddler knows this already.

This may sound weird, but being punched, especially in the nose. In movies, people will get punched really hard and just shake it off, but getting punched, even by someone weaker than you, can seriously hurt.

5. I have seen my husband writhing.

IBS anal fissures hemorrhoids

People joke about something burn more in the out than on the at in. But it can truly be horrific. On the ground crying fetal position kinda pain

4. I once spent two straight days on my back or crawling around.


I don’t get it any more, but dear God when I did (for a couple of years from herniated disc) it was agonising. Pain with no purpose (just a squeezed nerve) and painkillers don’t touch it.

3. Way too many people can sympathize with this one these days.

Getting tear gassed. Like it’s not a joke. We had a drill in the army to test if our gas masks worked right and mine didn’t.

2. This is some A+ storytelling.

When I was 27 my left ovary exploded in the middle of sex. One moment things are going fine and the next I’m screaming at my (then) boyfriend, “Get off!! Get off!! get off me!!!” Poor guy.

I wound up lying naked on the bathroom floor in the fetal position doing labor breathing exercises to try to will my way through the pain for about two hours until the immediate pain subsided. That was on Saturday.

Still didn’t feel right the next day and went to the ER and was misdiagnosed with possible appendicitis and sent home. Went to my GP the next day and they referred me to a Gynecologist. The Gyno referred me to get an ultrasound who then finally diagnosed me with a ruptured ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit. So that was three gynecological exams I endured in three days (the one in the ER had med student come in for a gander while I was in the stirrups) before getting any answers. I was getting ready to sell tickets to my cooter.

And to top it all off, this happened about a month after my 29 year old brother had died of testicular cancer so I was of course convinced I had some form of cancer as well and was currently dying. My mother who accompanied me to every doctor visit was of course terrified of losing her only remaining child as well.

In the end I was told there was nothing to do about the ruptured cyst but let the massive pool of blood sitting in my abdomen reabsorb at its own pace and that I might still feel the after effects for months, which of course sucked, but the relief of knowing it wasn’t cancer almost made the pain worth it.

It was about six months before the aching and cramping left and I could sit and stand fully upright

0/10. Do not recommend.

1. More doctors need to understand this, too.

Endometriosis. Doctor thought my flare up was a possible appendicitis or an I didnt know I was pregnant. Trying to pee on sticks in agony is not fun.

Everything between throat and knee caps was bringing me pain. You cant stand, sit or lie. You just writhe.

Do you want to argue any of these? Have something to add?

Let’s continue the discussion in the comments!