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  • Pain Thresholds

    I often wonder how "pain" is felt, from one person to another. I am sure that most people feel roughly the same pain level for most injuries or other causes. But just like anything else, we tend to be on curves of some sort, with some folks on the low end and some on the high end. Typically, the world of science say it's 80/20 for most aspects of life. In this case, 80% probably feel pretty much the same.

    Regardless.....

    I believe some people can handle the same level of pain much better than others. Some are pretty much heroic. They carry on, with their migraines and back pains and arthritis and chronic this or that, and just go with it. Or in more specific situations, like after an operation or even with a bad flu bug, whatever the case may be, they hardly ever complain. My youngest is a real trooper that way.....she used to just go to her bedroom and quietly get over it.

    Pain has a purpose. Trouble is, it can be excruciating. I feel for folks who have to deal with that degree of it. At some point, everyone needs some meds, as it can be unbearable.

    Sometimes I do think about how we may be different. I've had a number of kidney stones, and the ones that passed through did not hurt as much as I expected. Because I've heard horror stories about them. Then, last month I ended up in emergency, because the pain I had was too strong and lasted too long. One person said "if you throw up, it's probably a stone". That's what happened. It was another stone, but with a different outcome. Fortunately, after several hours, this one shifted and suddenly most of the pain was gone.

    The worst pains I've ever experienced, if I had to choose just one, was getting my "completely broken" leg fixed. I broke both bones sliding into third base, and was left with the Joe Theismann "hanging limb". Not pretty. Not fun. When they reset my leg, my whole body was wet with sweat. That pain lasted too long. And what bothered me was the insensitivity of the nurse that day. I never wish others problems, but if she could have felt what I felt, she would have changed her tune. No meds back then.....I guess we were supposed to be tougher or something???

    No pain no gain they used to say.......hmmmm, sometimes I wish to differ.

  • #2
    I've not got a high pain threshold, what I find really painful is getting cramp.... until you get that leg straight it makes me feel sick lol

    Nothing quite beats heartbreak though.... give me a broken leg anyday

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    • #3
      I come across plenty of people in pain obviously through my job. I couldn't tell you how diverse certain populations in their pain thresholds/tolerance to whatever specific surgery they've had, or what pathophysiological l process is effecting their body.


      I've seen an little 84 year old 4'11" 107lbs grannies following post open heart surgeries go through their ENTIRE post op course without flinching once. Drains out, up walking, and caring for themselves. It's amazing.

      With that said, I've also seen younger 53 year old males go through that same surgery in misery. Unwilling to get out of bed or help themselves progress, I've seen a lot of 'able' bodied people who appear to have better outcomes preop deteriorate over days post surgery.

      Pain is just so individualized, and sometimes hard and (annoying to a point) to try and treat.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bronx_2003 View Post
        I've not got a high pain threshold, what I find really painful is getting cramp.... until you get that leg straight it makes me feel sick lol

        Nothing quite beats heartbreak though.... give me a broken leg anyday
        I didn't list that one, but I know exactly what you mean!!! I don't wish it on anyone!!

        Originally posted by Peerless View Post
        I come across plenty of people in pain obviously through my job. I couldn't tell you how diverse certain populations in their pain thresholds/tolerance to whatever specific surgery they've had, or what pathophysiological l process is effecting their body.


        I've seen an little 84 year old 4'11" 107lbs grannies following post open heart surgeries go through their ENTIRE post op course without flinching once. Drains out, up walking, and caring for themselves. It's amazing.

        With that said, I've also seen younger 53 year old males go through that same surgery in misery. Unwilling to get out of bed or help themselves progress, I've seen a lot of 'able' bodied people who appear to have better outcomes preop deteriorate over days post surgery.

        Pain is just so individualized, and sometimes hard and (annoying to a point) to try and treat.
        You are one of our resident experts Brent, and your analysis puts it all in perspective.

        :thumb:

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        • #5
          I've had kidney stones 4 times. It's completely debilitating. I've broken fingers, my wrist, a toe, my nose, had lots of cuts that required lots of stitches, had a knee operated on yadda yadda. I'd take all of that at once over kidney stones lol.

          I think the way people react to pain is likely all that differs. I think most everyone likely feels more or less the same thing, some people are just more dramatic about it, or react to it differently.

          That being said, the last time I had kidney stones, I rolled around in the bathtub full of hot water moaning like a big-ass grown man-baby, drinking cranberry juice and water for about 2 days. lol I didn't have health insurance at the time, and had only developed a kidney infection from it once so I knew what to watch out for, so I made the judgement call when I felt it coming on to not go the the ER/ urgent care to get an xray, pee in a cup, and basically be told there was nothing they could do for it (I got small stones that passed on their own so they didn't have to ultrasonic them or go in after them) and leave with a prescription for some pain meds. Now, if you asked me while I was writhing in pain, I would have given you every cent I had on earth to get some. lol

          As far as being sick goes, a lot of times when I'm sick I still go to work (I probably shouldn't) and just tough it out unless I'm barfy or something. But when I get home, I think I definitely ham it up to get some extra attention from the wife
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          • #6
            Originally posted by kishzilla View Post
            I've had kidney stones 4 times. It's completely debilitating. I've broken fingers, my wrist, a toe, my nose, had lots of cuts that required lots of stitches, had a knee operated on yadda yadda. I'd take all of that at once over kidney stones lol.

            I think the way people react to pain is likely all that differs. I think most everyone likely feels more or less the same thing, some people are just more dramatic about it, or react to it differently.

            That being said, the last time I had kidney stones, I rolled around in the bathtub full of hot water moaning like a big-ass grown man-baby, drinking cranberry juice and water for about 2 days. lol I didn't have health insurance at the time, and had only developed a kidney infection from it once so I knew what to watch out for, so I made the judgement call when I felt it coming on to not go the the ER/ urgent care to get an xray, pee in a cup, and basically be told there was nothing they could do for it (I got small stones that passed on their own so they didn't have to ultrasonic them or go in after them) and leave with a prescription for some pain meds. Now, if you asked me while I was writhing in pain, I would have given you every cent I had on earth to get some. lol

            As far as being sick goes, a lot of times when I'm sick I still go to work (I probably shouldn't) and just tough it out unless I'm barfy or something. But when I get home, I think I definitely ham it up to get some extra attention from the wife
            kish.....you are a real "pain"






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            • #7
              I don't know if people feel the same amount of pain for the same issues, even if on a medical scale the issues were equivalent. It is true it effects everyone differently.

              I think same goes with physical pain as with emotional pain. Everyone has their limits as to what they can handle.

              Since my husband never really complains, I know he's in pain when he turns red and his blood pressure is off the charts.

              Physical pain wise, having my knee reset was extremely painful. They missed up when they first reset it, and advised they had to dislocate it and reset it again. I started crying and told them just to leave didn't care if it healed right. They paid no attention - and did it a second time. It didn't hurt so much dislocating it but putting it back sucked. Other than that headaches and earaches that can't be resolved with over the counter meds and require vicodin to lessen are my more common pain ailments.
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              Adopted Bronco - 2018/19 - Derek Wolfe
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sophia23 View Post
                I don't know if people feel the same amount of pain for the same issues, even if on a medical scale the issues were equivalent. It is true it effects everyone differently.

                I think same goes with physical pain as with emotional pain. Everyone has their limits as to what they can handle.

                Since my husband never really complains, I know he's in pain when he turns red and his blood pressure is off the charts.

                Physical pain wise, having my knee reset was extremely painful. They missed up when they first reset it, and advised they had to dislocate it and reset it again. I started crying and told them just to leave didn't care if it healed right. They paid no attention - and did it a second time. It didn't hurt so much dislocating it but putting it back sucked. Other than that headaches and earaches that can't be resolved with over the counter meds and require vicodin to lessen are my more common pain ailments.
                That knee problem you had sure sounds nasty. But you dealt with it. (Good on you, even if at the time you felt like leaving....it's understandable.)

                Even the common ailments make things hard for many of us.

                Take care.

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