Saturday, August 10, 2013

Week the Thirty-First: Physical Pain

Ugh, I've fallen off my blog schedule in a big way lately, and I apologize for disappointing anyone who came around looking for it. I've been super busy with work-related writing the past few weeks and haven't had time to type anything else. I even took pictures for Wednesday's planned post, but then got a surprise assignment and couldn't do it.

Anyway. Moving on. Today work is getting shoved aside so I can write a new Introvert Social Hour post. I'm not sure whether it'll be a very picture-ific post because there are, after all, only so many hours in the day, but I'm writing the post if it's the last thing I do, dagnab it.

This week's topic is the worst physical pain we've experienced. I'm not sure how interesting this will be because, like Frieda, I've been pretty lucky in my life and haven't hurt myself very often. And I wrote about most of them in my post on five facts about me, so that doesn't leave much here. I shall, however, do my best to entertain you with my suffering starting in 3... 2... 1...

I guess the worst pain I've ever had was when I broke my hand. It was a horrific break of multiple bones and let's just say it was not much fun. My other broken bones were pretty minor in every way compared to that. However, it was only the worst for a fairly short time. After a few days it eased back some and became my second worst long-term pain.

The second worst pain I've ever had, and easily the worst in terms of extent, was when a cheap rent-a-dentist who was supposed to give me a root canal didn't believe that my mouth wasn't numb after three shots of local anaesthetic. I don't know why it wasn't numb because I'm normally very easily medicated -- over-sensitive to it, if anything -- but it wasn't. He was convinced that I was only feeling pressure and was determined to drill. I was young and stupid, in pain, and so poor that I didn't have any alternatives so, against my better judgment, I let him do it... for about one second. When the drill touched my tooth, I screamed like I was being flayed and jumped almost literally out of the chair.

I wouldn't let him touch me again and left immediately. I cried all the way home and most of the night because I was in so much pain, and the next day I started looking for another dentist to help me. I didn't have any money, but I would have sold anything at that point to get the tooth fixed. Unfortunately, it turned out (I later learned) that the trauma had damaged the nerve, and no dentist in that town would touch it. I started looking out of town, but it took me over a month to find someone, a three hour drive from where I lived, who would look at it. And even he couldn't get me in immediately.

In the end, I spent six weeks with a constant headache, neck and shoulder spasms, earache, tearing eye, and swollen face, eating an almost-entirely-liquid diet, and taking three aspirins every three hours 24/7. Not a fun time in my life. The new dentist gave me a general anaesthetic and that was the first time in weeks that I was able to get past the pain. Everything still hurt for a few weeks after that, until the inflammation went down, but at least I could feel it decreasing. I don't even have words to express the relief.

The third thing that comes to mind is my right knee. When I was in college, I was playing a casual game of touch football with a few friends when one of them decided it'd be hilarious to tackle me. That would have been ok, except that he hit me from the side while my foot was well planted, and my knee bent in a direction that it was never intended to bend. Fun times.

I should have had surgery at that time, but I was young and stubborn and decided to power through instead. I let it go for years, periodically re-injuring it due to its increasing instability as well as my own clumsiness. Every time I got hurt, the knee just got weaker, making it easier to hurt, and so on, a vicious cycle. I never have had surgery on it but I'll have to have it replaced eventually. It's pretty terrible. It randomly dislocates on a regular basis and sometimes it's hard to get it back in place, and it hurts like crazy until I do.

That's really about it. I have the occasional headache or minor injury like anyone, but overall I really haven't had a lot of catastrophic pain. Here's hoping my luck will hold out.

Thanks so much for reading this post! Be sure to leave any questions or comments below. I love hearing from you, you know! And if you're interested, you can also find me on Twitter.

If you haven't seen the videos that go along with this post, they are:

Jill, Kristina & Frieda

And that's it from me on this Saturday. Best wishes! <3

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