May 12, 2023 at 12:17 pm

People Muse On What They Consider “Indescribable” Pain

by Trisha Leigh

No one likes to think about being in pain, but it pretty much inevitably happens to everyone. Most of the time we can manage it, whether with meds or just muscling through, but there are times when it gets the best of us.

These people have had moments when their pain was simply too great for words, so read on and hope they never happen to you.

It swallows me.

Can confirm losing a child is the most excruciating experience of one’s life. I’ve lost a husband (car accident) and then a child (leukemia). It’s all a mindfuck and has consumed my life.

I try to function best I can but I don’t see the world like a lot of people and grief has just been my norm for 19 years now. The pain and hurt is so much that if I think about it too much, it swallows me.

My daughter would have turned 13 yesterday 🫶🏼

No further details, please.

Rib pops out of your spine and wedges under your shoulder blade. I wished for death.

An acute attack.


Especially if it’s a major acute attack. That s*%t hurts soooo f**king bad it’s made me want to chop my foot off with a rusty axe if that would make it feel better.

Also, the systemic inflammation with gout is a b*%ch too.

Tooth stuff is the worst.

Having a tooth infection so bad that it points your other teeth in different directions because of the swelling.

Like an alien.

Migraines. I once tried to explain what they felt like to a friend who never gets headaches and he just looked at me like I was from another planet.

I seriously cannot.

I can’t describe it, but I can describe what it made me do.

One night, after a round of St. Patrick’s day brewery hopping, I brushed my teeth. I had a broken tooth that I thought was okay, but I guess prior to brushing I’d broken it to the point that I’d exposed the nerve. I brushed over the tooth in question, and in so doing I raked the brush over the nerve.

Within less than a second, my world was pain. My memory is spotty of the event itself, but I remember that it came in waves, and that during the worst of it, I couldn’t move. I saw stars and my vision got tunnelled, like I was looking through a paper towel tube.

I remember making my way to the toolbox that was in the laundry room, my thought process was I’d have enough time to get the vise grips on the tooth, then a wave would hit, then I’d just rip it out.

Fortunately my roommate got home before I could get the vise grips on and he took me to the hospital. I ended up having that tooth extracted, I have a bridge there now and it’s wonderful.

What I didn’t know until we got back was that my neighbor had called the police, my screaming alerted her that something was wrong. The deputies arrived while we were gone, and I had to explain to the police later that night that I was fine, I just had the mother of all toothaches.

Like you’re going to die.

Kidney stones! So much pain that I kept on puking the whole way to the hospital!

Unsettling, for sure.

I have a condition called Neurofibromatosis (type 1) My body is filled (hundreds) of benign tumours that grow on nerve endings. The pain is frequent and sometimes debilitating

Any other option.

Gallbladder attacks before you know what they are and how to lessen them. It started as this empty hungry feeling that got worse, then morphed into a pain that makes you pray for death.

I’ve given birth unmedicated twice and would do it a 3rd time if my other option was a gallbladder attack. Sweats, vomiting, weird animals groans, I even said ‘im dying call my mommy’ at one point.

I don’t even have one anymore and haven’t in over a decade, but I still get nervous when hunger sneaks up on me and I feel empty.

Just awful.

Stage 4 metastatic cancer involving lungs, throat, and lymph nodes. Bonus pain from fractured lower spine and concurrent kidney stones.

I hate the way fentanyl, OxyContin, and Dilaudid make me feel. Sometimes, I feel that it would be better to put my Glock in my mouth… f**k cancer.

Like a literal nightmare.

Abscess on the spinal cord In my case it was the l2 l3. 6 months undiagnosed.

Ate the entire vertebrae.

I would not like to imagine.

Cluster headaches.

Imagine waking up at 2am feeling a little funny… Then 15 minutes later, it feels like someone dropped a red hot metal ball right in the middle of your skull. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to move. It hurts to sit up and go take medicine. It hurts to cry. Everything you do causes an incredible supernova of pain. Imagine a Charley horse in your head that doesn’t stop for hours.

You spend hours curled up in bed in severe pain every night during your episodic period (anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks) trying to not move or breathe. If you’re lucky enough to wake up before the full onset and take medicine, then it’s just a bad migraine.

I’ve broken my collarbone, two ribs, and tweaked a vertebrae during a motorcycle crash. I would take that any day over a single night of cluster headaches.

That helpless feeling.

Watching your wife be in a severe state of depression and no matter what you do, not being able to help or pull her out of it.

Nothing like it.

Sciatic nerve pain.

I had a slipped disk for three years. The pain got worse and worse, but they refused to operate on me until I lost continence.

Well, once the surgery was over, I had a 12in scar up my spine and was told that I’d need a week in bed before physical therapy, as it was so bad.

Yeah, no. Same day, I was up and interacting with the PT people, because the pain of surgery was almost nonexistant compared to that sciatic nerve pain.

The absence of pain.

Adrenaline is one hell of a drug. I broke my back when I was 14 in a cycling accident. Shattered my T11 vertebra and dislocated T12. Knew I’d done it as couldn’t feel my legs immediately upon waking up in the ditch but I was in no pain and that scared me the most.

I had a 6 inch gash on my head, laying in a bush of stinging nettles in a T-shirt and shorts. And didn’t feel an ounce of pain. The only thing I cared about at the time was the fact that I was supposed to have my braces off a month later, but all my teeth were loose and only being held in by the braces, so I was panicking about my teeth.

But looking back, no physical pain being present in that moment is scary as hell. Especially considering I have chronic back pain now.

Emotional anguish.

The sudden death of someone (human or otherwise) who you love

Heartbreak in general. It really can cause your heart to physically ache, just on and on and on.

Unrelated to emotional anguish: cluster headaches

How terrible.

Voiding cystourethrogram. They insert a catheter up through the penis into the bladder to fill it with contrast dye and check the continuity of the urethra. Had to do it twice a year till I was 6 years old.

The mere memory of it causes physical pain/PTSD and I’ve never had sex because im too afraid to let anyone near my genitals.;

None of this sounds like anything I’d want to experience, describable or not.

Here’s hope I can avoid it for a few more decades.

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