But with the hip surgery, I have to admit that I have had some moments of literally screaming pain.
The surgeon said he did about a full half hour of cauterization to prevent another bleed (hematoma) and infection that happened last time...so not sure if this is causing the extra-extra sting.
Usually when they ask my level of pain, I say like 2-3, because I imagine a 10 being some horrible torture like being sawed in half (while hung upside down--actually saw this in a movie) or flayed of your flesh, burnt alive at the stake, or quartered by horses--or countless variations on these.
Let's just say, the medieval tormentors had this torture stuff down.
In a way, I almost feel guilty expressing my post surgical pain (sort of child's play) relative to these made-to-order cruelties.
Of course for pain, the doctors give you medicine, but honestly I don't like to take these because of side-effects and even addictive properties.
But the nurse and physical therapist told me not to let the pain get ahead of me, because then it is harder to control it (and also harder to do the full PT and get the benefits from it).
In the hospital, I was amazed that some people had so much pain (i.e. me) and others just sat there in PT seemingly shrugging off the whole experience.
Still I made it the full loop with the walker the first day (which the therapists told me is maybe 3x what most others do at that point).
Another thing that I am thinking about with pain, is how do you compare emotional and physical pain--which is worse?
The loss of loved ones, deep disappointments, suffering with sickness or disability, anxiety and depression can certainly cause a lot of pain inside--those are the screams that often no one hears.
Also, that hurt can often lead to physical sickness and bodily pain and vice versa--so they are not mutually exclusive.
My father used to tell me that "When you have your health you have everything."
I think this is partly because if you don't have your health, you can't really do or enjoy much else anyway--so good health is sort of a precursor to all other activities and pursuits.
Probably the worst pains are the ones where their is simply no hope of getting better...and you just have to accept the loss or the end.
The corollary that my father taught me was "Where there is life, there is hope!"
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)