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[–]BlessedLightning 2421 points2422 points  (285 children)

Is it really supposed to hurt? I've had three and it never hurt. The first one I got felt uncomfortable but not really painful. I just close my eyes and wait for it to be over. I guess you just could be different, or maybe the doctor was more aggressive than usual. After that experience I'd be inclined to try a different test facility if one is available. Unfortunately you should get another test as others have noted, as you didn't wait long enough.

[–]count-the-days 1219 points1220 points  (114 children)

I’ve gotten two and both were perfectly fine, it was uncomfortable for sure but my eyes barely watered. My sister got them done right after me and bawled her eyes out from the pain. I think it must have something to do with your nasal passage

[–]audreyrosedriver 779 points780 points  (61 children)

This is the correct answer. Everyone’s nasal passages are different sizes and the tester is only one size. Plus, you’re own nasal passage size can very with inflammation. The tester needs to get very deep and for some this means getting past a constricted opening.

Source: FF/paramedic who contracted it and had to have 5 tests before I could return to work. I also have very narrow nasal passages so I know how bad it can be. Also, I have worked the local public health testing site and have performed or seen performed nearly 500 tests.

[–]Zola_Rose 122 points123 points  (41 children)

That’s why I’m afraid to get mine done on Monday. I have narrow nasal passages and they’re usually inflamed (dry/stuffy). I’ve thought about using nasal spray to try to make them happy, but I don’t know if that will impact the test.

I wish they could just do the throat swab, I can handle that like a champ.

[–]shellybearcat 61 points62 points  (25 children)

I put a longer comment on the post but if you’re in the US at least many places now either swab just your lower nostril, or if you request will do a cheek swab (they default to the nose because it’s less risk of exposure to the person administering the test I believe). Possibly outside the US too but I can’t vouch for that. Early pandemic they thought getting super up in there was necessary for reliable results but turned out not to be the case-but I don’t think all places updated their methods

[–]mkp666 56 points57 points  (3 children)

This doesn’t really reflect the current consensus of the medical community. For starters, the nasopharyngeal (way up the nose) swabs pose a higher risk to providers because they often trigger sneezing and/or coughing which the other methods don’t. In regards to nasopharyngeal swabs vs nasal mid-turbinate (<1 inch up nose) ones and oropharyngeal (back of the throat) the consensus is that the viral loads are more concentrated in the nasopharynx allowing early (and later) detection as shown in several studies.

There are new techniques being developed that show promising results for saliva based testing, but this has not been deployed. Additionally there are reasons why nasopharyngeal swabs might not be preffered for certain patients due to compliance/discomfort reasons, or for situations in which patients are asked to self-administer a test. The other swab types will detect infections as well, just with a lower sensitivity.

The gold standard for the time being remains the nasopharyngeal swab administered by a trained healthcare professional.

[–]FuzzyManPeach 25 points26 points  (13 children)

I'm in Arizona, my partner got a test last week and they did a salvia test. He just spat into a little tiny tube with a straw and that was it. They gave a salvia test to everybody who had an appointment (big drive-thru operation), and a lower nostril swab for those who didn't have an appointment.

[–]protoSEWan 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Interesting. Most saliva tests have been too inaccurate to be useful. Was it SalivaDirect?

[–]Trilyn-error 12 points13 points  (1 child)

If you breath in through the nose as they’re doing the test it helps!

[–]jct0064 41 points42 points  (9 children)

I suspect some testers are diggers.

[–]urbanAnomie 53 points54 points  (4 children)

ER nurse here. Trust me, we hate it as much or more than the people we're testing. However, I'm not wasting a precious test (the rapid tests are STILL in short supply) and possibly contributing to the spread of the pandemic by doing it half-ass and getting a false negative.

[–]eljefino 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Buddy's wife just graduated as a nurse in this whole mess. She administers the test by telling the patient she's counting to three, then going in at one. Thank you for doing it deeply/ properly.

[–]teebob21 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Gotta get a brain sample

[–]Greenstripedpjs 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I've had numerous tests and some are worse than others. Some test kits are different as well, some are thicker than others as well.

[–]babytommy 40 points41 points  (3 children)

I’ve had a couple and it was a bit uncomfortable, but not the excruciating pain I had been expecting from how everyone else describes it. My eyes watered and I felt like I had to sneeze, and it hurt the tiniest bit. I think it might not be very common for people to not experience pain, the nurses were surprised by how well I took it. My boyfriend found it very painful.

I definitely don’t have a high pain tolerance though. I’m a bit of a baby, never been stung by a bee and I’m REALLY afraid of it happening. Generally when a doctor tells me “this might pinch” it hurts more than a pinch!!

[–]OtillyAdelia 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The feeling of having to sneeze was the worst part for me, with the prolonged feeling of suuuuuper dry sinuses afterwards coming in a close second. During, though, I just kept thinking, "don't sneeze, don't sneeze, do not sneeze" lol

[–]PM_Me_Melted_Faces 192 points193 points  (23 children)

I have a high pain tolerance. I dislocate things frequently and have had migraines since I was 8.

I legit thought the phlebotomist who jammed that "nasal swab" up my nose punctured something and went into my brain, that's how bad it hurt. I'd rather have a migraine while dislocating both knees at once than do that again.

[–]im_thatoneguy 59 points60 points  (11 children)

Doctors must have done something wrong. I've had 4 and pain has never been even on the menu of sensations I experienced.

[–]JaylieJoy 72 points73 points  (8 children)

It's not anything to do with how they're doing it. We all have different nasal passages.

It didn't help I had a very sore throat at the time, and ultimately the throat is what they're going for.

[–]CrazyGoatLady123 47 points48 points  (14 children)

There are a ton of responses on here saying how it has 0 pain and anyone who experienced pain is a whiny baby etc etc. I think it's different for everyone. I got tested way back in the beginning and it was agony for the first swab (I had to get 3 swabs total for a flu test too) I think because they were inexperienced and I didn't know what to expect so I ended up with every muscle tensing cus that things going up your nose where things really shouldn't be going and my body didn't know how to handle it. So the first felt like fire but if I focused on relaxing the other two were fine.

My point being that it totally can hurt a lot. Nowadays I believe our testing is much better where you do the swab yourself and it doesn't go nearly as deep so it's not painful at all.

[–]Greenstripedpjs 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I get tested weekly and some people that test are gentle and it tickles a little up your nose. Some are so rough it feels like they're trying to find your brain!

[–]lazyflyergirl 76 points77 points  (2 children)

Some tests don’t need the swabs to go all the way up. Depending on which one you get, there’s the brain scratcher and the one that’s just uncomfortable or sting-y.

[–]Klin24 12 points13 points  (4 children)

I got tested on Thursday. They did a good swirling of both my nasal passages. It was uncomfortable for me.

Going on day 5 of covid symptoms. Just about every symptom except no fever. Weird.

[–]puddlesquid 66 points67 points  (4 children)

I've taken multiple tests by different people and the discomfort definitely varies depending on who takes the sample. This doctor was probably pretty rough to cause a reaction like that.

[–]WingedLady 21 points22 points  (2 children)

It does also help to try and relax your face and neck muscles. I was starting to have a hard time with one of my tests and the person swabbing told me to do that. Helped immensely.

[–]7saligia 25 points26 points  (1 child)

This sounds like when the dentist tells you to relax as they're jamming their arm and multiple torture instruments down your gullet.

[–]lkh4567 33 points34 points  (7 children)

I’ve gotten 6 covid tests in the past 3 months because I keep getting randomly selected by my college. It’s not bad. My eyes watered the first couple tests and I made a weird “huuuuuuaaauuughghhhh” sound, but now I’m so used to it I don’t even react. It definitely didn’t hurt, not even the first time.

[–]cryptic-coyote 13 points14 points  (3 children)

The huuuuaaauughghhh sound wasn’t indicative of pain? What did it mean then?

[–]lkh4567 18 points19 points  (0 children)

That was just a reaction to something being stuck up my nose where it doesn’t belong. I definitely wouldn’t consider a covid swab as anything close to painful.

[–]angelerulastiel 41 points42 points  (5 children)

You are supposed to get way up in there, but people can be kind/lazy about it and then it wouldn’t be as painful.

[–]stuffedpizzaman95 7 points8 points  (2 children)

The nurse told me you don't have to get way up there and let me do it myself.

[–]dope_as_the_pope 6 points7 points  (2 children)

So happy that my city does the mouth swabs

[–]typehyDro 797 points798 points  (44 children)

FYI, You’re supposed to get tested 5-7 days after contact. If you get tested before incubation period it gives false negatives.

[–]SilentG33 218 points219 points  (19 children)

This is good to know. I have 3 coworkers in my department that are all out with it and I’m showing symptoms. First available test I could get is for Tuesday, which will be 8 days after I last worked with them.

[–]Mbluish 76 points77 points  (2 children)

I am so sorry that happened and I hope you are going to be well. My coworker received negative test and did not receive a positive test until day 10. You may consider testing again if you get a negative. She was extremely lethargic and got horrible headaches but she is doing well now.

[–]SilentG33 27 points28 points  (1 child)

I am getting the non-rapid test, that’s supposed to be more accurate, correct? And thanks for the well wishes, I’m doing okay for now. Headache, extreme lethargy, sore throat, chest tightness and absolutely zero appetite. Chills but no fever yet.

[–]ohyeahwell 23 points24 points  (12 children)

Did your work hide the covid positive coworker info? We have 4 guys out right now and our mgmt is hiding the info. I only found out bc someone talked to one of the guys, and he said mgmt asked him to keep it secret.

When I found out about that I packed up my shit and told my boss I was working from home indefinitely. Drove to Kaiser and got a test. It’s fucked up.

[–]SilentG33 16 points17 points  (2 children)

No, I was informed the next day I worked. They’re in my department and we all use the same computers and phones. My work has been really good about keeping us informed.

[–]ohyeahwell 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yeah we’re all close together and I touch everyone’s equipment. My work has been terrible. I have an email drafted up but I’m editing and cooling off before I send.

Our preschool has done a fantastic job with transparency. I’m forwarding some of their emails as a model of the right way to handle exposure notifications.

[–]SilentG33 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If you’re concerned about the way your work is handling this, you can call your county health department or OSHA.

[–]jetsfan83 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I have read that if you show symptoms, you should have no problem with the accuracy of the test. Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the person. OP above just said 5-7 days to have a great chance of not getting a false negative. You can still get it 2-5 days of exposure, it will not always be a false negative, but there is a bigger, although how big I do not know, chance of it being false negative.

[–]gurbaj 22 points23 points  (5 children)

Yeah I got tested 4 days after the initial contact thinking that’s enough and I got negative. A few days later I got sick af and tested again and got positive. Definitely wait at least 5 days

[–]Lostinlabels 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Nurses told me that you can get a positive test up to 14 days after contact, and like others have said if you show symptoms you can probably bet that incubation period is complete and go get tested. That's why there's a 2 week quarantine for contact and a 10 day for positives. I'm not a professional though, so yeah.

[–]VexingRaven 8 points9 points  (1 child)

They should be telling you all this before you get tested...

[–]peacelovehappiness27 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Depending on what type of contact he had, he’s done it right so far. For example if he is in contact with this person every day. In our clinic we had positive coworkers so when we found out we got tested right away (because we had technically been in contact with them 5-7 days ago and they may have been contagious at that point) and then we got tested again 5-7 days after our last contact with them.

[–]IcemanofOz 5547 points5548 points  (452 children)

Yeah, you think you have a high pain tolerance... you don't.

[–]wrongbutt_longbutt 2013 points2014 points  (287 children)

I worked in physical therapy. It's a well known thing in the industry that anyone who says they have a high pain tolerance is the exact opposite.

EDIT: Since this comment got way more traction than I ever expected while writing it half asleep in bed this morning, I should add that myself and other good professionals that do this for a living always take the patient seriously when this is said. It's just more often than not we get results that suggest the opposite. Subjective reporting is extremely important along with understanding that everyone's experience is unique and different.

Pain is multi factorial and has many elements beyond just the source. A really awesome summary and explanation of how pain works can be seen on YouTube with Lorimer Moseley's Ted talk "Why we hurt".

[–]doomalgae 586 points587 points  (73 children)

Does the opposite hold true - do people who say they're a wuss tend to have a higher tolerance?

[–]wrongbutt_longbutt 947 points948 points  (40 children)

Funny enough, no. That being said, they're usually easier to work with because you're both on the same page and know exactly how much to challenge them. A lot of the success in therapy comes from developing trust, which is harder if both people have different expectations.

[–]ChrisV88 72 points73 points  (1 child)

When I'm in PT I always say, I will probably make some noises when you work on me but I will explicitly tell you when something hurts.

Same at the dentist. I hate the noise of scraping teeth and it causes me to clench up and look in pain. I tell my dentist I will put my hand in the air and make it clear I'm in pain. Only had to do that once when she hit a pocket between wisdom tooth and molar that sent a shock through my body. She knew it was serious when I did that and ended up rescheduling for some numbing injection time.

[–]boyman226 210 points211 points  (3 children)

Thanks for the info, u/wrongbutt_longbutt !

[–]Napkinsnsuch 97 points98 points  (0 children)

I would read this Dr Seuss book.

[–]strangerintime 55 points56 points  (30 children)

[–]wrongbutt_longbutt 341 points342 points  (29 children)

Lol. My user name is actually from when my daughter walked in on me taking a shower when she was two. She said "daddy, you have the wrong butt! It's a long butt."

[–]juicyfruitsalad77 248 points249 points  (25 children)

Ok I’m laughing my ass off at this because MY daughter would call my vagina my butt! Like when she would always walk in on me when I’m peeing and she’d come right up and be like “mom why is your butt all hairy?” TMI but this is TIFU so yeah.

[–]lilybet93 152 points153 points  (2 children)

Kids are the best! I was changing my newborn son’s nappy when my 6 year old niece walked over and went “wow! He’s got a big penis!! My daddy’s penis looks like a lollipop!” I begged her to not continue describing it to me while trying not to howl with laughter

[–]or_some_shitiru 55 points56 points  (0 children)

RIP your brother/in-law

[–]antnego 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Yeah it’s silly, but I was also thinking, “If she repeats that at school, your brother-in-law is screwed.”

[–]wetastelikejesus 51 points52 points  (3 children)

Lol my niece used to call vulvas front butts

[–]JimEasy 22 points23 points  (2 children)

My daughter has done this - “dad, what’s attached to your front butt?”

[–]NosferatuRob 65 points66 points  (3 children)

Lol I walked in on my dad drying himself off after a shower and asked why his balls were so hairy. My mother loved to bring it up.

[–]OddRaspberry3 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Luckily I don’t remember this but supposedly I walked in on my dad peeing and asked why he had a “front tail” lol

[–]teebob21 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Well? Did you get an answer?

[–]NosferatuRob 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ha nope, he just laughed and told me to get out. I was 4 or 5 when it happened so fortunately I don't remember the visual but the interaction stuck. Guess it was all the times my mom jokingly repeated it.

[–]Restless__Dreamer 24 points25 points  (1 child)

My (female) cousin (male) was born when I was 5. One time I saw my mom changing his diaper ans I asked my mom why he has such a weird belly button. It was not his belly button...

[–]teebob21 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Sad fact: Cousin is an innie

[–]_-Sandwitch-_ 23 points24 points  (3 children)

To join your TMI, so you don't feel alone: mine loved to inform her kindergardeners that I was bleeding from my butt. Which led to an interesting conversation inquiring about my health, in front of other parents picking their toddlers up. I know little shame so I informed everyone loudly that I wasn't in fact dying, but was only on the rag and not really feeling all that great right this instance, but thank you for asking.

I'm playing the long game. I have a list of quotes from her (also embarrassing stories) including today's gem "I never want to see a penis again in my life!" (She's 8 now), which I intend to pull out when she brings her boyfriends or girlfriends home.

[–]i_NOT_robot 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Watched who framed roger rabbit on hbo with my lil bro in the 90s. Afterwards one of those dramas with a lot of nudity came on, and he saw a naked girl and said, "oOoOohhh, front biscuits!"

After yosemite sam getting his butt burned and screaming, "my biscuits is burnin'"

[–]fattestdink 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I’m very up front with medical professionals about what a big baby I am, but they always try to reassure me that I won’t be such a wuss during that particular visit. And then seem very frustrated when I am, in fact, 100% a big fussy crybaby. I tried to warn you! My pain tolerance is so low it’s on the floor and my body is very reactive to pain.

[–]IWantALargeFarva 51 points52 points  (5 children)

I don't think I'm a complete wuss, but I think I have a normal pain tolerance. My husband disagrees and says I have an insanely high pain tolerance. And I was hospitalized in June for a gallbladder that had apparently exploded and then adhered to my liver.

The only reason I went to the hospital was because I was jaundiced. I literally felt no pain, and my doctors said I should have been in extreme pain. I'm not sure if they're trying to stroke my ego though. I'm 100% serious that I didn't feel any pain at all. (I definitely felt pain after the surgery though! They couldn't do it laparoscopically so I had an 8 inch incision in my upper abdomen. Pain was worse than my c sections.)

[–]KiloJools 15 points16 points  (1 child)

If you felt literally no pain that's not pain tolerance that's just a failure of signaling. It does happen, though it's not super common. High pain tolerance is feeling it but being able to cope, both physiologically and psychologically.

Low pain tolerance is usually a result of your nervous system getting very hyped up about it and going to red alert, which sets off physiological changes that often result in a worsening of pain (exceptions for some massive traumas that result in overwhelming responses that appear to make someone not "feel" a knife in their chest, for instance). Meanwhile, it primes your brain to be very very aware of the pain and try to imagine what else may go wrong (some professionals refer to this as "pain catastrophizing" which is a troublesome phrase but generally it leads to more pain and less tolerance of it).

High pain tolerance is usually an acquired thing that happens when you've experienced it a lot OR if you have a particularly unflappable nervous system that very rarely identifies things as dangerous and therefore doesn't activate the sympathetic nervous system as frequently.

It's a relief that there were symptoms other than pain that let you know something was wrong and you were able to get treatment! Sorry recovery was so painful though. ❤️

[–]IWantALargeFarva 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Thank you for the explanation! I had several surgeons, and they all kept saying, "you should be in a ton of pain." And "I've never seen a gallbladder look like that. It literally exploded. How long have you had gallbladder attacks?" And I couldn't convince any of them that I never felt anything.

[–]AdmiralSassypants 17 points18 points  (2 children)

I feel like after childbirth your perception of pain shifts somewhat. Not that I would know - I have not had any children yet. I just hear that it is such an intense sensation it shifts things into a different perspective.

I had the covid test myself and I was told it was “uncomfortable” and not that it would hurt. I wish they had told me it would hurt cause I was unprepared for the pain I felt. I handled it okay minus my eyes refusing to stop watering . I thought I was crying at first but I wasn’t, my body just kept producing tears for probably 5-10 minutes after the poke lol

[–]cowzroc 15 points16 points  (6 children)

I think I do? I always thought I had a low pain tolerance because I'm scared of pain and stuff hurts me pretty easily, but it turns out I have fibromyalgia. I also had two children without pain medication because I was scared of the epidural neelde hurting. And while yes, childbirth hurt a LOT, it wasn't as bad as I expected. So maybe I do better with pain than I thought?

[–]Wasting-tim3 10 points11 points  (0 children)

We need the answer to this question ^

[–]JackeySparrow 80 points81 points  (17 children)

My grandpa though. Was nailing some planks. At some point the nailgun nailed his hand. Blood everywhere. He joinks it out. Proceeds to do his thing. After an hour he went like, yeah its hurtin a bit, may see a doctor today. Maybr after coffee.

[–]wrongbutt_longbutt 78 points79 points  (8 children)

Pain is really weird. A tiny paper cut can be ludicrously severe while a guy can sit in the ER with a fence post through their neck and joke and laugh about how they should be dead.

[–]JackeySparrow 63 points64 points  (2 children)

Thats because a papercut sits just on these fine nerve endinga exposed to air with relative few blood comong to the actuall wound, whereass a deep wound has lots of blood preventing fresh air of coming into contact with it

[–]fourthfloorgreg 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Papercuts are also really tears more than cuts. So a fairly short slice actually exposes quite a bit of surface area.

[–]peppermnt 43 points44 points  (3 children)

My family was camping and my grandma tripped and broke her arm one morning coming back from the bathroom. Her arm was visibly broken. Not coming out of the skin broken, but can see the bone isn’t where it’s supposed to be broken. My sister got up and asked her to go to the ER. She said “ah, maybe after my coffee.”

[–]Mragftw 19 points20 points  (3 children)

I have a family friend who shot himself in the thumb with a barbed nail. He went out to his truck, grabbed a pair of pliers, and cut the head off and pulled the nail out. Then he wrapped it up in paper towels and duct tape and went back to framing. I dont think he ever went to a doctor

[–]avianaltercations 240 points241 points  (58 children)

It's not that I don't believe you, but I'm not sure that having such assumptions is a good practice at all. My wife had a very high pain tolerance - like she cut herself with a knife all the way to the bone and was pretty damn calm all things considered. She would tell doctors that she has a high pain tolerance but she would constantly feel that they would dismiss her concerns about pain because she didn't seem obviously in pain (or depressed or anxious or what have you). She was quite an emotive person, but since she had a rough childhood, she got very good a hiding and tolerating any kind of pain, physical or emotional. Frankly, it even took me years to fully understand what a fucking tank she was.

So yeah, maybe not the best assumption to have, especially if it's such a "well known" thing in the entire industry. Like what else is supposed to do besides tell people she had high tolerance? Ham it up?

[–]pretentious_rye 139 points140 points  (1 child)

One day I hope to find a husband who refers to me as a “fucking tank”

Edit: I’m not joking I actually want this

[–]avianaltercations 49 points50 points  (0 children)

Step 1) be a tank

[–]3pelican 72 points73 points  (2 children)

I had a kind of similar experience. I have trigeminal neuralgia which is pain in the nerve that serves your cheek and round your eye. It’s known for being excruciating. I wasn’t on meds for it for a few years because the side effects meant I just didn’t want to. I saw a neurosurgeon about surgical options and when I told him I wasn’t medicated he was like ‘if you had TN there’s no way you’d be functioning without medication’ and I was like I can assure you I do. Like it sucks balls but I do. He did an MRI and found the nerve compressed by an artery and was like well shit, so you do.

[–]the_kimmeh 13 points14 points  (0 children)

That's awful! I understand that they probably see plenty of people that aren't truthful but isn't it better to believe them at first and then if the tests show nothing is wrong you can be skeptical. I had to go to 3 doctors before one of them took my pain seriously and honestly, he changed my life.

[–]BanditaIncognita 261 points262 points  (25 children)

This is actually a problem in the medical field. There are numerous studies showing that women in pain are ignored, treated like f They are faking.... Doctors have been caught repeatedly doing obstetric procedures on us with NO anaesthesia after childbirth. Shoving things into places and tearing flesh. It's absolutely horrifying.

[–]littlemegzz 147 points148 points  (7 children)

Reminds me of the epidural I was given incorrectly before giving birth. I could feel everything. The anesthesiologist though? Said it was inserted correctly. I basically had to beg to have it redone.

Like sure dude, I really enjoy having a needle stabbed into my spine more than once. Caught me!

[–]sarcazm 128 points129 points  (5 children)

Similar situation for me.

I had an epidural, but it felt like it was working like only up to my hips or so.

The nurse would come in every once in awhile and shove her freaking arm up my vagina. I guess to make sure the baby was positioned correctly and maybe how many centimeters I was.

Well, I would moan and groan and tell her it hurt.

She basically said that if it really hurt, I wouldn't be "letting her do whatever she was doing." I guess implying that I'd kick her or physically harm her? Idk.

That just upset me a lot. Like because I can control my actions, my pain doesn't matter and/or doesn't exist.

[–]littlemegzz 50 points51 points  (2 children)

A good nurse can make any situation so much better. I have had a lot of them and for that I am so grateful. But then you have nurses who just seemed annoyed by everything about you lol. Like, please be nice, I dont want to be here either!

[–]exscapegoat 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I've been lucky that I've had mostly good nurses.

These assholes when I had the flu though. I have asthma. I normally don't go to the doctor for the cold or the flu. I stay home, get rest, liquids, etc.

I get the flu, I take most of the week off from work. Fever breaks. But my lungs now sound like freakin' Rice Krispies when I breathe. Since I have asthma, I decide this is something to get checked out for. Can't physically make it to my primary care's office, by work. So I go to Urgent care.

It's during a January flu epidemic. I explain I think I'm over the flu, but I'm making weird breathing sounds and I have asthma, so I want to get checked out.

Both the medical assistant and the nurse think I'm one of the people who can't tell the difference between the flu and a cold and they are mocking and dismissive. She's pretty rough in shoving the flu test thing up my nose. As in my Covid test before recent surgery was a breeze compared to that!

They even told me to take off the mask I put on in the waiting room. People with flu syptoms were supposed to wear them, so I put one on.

Well, the nurse shame facedly places the results near me and tells me the doctor will be in shortly.

And he tells me I tested positive for the flu. Listens to my lungs, concludes asthma got worse from the flu. Prescribes a nebulizer treatment, a med for the asthma and tells me as long as I'm coughing, I'm still contagious and to stay home. After that, I made sure to get my flu shot every year.

To her credit, while not apologizing, she changed her behavior. The two times I've been in there since, she's been very nice to me and takes me seriously.

[–]LittleMissChriss 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Good god. I would have started kicking her after that comment.

[–]avianaltercations 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Yeah, but you said you have a high pain tolerance, which means you don't!/s

[–]7saligia 79 points80 points  (0 children)

I was induced. During this not so lovely occasion, I shared w/ the child's father that my back was bothering me, until it progressed to the point where it felt like someone was trying to break my back. It was excruciating.

The nurse told me to stop complaining because the machine didn't show any contractions, so I couldn't possibly be in pain.

Hours after that, it was getting even worse, but, hey, the machine says I'm fine, so whatever. I'll keep my mouth shut.

Even more hours later, there was a shift change. The nurse questioned how I was doing. Oh, just fkn peachy. My partner finally said something, so the nurse decided to do some fiddling around.

The damn machine wasn't set up properly. It immediately spiked after her adjustments, smh. "Oh, wow, that looks really rough! Let me go call the doctor!"

[–]RainbowIyana 89 points90 points  (2 children)

My 3rd c-section was horrifying because the spinal they gave me only partially numbed me. They would not believe me when I said I could feel them cutting me. A nurse even said, "If you could feel that, you'd be screaming."

How could I dream of screaming while these sadistic jerks have a knife near my unborn baby? Are you kidding me? Screaming utilizes abdominal muscles, like the ones they were cutting into. And they want me to scream to prove I'm in excruciating pain as they cut my daughter out of me? No thank you.

I was trafficked as a kid (trained by pedophiles to perform for pedophiles) and only got out because my dad went to prison for molesting some other child. I was literally taught how to be still, how to keep steady your breath, in the midst of crazy pain. Of course, none of them knew that. And neither should they need to know any of that in order to trust that when I say, "Pain!" It freaking hurts!

[–]I-can-change 15 points16 points  (0 children)

That's terrible. I'm so sorry you went through all of that <3

[–]MyTruckIsAPirate 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes! My epidural failed before my emergency c-section. I kept telling them I could feel everything and they kept telling me that it's normal to feel "pressure." I think my anesthesiologist was the only one to believe me, but she was worried about sending me into cardiac arrest by giving me other drugs. I don't think my drs believed me until they went to move me off of the operating table and I was able to lift myself up and scoot over onto the gurney. 🙄 Definitely a horrific experience.

Also, that's awful about what you went through as a child. Sending you peaceful vibes. 💙

[–]newdalligal 43 points44 points  (1 child)

We have that problem on both ends in my family. My sister is very emotive. Twice ER folks thought she was a drug seeker and TWICE she almost died. Once she ended up needing ER surgery and the other time a blood transfusion and surgery. They were so sure she had to be faking it for drugs. My mom is stoic. They never think things are bad because she doesn’t emote. She gets under treated unless I throw my weight around. One doctor actually told us my mom was lying. My mom ended up having cancer. You can’t win. There clearly is some specific playbook of allowed responses to various levels of pain and everything that doesn’t look like that is a lie.

[–]deebeegg 52 points53 points  (6 children)

Had a doctor manually remove my placenta after natural child birth. With no warning or heads up. Just, whoop, here we go...

[–]shivi1321 36 points37 points  (1 child)

Wtaf that can be very dangerous. Glad you’re okay.

[–]7saligia 13 points14 points  (2 children)

My doc did this as well, but I kept going in and out of consciousness, so it definitely wasn't being expelled through any efforts on my part.

I didn't know this could be an issue until much later when discussing my labor story w/ someone and they flipped out.

[–]sparklypinktutu 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Doubly so if they’re women of color, particularly black.

[–]gipoun 35 points36 points  (2 children)

I am a woman. I went to the emergency with chest pain and trouble breathing.

I was told I was gassy and sent home. Turns out I had a massive bilateral pulmonary embolism and almost died.

I now always tell medical staff I have a high pain tolerance and that my apparent discomfort (or lack thereof) is not indicative of what is going on.

[–]Colleen_the_bean 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I was having a pain in my side, sometimes hurt, sometimes just uncomfortable, the only reason I thought it was appendicitis was because my 7 yo son had it like a year before and it was the same side, it wasn't going away and I had no other explanation for it. Went to urgent care, peed in a cup, got examined and was told it was a urine infection and to go home. I insisted on getting scanned because of I was sure it was appendicitis. I'm glad she listened because it was. Turns out your appendix is supposed to point down below your ribs, mine was pointing up under my ribs, so she didn't feel it and I didn't cry out in pain like I should have during the exam.

[–]Carpe_PerDiem 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I have a high pain tolerance for similar reasons to your wife. My doctors don't believe me until they find out I once giggled my way through an IUD insertion because the nurse had an adorable accent. I 100% feel that pain. I'm just really, really good at ignoring/hiding it.

[–]wrongbutt_longbutt 27 points28 points  (1 child)

It's more along the lines that the presence of pain is based on a lack of tolerance. I can't get into the nitty gritty of pain science here (feel free to check some of the articles on r/painscience), but pain is a multi factorial blend of sensation, experience, and expectation. If you want a good summary, check out the YouTube video of Lorimer Moseley's Ted talk "why we hurt". He does a great job of explaining why pain is variable and how tolerance is based on expectation.

[–]Sk8rToon 45 points46 points  (13 children)

I’ve learned that women in my family (including myself) have a high pain tolerance. So when the doc asks from 1-10 how much does it hurt I have to add 2 to what I think it is for them to listen. What I think is a 2 is everyone else’s 4-5, etc.

My personal doctor has learned that if I’m actually taking the time to call or come in, then it’s pretty bad. Why I still drive hours to see him even though I moved to another town.

[–]eileen404 22 points23 points  (8 children)

When I had gall stones and called the pain a 7 from 1-10 and that it was a 9a few hours before they took me seriously when I said childbirth without meds was a 4.

[–]Plantyleplant 26 points27 points  (3 children)

This ist why the 1/10 scale in itself ist not enough. Medical professionals should always ask what the highest pain was that they ever experienced and what number they would have given that. Otherwise it's only helpful in a day to day basis (Like asking every day after a surgery to make sure the pain lessens) it annoys me so much that this isn't Standard practice

[–]eileen404 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yup. Relative is important. Passing a gallstone through the common bile duct is much worse than birth but about on par with stitches in your labia though much more dull and spread out...

[–]fishwhispers17 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I hate that scale. I always think, well if it’s less than 8, why the heck would I bother coming to the doctor?

[–]Sir_Shocksalot 10 points11 points  (1 child)

The scale is arbitrary and basically irrelevant, we just are forced to ask to document it. The only thing it is helpful for is to gauge how well meds are working but even that is pretty debatable imo.

All that matters is if your pain is tolerable or not. Your pain will not and should not be completely relieved by medication but it should be reduced to a tolerable level. And plenty of people present with complaints of pain that they find tolerable, they just want answers for what is wrong.

[–]ganhadagirl 9 points10 points  (3 children)

This! I need help with this. I've tried telling providers I don't really experience pain, that I dissociate instead. I've had several push it aside as my claiming a high pain tolerance.

I "tolerate" pain by disconnecting my brain, emotions, and actions from my physical experience.

[–]mountaingoat05 86 points87 points  (17 children)

This explains why medical folks are so shocked when they do something painful and I handle it well, even though I told them I have a high pain tolerance.

[–]Jumpsnake 60 points61 points  (12 children)

This happens to me too. They are always like “you handled that so well!” And I’m like, yeah, you just drew blood, duh .

[–]SpartanMartian 8 points9 points  (9 children)

Lol fuck man I can’t even look when they draw blood. More so cuz of needles not so much the pain tho, it doesn’t really hurt.

[–]Phailjure 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I get my blood drawn multiple times a year for 20 years, and I can't look. Not because of any fear of needles, I have a weird irrational fear that if I'm watching, I might flinch slightly, and screw it up.

It doesn't help that once or twice I've had horrible phlebotomists that can't seem to hit a vein, or stick it in at weird angles, or whatever other painful shit they were doing, I wasn't looking.

[–]SpartanMartian 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ahh I totally get that! I have a a somewhat similar fear when I go to the dentist. I’ve developed a pretty gnarly gag reflex, and I don’t want that triggering with those blades and things in my mouth lol. I end up not going to the dentist unless I absolutely need to :/

[–]csiren 22 points23 points  (3 children)

Same. I’ll always joke and say “I had an intractable migraine for 3 years, you are going to need to try harder than that to hurt me.”

[–]BanditaIncognita 42 points43 points  (8 children)

The worst combination is to have a low pain threshold but a relatively high pain tolerance. :/

You feel every bit of the pain. It just takes longer to break your resolve.

[–]shaege 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Yeah, you're describing Gingers. They feel everything, but can't give a fuck until it's at or past where most people would be howling.

[–]3pelican 25 points26 points  (3 children)

I have a high threshold but a very low tolerance. It takes a while for me to be in pain but oh boy when I am in pain I am a total baby about it.

[–]mathologies 6 points7 points  (2 children)

like captain hammer!!!

[–]marigoldilocks_ 8 points9 points  (1 child)

+rolls on floor crying+ Is this what pain feels like? Mommy!

[–]l8nitefriend 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Someone maternal !!!

[–]mmbossman 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I’m a PT too. I can count on 2 hands how many people I’ve seen who have told me they have a low pain tolerance (over 10 years). If I had a dollar for everyone who told me they had a high pain tolerance, I’d only have to work part time

[–]EvansFamilyLego 41 points42 points  (46 children)

I think the only exception is red heads.

I don't think we have a clue what it is that we can tolerate until MULTIPLE medical professionals are like "Jesus christ... THIS is the point at which you finally complain about this situation?! Most people would have been in here a LONG time ago, this must be killing you."

And we're like "I mean it hurts .. But compared to (whatever horrible thing we've felt before) it's not even an 8-9 out of 10."

Anesthesiologists aren't sure what to do with us half the time because we have such insane tolerances, coupled with wierd ass reactions to various medications- I know it takes more anesthesia in general to put and keep us out, but it's pretty insane how MANY odd reactions we often have to medication classes..

[–]crazyladyscientist 22 points23 points  (12 children)

Every time I've been to either the hospital or the dentist I've been asked if I'm a redhead for this exact reason, given that there are redheads in my family I'm wondering if I just have one copy of the allele that causes all of this. I was always told that you'll know if you have appendicitis because it's the worst pain you'll ever feel. It totally wasn't, it felt more like a pulled muscle or mild uterine cramps, so I managed to ignore it for 3ish months before being rushed away to surgery. I stopped taking the meds after my wisdom teeth removal because I didn't like the side effects and ate a taco salad that night while my sister writhed in pain trying to eat applesauce. Getting a covid test, while not enjoyable, doesn't even make the pain scale.

But oh lord help doctors if they have to drug me. I have severe anxiety about needles and the amount of sedatives it takes to even get an IV in is absurd. We're talking multiple ativans + ketamine + NO and I"m still freaking out

[–]EvansFamilyLego 13 points14 points  (5 children)

When I was a police officer, my biggest fear was being shot- because I've had so much trouble any time I've needed to be knocked out,or have my pain reduced- I think a second one to the head would be my best option; because i can't even imagine the pain I'd be in while they sort out the mess of my situation.

Last spinal surgery, the nurses were concerned about the amount of fentynyl they were giving me- but when they finally got up to almost 500mcg- there was a breakthrough, I was finally able to catch my breathe from the pain... And my first thing was to hold a conversation and ask when I could eat(bc as soon as the stabbing pain calmed down, I realized I hadn't eaten since the day before).

The nursing staff was like... "Woman .. At this dosage most people would be comatose and drooling on themselves, and DEFINATELY not looking for a sandwich."

[–]shaege 21 points22 points  (15 children)

Accurate. And deadly, because the margin between effective dose and lethal dose in anesthesia is already razor-thin. Now you go and fuck it up with a fast-metabolizer ginger mutant, and you're basically tranqing an elephant every time their eyelids flutter.

[–]EvansFamilyLego 13 points14 points  (14 children)

See, and I need to have major dental surgery(Implants to replace the genetically fucked few remaining teeth that I have- to prevent bone/jaw loss and to cosmetically fix and replace all the teeth that my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome rapidly destroyed in my early 30s).

My husband has done a ton of research about travel/tourism dentistry - about clinics in mexico that are well known and renowned... And I'm scared to death because I can barely be properly medicated in the US where I speak the language. I'm scared to death they will end up killing me in a foreign country.

[–]ragepaw 31 points32 points  (12 children)

I'm a member of the red hair club, but not a full on ginger so I have to remind doctors.

I woke up in the middle of surgery once because they didn't give me enough anesthesia. That shit is not fun.

[–]EvansFamilyLego 28 points29 points  (8 children)

Hahaha... My last colonoscopy I woke up SIX TIMES. The doctor started the procedure by imploring me "not to fight it" because I got the big white shot of propofol and proceeded to count down to zero- asking if I should start over... Or what?

The anesthesiologist looked like he'd seen a ghost.

I looked up at the doctor(mind you, this is after I've got iv propofol that would normally have knocked someone out counting back from 10 by about 7...)- and I looked up and said 'No offense doc, but you're about to shove a camera up my butt. I have absolutely no desire to be awake for any part of this. Trust me, I'm not fighting anything..I want to be asleep just as much as you want me to be."

Fortunately I only have vague recollections of waking up over and over again(no memory of being in pain or anything, I just recall blinking, bright lights-and the panic of the staff while they tried to get me back out in a hurry). Once it was all said and done, the anesthesiologist and doctor came to see me in recovery (I guess to see just how traumatized I was)- and they ended up being fascinated with my situation.

The anesthesiologist said he could have kept TWO 600 lb men out like a light with what it took to get and keep me under- and that I was the first time he was scared he was going to kill a patient because he didn't think my tolerance to the medications was humanly possible.

Years later, I had a DNA test that helped explain that I'm a rapid metabolizer of both opiods and many sedatives- and that this is a direct cause of the "super human" tolerances I've experienced in my medical history.

I have chronic severe pain from constant dislocations caused by Ehlers Danlos Syndrome- and while my pain tolerances are much higher than most people- I need approximately four times the amount of opiods that the CDC recommends as a guideline/limit- the ONLY reason I'm able to get those prescriptions every month is because my doctors & I have DNA tests to back up my medical NEED for such an insane dosage.

I've had hospice nurses hear what I take day to day(and it enables me to drive, cook, be a mom)- and they are STUNNED; Because the amount it takes to "take the edge off" of my endless dislocations would have most people in a stupor, yet I have no cognitive side effects, no physical discomfort (even now, pregnant, I have only had mild nausea from my regular opiod medications)- it's like my body just barely knows what they are even for.

[–]Restless_Fillmore 13 points14 points  (3 children)

I woke up but stayed awake because it was cool to watch the big screen of the inside if my intestine. They said they shouldn't have knocked me out in the first place, if I liked to watch!

[–]EvansFamilyLego 10 points11 points  (1 child)

There are plenty of people who get colonoscopies while awake- it's not for me- but by all means - they will be happy to do it at most places if you ask.

[–]sliceoflife66 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Happened to me also and I was fully awake during my tubal and they couldn’t believe it. Maybe I’m deep down a red head lol

[–]b00ty_water 25 points26 points  (0 children)

I think it’s the lack of a soul.

[–]magpiepdx 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Interesting. Maybe it is situation specific? I feel like I have a high pain tolerance when it comes to childbirth or getting a tattoo (things I want to do and have a positive outcome), but I wonder if that’s just bc of the situation and my pain tolerance for other things is low.

[–]Fortous1 109 points110 points  (9 children)

People can have different pain tolerances across their whole body. I have had the unfortunate experience of getting a nasopharyngeal swab 7 times in the last 4 years. Did not hurt that bad. I have had a 50 pound folding ladder close and lock around my left hand resulting in a tuft fracture( https://www.orthobullets.com/hand/6114/phalanx-fractures) only needed ibuprofen 800 mg every 8 hours for the first day. Then every other day. I have accidentally cut my palm down to the tendons. No pain meds needed. I stub my toe or hit my head, I am down for the count.

[–]ILikeToArgueALot 60 points61 points  (6 children)

Underrated comment.

I literally cannot deal with tooth pain. Its horrible to me in a way that you feel deeply. But some people can let their teeth rot. I cant.

However I can easily put up with a broken leg in comparison.

I also have had prostatitis and that was one of the worst pains for me because its an infection of your prostate with swelling and the pain radiates out your testicles so it feels like you have been kicked in the nuts and anus at same time. Had 4 docs put their finger in my ass in the one day in emergency after never haven a prostate exam before.

[–]kombuchatime 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Tooth pain is the worst pain. Like a direct live wire torture high speed connection to your brain. I have no idea how people can stand their teeth rotting away.

[–]tempestelunaire 7 points8 points  (3 children)

I literally cannot deal with tooth pain.

Tooth pain is the WORST. It's so deep and pulsating and just awful.

[–]Hellooooooo_NURSE 11 points12 points  (0 children)

My brain every day as a nurse

[–]dex248 199 points200 points  (111 children)

You have no idea what pain is until you give birth. That’s what my wife tells me anyway.

[–]MotherofJackals 229 points230 points  (47 children)

After having 5 kids I'm going to say having an ovarian cyst burst hurts more as far as intensity and getting hit by a car (at 25mph) hurts about the same but lasts longer.

Childbirth from my experience has peaks of pain but overall it's the exhaustion that really gets you. You just want the baby out and your body is like...ummm let's think about it some more...maaaaybe..j/k...one more push ..one more..nah maybe like 4 more.

[–]ladygrammarist 65 points66 points  (15 children)

Ovarian cyst rupturing...nothing quite like it. Put me in the hospital. That was my second-worst pain.

Worst pain ever? Didn’t know I had a hole in my tooth and put a white strip on. Bleach straight to the root.

[–]joebaby1975 31 points32 points  (9 children)

When I had kids, I compared pain level with child birth. Until I had a tooth ache. That was worse. So I used that as my gauge. Until I burst a disk in my lower back, between L-5 S-1. I couldn’t walk for a month and all the muscles and tendons in my leg were on constant fire. I couldn’t hardly sit on the toilet and I couldn’t poop for two weeks so I wasn’t eating or drinking. Worse pain I have ever felt. I’ll take childbirth all day over that. I still have pain every day from it.

[–]ashfio 17 points18 points  (1 child)

That last sentence made me feel nauseous.

[–]EvansFamilyLego 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Having given birth and had a cyst burst, I'm going to one-up that with a complete GI blockage.

I was BEGGING for death. Literally nothing was moving, not a single bubble of air, nothing.

I have a genetic disorder that means my collagen is broken- didn't realize this meant that my colon can expand to inhuman proportion and the right combination of meds and situation caused a full blockage. I was well into day 6 of this nonsense while on a family trip. Woke up early am, felt "full" and went off to the bathroom because I was in a hotel with family, and I already dislike using the bathroom with other people around- so I thought nothing of my shy bowels going several days before calling.

Absolutely NOTHING moved. Not even a tiny amount. I've never even really had issues with constipation so this was a massive shock- and I was in a full blown panic. The searing,tearing pain of my intestines being stretched well beyond capacity, and the horrific agony that made me seek pain meds before doing literally anything else.... Which of course, only paralyzed my intestines more.

It was absolutely hell.

My husband awoke to my cries for help- called an ambulance and for five hours, the Sarasota Memorial Hospital ER doctor blew the entire situation off as "just opiod constipation" and basically told the staff to "let me sit there and suffer, so I learn my lesson and don't do this again."

I ended up with intestinal tears and was becoming septic while this asshole just laughed off my situation because "har har anyone who takes opiods for any reason must just be a worthless addict".

Thank god my pain management specialist from back home was able to be reached- and call into the ER doctor to explain what Ehlers Danlos Syndrome even is, and that I'm on the medication for a damn good reason, and to take this seriously..

I ended up rushed into surgery with tears to my small and large intestine- nothing would have EVER passed due to the ungodly stretching that happened during the blockage and the pain was BY FAR the most excruciating thing I've ever experienced in my entire life- and I've had a few doozies.

[–]AgreeableOven1766 20 points21 points  (1 child)

I hope you told that doctor he's an asshole to his face or reported his ass. Makes me so angry.

[–]EvansFamilyLego 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Oh yeah. My doctor read him the riot act and when I was no longer actively dying- I reported the entire thing to the patient advocacy program.

He LITERALLY used the words(right after stepping outside the curtain in the ER) 30-something white female with OIC? No meds, just fluids, let her wait it out, she won't make this mistake again."

If I hadn't been in the worst pain of my life I would have physically attacked him. I could barely get out the words to explain to my husband what he had said about me; my husband (who is a pretty calm, reasonable guy) spent my entire surgery time, dealing with complaining to whomever at the hospital might be able to do something about his asshole behavior.

Even if I was "just a junkie"- what a fucking HORRIBLE attitude to have towards someone who is genuinely suffering.

But to lump that kind of hatred onto a legitimately ill, disabled mother - just because of ONE kind of medication that's necessary to my life - it was uncalled for and horrible.

[–]JoJoAnd 71 points72 points  (13 children)

Ah you mean like when you have really hard shit that won't really come out

[–]Theobat 59 points60 points  (12 children)

Actually.... I gave birth twice and it is kind of like the absolute worst poop ever. Until you get to the ring of fire which, is basically what it sounds like

[–]Every_of_the_it 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Okay, but what is the ring of fire, though?

[–]ImYourSpirtAnimal 24 points25 points  (2 children)

It's when the baby's head is coming out, and it's stretching everything so much so that it feels like your sensitive bits are on fire.

[–]MKIS101010 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Gods, it's a wonder humanity survived given how brutal birth is for the body.

[–]ApexHolly 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Up until "modern medicine", surviving birth wasn't something you could take for granted. Hell, the UN estimates that even today, a mother dies in childbirth roughly every two minutes. Granted, that's mostly driven by deaths in impoverished countries with limited health infrastructure, but it still happens in the developed world as well.

[–]NelsonMuntzGoesHaHa 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Love is a burning thing

[–]yildizli_gece 9 points10 points  (0 children)

it's the exhaustion that gets you

Hmm--after giving birth I'm gonna say it's the actual tearing enough to need stitches that gets you (or me, anyway)

1/10 would not recommend

[–]Theobat 13 points14 points  (2 children)

If I had a choice between giving birth a bunch more times or having mastitis even 1 more time I’d choose birth.

And you’re absolutely right, both intensity and duration are critical and independent factors.

[–]oceanushayes 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Omg a couple days after having my second kid, I got mastitis and a uterine infection. Uterine infection basically felt like all the pain of childbirth with none of the rewards. I was in agony. It's the closest I've ever been to understanding why people in extreme lingering pain would consider suicide. To make it even worse, I had to take so many antibiotics to combat the infections that I got c diff which lasted at least a month. Man, I love that child, but those couple months after having her sucked so bad.

[–]whitshoshdel 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I don’t know. Childbirth was a level of pain I could never even imagine or explain. I couldn’t even believe women do it. It’s like the closest you come to death and then you live and have a baby. Wild.

[–]alitchee 4 points5 points  (0 children)

yeah im never having kids lol never wanted them anyways

[–]pinch56 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I personally have never given birth but I did have 4 huge kidney stones at one time once (like to the point they wanted to do sugery but I convinced them to wait and see if I could pass them... took 4 days but I did) and managed to finish my shift before going to the hospital to get looked at. And I also broke my ankle and walked around on it for 4 hours before going to the hospital... yea needed surgery lol. The covid test for me stung a little bit but not "break a chair" type pain

[–]sabre256 110 points111 points  (39 children)

Try passing a kidney stone...... fml

[–]lllola 46 points47 points  (1 child)

As a woman who’s given birth and had many kidney stones, my personal opinion is one isn’t a worse pain than the other, just different. The kidney stone feels much worse in many ways, because it’s generally unexpected and can hit you suddenly with no warning when it’s not at all convenient. Add to it the vomiting, urgent need to get to a probably-crowded ER, maybe not having any idea what’s causing the pain... the anxiety and stress surrounding it exacerbate the pain x100. At least giving birth, you are (hopefully) already expecting it, likely in a hospital and able to be medicated if you want, and you did it to yourself so hopefully too you’re at least a little excited and prepared.

I love my kid to pieces, but I give both experiences a 0/10, would not repeat again.

[–]DogsRock248 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I'ma pass on both experiences, thanks anyway.

[–]dan_dares 107 points108 points  (26 children)

not sure why the downvotes.


and a study:


Before people say: they asked women who had given birth and had kidney stones (renal colic) so down voters should explain to these women why their experience is wrong.

[–]CloakedGod926 24 points25 points  (0 children)

My moms been having issues with kidney stones for the past couple years and she says it's way worse than both childbirths she went through put together.

[–]Philosokitty 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This is interesting - i've never given birth, but when I got kidney stones years ago, I was so cocksure certain that it would be more painful than childbirth. It was the most horrifying, traumatic, painful and tiring thing to have ever happen to me. Vomiting was in 5 minute waves, I LITERALLY could not walk and had to be in a wheelchair for the first time in my life, I had to take a pee test but couldnt pee anything out, I was so dehydrated I had to be put on fluids, I couldnt think or function, couldnt hold food down, and worse of all, I wasnt delirious enough to ignore the horrible, stabbing pain of it passing through my kidneys. Emergency dept made me wait like 5 gruelling hours before any treatment was done on me, I had a massive fever too. When i got painkillers injected, I felt like i wanted to marry all the doctors and nurses who helped me because it felt like I just escaped hell. And until today, I am still pretty sure that getting my vagina torn wouldnt be as painful as enduring hours and hours of agony of a fucking calcium stone passing through me. I'm glad women who HAVE given birth corroborate my feelings on the matter lol.

[–]twerkinghitler 15 points16 points  (0 children)

As someone who has given birth twice I’d MUCH prefer it to kidney stones. The wooooooorst

[–]onyxaj 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Kidney stones. The doctor told me that it hurts as much as giving birth. I was delirious with pain.

[–]Konkuriito 190 points191 points  (16 children)

When I was taught how to do those tests my instructor literally said that if the patient isn't squirming and acting uncomfortable, it's probably not in far enough. They do have to go very far in. There's a line on the ones we use that has to go to all the way to the nostril. It's not very comfortable. Sorry about that everyone.

[–]NoxKyoki 36 points37 points  (5 children)

I already had a nasal endoscopy. I don't see myself worrying about this one. lol. unless I suddenly have to sneeze...

[–]-Longnoodles 16 points17 points  (6 children)

I’ve gotten tested several times and they went maybe halfway in nose, it wasn’t uncomfortable at all - why would some tests need to go further? Is the mucus different towards the back of the nose?

[–]werenurse 24 points25 points  (5 children)

It sounds like you may have had a rapid/ antigen test, which doesn’t go in as far.

The less comfortable option/ PCR test goes a little further because they’re looking for RNA specific to the virus. It’s typically more accurate and can detect the virus in early infection (typically asymptotic people).

[–]Purple7740 329 points330 points  (13 children)

The huge bummer here is that its totally pointless to get tested 2 days after exposure, of course it will be Neg.

You experienced that for no reason and now should get tested a week to 10 days after possible exposure. 😉

[–]Trblmker77 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Didn’t know they were going to swab my throat first and made the mistake of chewing a fresh piece of minty gum right before my test. Minty sinuses are just as fun as you would think.

[–]Historical-Piglet-86 133 points134 points  (2 children)

Life lesson......when someone says “I have a high pain tolerance” they absolutely do not.

[–]Rodzeus 28 points29 points  (0 children)

I think a lot of people administer the test incorrectly by going "up" the nose instead of straight back toward the throat. I've had one test for work (healthcare) and the nurse who did my test went up and toward my eyes. I was 100% aware of where she had the swab and how she was doing it wrong, but was so uncomfortable and pained by it that I couldn't say anything before it was over. Next time I'm tested I am going to ask to do it myself. I expect people who have pain are often victims of similar experiences.

Healthcare folks, it's back like an NG tube, not up =|

[–]vegetaiscool13 46 points47 points  (8 children)

The one I got at CVS only made me stick it up my nose 1 inch. Didnt hurt at all, it just felt weird.

[–]JeffReyJR 25 points26 points  (0 children)

The CVS test I took said to put it until the snap off line touches your nose (like 3 inches I think) even though online it said 1 inch. Did you get printed instructions with yours? And if so, did you read them? Gotta be careful because if it isn't taken correctly its essentially useless.

[–]dorkface95 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I did this one and it was very uncomfortable! I had allergies and my nasal passages had swollen pretty small. I ended up sneezing like 6 times during the 20 seconds because the swab irritated my nose.

[–]BowlofDumplings 37 points38 points  (7 children)

There are just some parts of your body that will feel immense pain no matter how prepared you are. Usually soft squishy parts.

[–]dex248 53 points54 points  (1 child)

Unfortunately that’s my entire body.

[–]nielswerf001 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Well, at least you're soft and squishy

[–]lostboy411 16 points17 points  (0 children)

If you were exposed a couple days ago, make sure to get another test in a few days because of the incubation period. And try to get the test that takes a couple days to come back - it’s supposed to hurt less and also be more accurate.

[–]Clepeter 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Longest 10 seconds of my life.
Not that it hurts that much, but it really is uncomfortable.
Lacrimal gland activated - cried from the eyes and from the nose.

[–]Bigbeaner1974 46 points47 points  (2 children)

You have no pain tolerance.

[–]existential_feline 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I wouldn't say it hurts as much as it burns. I work in a nursing home and due to infection rates in our county I have to get tested twice a week..you start to get used to it. I've likened it to when you get water up your nose while swimming and you feel that burning brain sensation. OP I hope you stay healthy and safe! Probably gave the doc a much needed laugh

[–]jaythroaqay 35 points36 points  (4 children)

Its really a different kind of pain though. You can't really have built up tolerance to someone poking you in the brain.

[–]PM_me_your_fav_poems 22 points23 points  (0 children)

It's not the brain. It goes up the nose, and down towards the back of the throat.

[–]ElGage 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I am a rather tall large man. When I went to get tested the person giving the test was a small old lady. Before she gave me the tests she whispered "try not to punch me." Wasn't as bad as OP but wasn't that pleasant.

[–]Major31G 14 points15 points  (2 children)

The COVID tests don’t phase me because I pick my nose deeper than the swab goes.

[–]getmeowthofhere 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yeah, I thought I had a high pain tolerance. The second test I had done I had while I was going into septic shock from a sinus infection that they thought was rona. My nose down to my lungs felt like there were just millions of tiny shards of glass stabbing me the entire way done. I was bawling when they did it that time. I wasn’t a fan of the experience before that either.

[–]Xoxohopeann 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Fun fact: if you have extreme pain and it’s unable to be advanced then you probably should see an ENT for swollen turbinates (speaking from experience). I literally couldn’t get the swab past an inch or two in my nose

[–]Gravesplitter 23 points24 points  (5 children)

To add insult to injury you didn’t wait nearly long enough to get tested. Symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to show.