As a guy who's been pretty chummy with pain over the past two decades, I tend to categorize pain events. Just can't help it. If I'm sitting next to a stranger and need to engage that person in conversation, I'll ask 'em what time in their life they hurt the most. Here's a peek at my list:
In 2nd place, I put the day at Baylor Hospital when the docs wanted a different look at an achey left hip. They took some kind of scan while I was contorted like a pretzel. My left leg was torqued like a ratchet wrench and then they tied me up in that position. The scan took at least 45 minutes and by the end of it I had gritted my teeth down to nubs.
At #1 is the herniated disk episode in 1997. As I writhed on the ER gurney at Lake Pointe Hospital, Brett jotted down two pages of cuss words he said I said. I was coherent and lucid and remember no such depravity. I remember hoping that one ought to be able to die from too much pain as easily as from too much cold or heat or radiation.
Today I was sentenced to an MRI at a place in Rowlett that boasted an "open MRI". I've had several MRI's and they are quite claustrophobic. I thought that an open MRI would have me lying on a table in the middle of a bare room. Turned out to be almost the prototypical tube. It had some openings on the sides of the tube, enough I guess to allow them claim "open-ness".
The scenario looked harmless. The tech put a padded thing under my right elbow and then secured my forearm to my waist. This put the rotator cuff in the proper position to be scanned. In a sense, I looked like I'll look in my casket. Unfortunately, though, this put the shoulder in just the position that caused me the most pain. An hour later, it was over. The tech said he had to retake some shots because I had flinched a couple of times.
After a lot of consideration, I'll put today's episode up there with the Baylor pretzel one. I'm not interested in having any more contenders anytime soon.