Monday, August 13, 2012


We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a word from our sponsor: my brain. I can't sleep. Partially because Dave is snoring, partially because my left nostril is clogged, partially because I took a nap today, mostly because my whole middle section feels like it's on fire, and partially because my mind is racing.
I've already done all I can to get rid of the fire (3 ibuprofen, 2 tylenol, 1 gas-x, heating pad), sitting up should get my nostril to clear up, Dave will stop snoring if I jab him enough times and tell him to roll over, and there's nothing I can do to retroactively tell myself not to take a nap today. So that leaves me with my mind racing.
What is my mind racing about? Pain. This brings me to my topic--it's one of my biggest pet peeves, but I don't think I've told many people about it. I usually just keep it to myself--grin and bear it. Here it is: I hate the phrase, "pain threshold". I think it's a bunch of baloney. It's the grown-up way of calling someone a sissy.
Just about this time of the month every month I get all mad about it all over again, if you catch my drift. The most I've heard it used is in reference to labor.
There is the big debate over natural birth vs. medicated birth. I have no strong opinion on which is the "right" way to do it for others, but I know that I will always choose to have an epidural. The only part that bugs me is when people talk about their labor and say some form of, "Oh, I didn't need any pain killers or epidural because my pain threshold is higher than yours."
Let me tell you about labor. It hurts. A LOT! It feels like cramps, food poisoning, bad gas, and being run over, all in one. Ok, I don't know what it feels like to be run over so I can't compare it to that. I'm sure it's close though.
Here's your fair warning: I'm going to start rambling because from here on out (you weren't already!?)--my thoughts are all jumbled together.
The only way I feel it is fair to compare "pain threshold" levels is if somehow the actual pain felt was able to be measured, which it really can't be. My pain is not the same as anyone else's pain. You can't tell me that you felt the same amount of pain and just dealt with it better. I do give so so so SO many props to all those women who give birth naturally. I am admitting openly that you are strong women with self control I can only hope to have. Some of you don't experience as much pain as others, which makes it easier to give birth without being numb from the waist down. It has to do with the way your nerves and brain are hooked up-not your pain threshold. Some of you experience more pain than others and still are able to give birth without being numb from the waist down. As for me, I experience more pain than I would ever like to deal with in my life without being numb from the waist down.
Bring in today's world: No I'm not planning on experiencing labor for a while. I can promise it's not in the next at least 10 month plan for me. However today I am experiencing what I like to call "mini-labor". It hurts like a @!%^@#&@$%*#$^*%^($&($%^@#$%!@#% and you can't tell me that you just have a higher pain threshold than me when it comes to cramps. I may slap you if you do. I'm not a sissy! It just hurts a LOT.* Do you think they make monthly epidurals for cramps?
Ok, I think I've written everything that was in my head. Hopefully I can sleep now.

*I actually have a uterus septum which causes menstrual cramps to be more painful. Just saying. 


Andrea said...

I am sorry you are in such pain. I know what you mean about an epidural. I always plan to have it, in fact they should make it a call-in order when you are on your way to the hospital, because that will for sure be the first thing I do when I get the hospital with our future children. I did it with the twins and I plan on always using it. It bothers me when people give me grief for getting it, especially men who have NO idea. I don't care what they think, it is my body and if the medical technology has taken us that far to not feel pain during labor, sign me up.

Carrie said...

my deepest condolences dear friend. one of my closest friends growing up was like you and she would have to miss days of school each month. me? i never get cramps. it's always just a severe backache that extends to my butt and upper legs. for a day or two it's bad enough that standing or walking for more than two minutes is so terribly impossible BUT i wouldn't ever trade places with you (sorry friend!) because i'm pretty positive yours is a sharper more difficult pain.

my pet peeve along those lines is when girls will think that all morning sickness is the same. ummm no it's not so don't even act like you were as sick as me and i won't act like i was as sick as my friend that kept getting hospitalized for throwing up blood and losing 20 lbs off of her already underweight body!

and i'm with you... i really don't like pain. which is ironic because i'm somewhat considering a natural birth this time around. last time my epidural didn't kick in til i was already at a ten and having an IV in the back of my hand for 36 hours while i was attempting to nurse or sleep or do anything was so uncomfortable in that "will it ever end?!" sort of way... but really, who knows. i'm not 100% sold on the idea of going natural. but holy crap i never in my lifetime thought i would consider it like i am now. the only reason for that is because my last birth is fast and i'm familiar with what i'll be facing this time around. because unlike so many other people, i realize that my labor experience is only understood by ME and not comparable. because how can you compare something like that?! ps- i'll have to send you a link or post about this insane birth story i read. you would love/hate it!

ps- was my rant as long as yours?!

Ms. A said...

I agree! Or you hear, "but when I did *blank* it hurt more than YOU could ever imagined" pain is pain. Its not called pain because it is pleasant. Can't we accept that everyone is different? If I can minimize pain, I will. :-)

Carlie said...

Oh Sarah. I'm sorry you have to deal with high amounts of pain every month. I totally agree with you about "pain threshold". I KNOW I could NOT have done a natural birth if my labor pains were worse (or lasted longer than they did). I hope nobody thinks you're a sissy because you want relief from your pain (I sure don't think that). I wish, for your sake, (and sometimes mine) that they had a monthy epidural... your should connect with a doctor and work something out! Good Luck this week.