Does anyone really know this answer for sure? Is there some top secret chart that shows that some people are tougher than others or can take more pain than others? Seeing that I’m about to have major surgery in the next few days to remove this little bundle and after a lengthy conversation with my hubby, I find this topic of conversation more and more funny because I really don’t think anyone is ever in a place to judge another’s ability to tolerate pain. I have even found myself judging my own mother’s tolerance for pain at times, thinking she is weaker than she REALLY IS. How do you know that my 7 wouldn’t be a 10 to you or vice-a-versa? No one ever knows, so how can you even judge yourself? Is it all about who can take a shot better than another or who can break a leg and stand on it better?
Since I was little I have always said that I have a “low” tolerance for pain, I’m not sure where I got that from or why I started to say it. But as I’ve grown older and have had my share of bumps, bruises, and LABOR, I’m beginning to think that whatever it was that made me say that was just the enemy telling me that I was a weaker person. I have found that when you inform people that you have a low tolerance for pain… they will think you do for the rest of your life. For me, it’s more of a mind game than anything else. The fear of what could happen… not so much the fear of it hurting.
I can remember back at my very first surgery when I had my breast reduction, as we were getting ready I can remember crying hysterically. No one really asked me why I was crying, they all assumed that it was because I was scared of the IV because they couldn’t get a vein and the whole healing process. If they had just asked what those tears were really about they would have discovered that it wasn’t in fear of any pain what-so-ever. It was the fact that I was losing a piece of me and a nervousness of how it would all turn out. I was more scared about the outcome and the fact that I was getting married only 4 months later and what my future husband would think. For some reason this experience really did something to me that made me really think less of myself; it made me feel weaker than what I really was. I was determined not to have anyone see me so vulnerable again.
Because I had told myself that I was weak and had a low tolerance for pain I was very worried about having people in the labor and delivery room with me when I had Jayden. Even though I wanted the most important people in my life there to witness it, I didn’t want people to judge me or think that I was a baby because of the pain or the fact I was crying through a contraction. Up until the very last moment it was just going to be my mom and Jesse. But then… it all flew out the window. If they thought I was weak… they could think I was weak! I was having a baby and it IS a painful experience, but oh-so worth it in the end.
After having three epidurals (does that make me weak?) because my back labor WAS very painful and still no progression, I had to have a C-section. Ha… I was so worried about people thinking I was weak during the labor, now they have to see me after ANOTHER surgery… fantastic! My own worst nightmare, coming back again! However, I was back on my feet the next day after having major abdominal surgery and four days later took care of a new born baby all by myself while Jesse was at a bachelor party that had been planned months in advance.
I still struggle with what people will think, even if people think I’ll even be able to take this next one. But I’m beginning to realize that no one really knows what anyone feels or what any person’s pain tolerance is. Ultimately, it’s yet another judgment that we place on ourselves and others.
Have you ever found yourself judging another person’s pain tolerance or told someone they have a low threshold for pain? My husband has admitted to me that he has done that on several occasions, which is what brought this whole topic of conversation up in the first place. Next time before you do that, think about how another will judge yours…