Pain Level: Five

03.18.2007 | 10:13 pm

I have many endearing qualities, and one of them is that I get very excited about things most people wouldn’t get excited at all about. Last Friday, for example, I was excited because I had bought a new twelve-foot-long cable for my Python cable lock — just the ticket for locking a couple of bikes to a hitch rack.

But before I could use it, I would need to cut the zipties that kept the cable bound into a tight coil.

Luckily for me, I am never without my Leatherman Micra — I figured that the fold-out scissors would do the job nicely.

“Wow. That is one tough ziptie,” I said to myself as I held onto the coiled cable with my left hand and applied increasing pressure to the scissors blade with my right hand. “The stupid…thing…just…won’t…cut!”

And then, as I put my weight into it, the ziptie cut. Hooray!

After which, suddenly deprived of the resistance from the ziptie, my scissors zoomed forward, the blade coming to rest once it was effectively buried in the flesh of my hand between my forefinger and thumb.

There was a lot of blood.

The One Thing I Remember from Boy Scouts
Here’s a surprising fact you probably don’t know about me: I am an Eagle Scout. Here’s another fact you probably won’t find surprising: I remember hardly anything at all from my two years as a scout (I got my eagle as quickly as was allowed by the program, so my mom would stop pestering me about it).

As blood gushed everywhere, though, I did remember: apply pressure.

And — whaddaya know — it worked. I brought the bleeding under control. The only problem is, this meant that both my hands were now fully occupied — one hand with being a bloody gushing mess, and the other hand with being a makeshift cork.

I was outside (I have a bloody sidewalk that shows exactly where) when this happened, so now had the problem of getting inside to get my wife to drive me to the hospital — I was absolutely certain I’d need stitches for this.

It’s not easy to knock on the door when your hands are occupied as mine were. But if you’re willing — as a 40-year-old man and mortgage owner — to kick your own door, it is totally possible to convey some urgency to your door knocking.

Friday Night Date
My wife, sadly enough, has seen me bloodied up quite a few times. The good thing about this is that she’s now got enough experience with my clumsiness-induced injuries that she effectively (and resignedly) just gets to work.

First things first: she ran across the street to see if our neighbor the EMT was home.


So she then went next door to see if our other neighbor the fireman / paramedic was home.


While she was checking to see if there was anyone who could lend a hand (no, not literally), I lifted my right hand in order to sneak a peek at the damage on my left hand.

Renewed gushing of blood, and the startling realization that I have never seen the inside of me so clearly before.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but: the sight of my blood makes me very queasy. Which is to say, I nearly passed out.

As my wife drove me to the emergency room, I apologized over and over. “Sorry about this,” I said, still lightheaded about being able to see so much of my blood all over the place, but also recognizing that this was the first day I’d been home in two weeks, and the dinner and movie my wife had planned for the evening had turned into no dinner and a trip to the hospital.

Because I — a 40-year-old man — evidently do not know how to properly handle a pair of scissors.

An Interesting Question
There’s something satisfying — in a twisted sort of way — about being a bloody mess when you walk into a hospital emergency room. You’ve got yourself a real emergency here. You’re applying pressure. You’re making a mess on the floor. You feel like it’s your right to blow right by the people who look like they came here because they were feeling slightly disconsolate.

“What seems to be the problem?” asked the person who’s job it must be to not pick up on obvious clues.

“I’ve been cut long and deep. My left hand. I’m bleeding a lot.”

So I’m escorted to what is labeled (oddly, I notice the label) the “Triage Room.” A nurse (or maybe just a helpful bystander — I never made sure) then applied a gauze bandage and wrapped it up tightly. While she did this, she asked me an interesting question:

“On a scale of 1 to 10, what would you say your pain level is?”

Hm. Well, that’s a poser of a question. I thought about it, and then said, “five, I guess.”

After which I immediately regretted not saying, “Eleven! Fourteen! Give me morphine!” because she said, “OK, go sit down.”

And there I sat, for 45 minutes or so, while a number of people who came in after I did — sporting what looked like nothing more painful than a modest case of ennui — got ushered in to see doctors ahead of me.

I’ll Stick With 5
During this 45 minutes, I had plenty of time to contemplate how embarassing it is to have the most serious cut of your life be from a self-inflicted scissors cut at the age of 40.

Eventually, though, they rummaged up a doctor for me. Before he unwrapped the (now quite bloody) bandage, he asked me the same question: from one to ten, how bad does it hurt?

I stuck with five.

He then unwrapped the bandage, and said, “Well. This looks like more than what I’d usually expect from a five.”

He then spent several minutes cleaning me out, sending the nurse to go get a tetanus shot (my shoulder still hurts, thanks), talking with me about mountain biking on the White Rim, testing my fingers to see if I could feel anything, testing my thumb to see if I could move it, expressing surprise that I could because it looked like I had gone deep enough to sever some working parts, and then sewing me up.

By the time I left, I was thinking it’d be fun to ride with this doctor.

Why 5?
On the way home, my wife asked me why I had said this ugly cut only hurt at level five. The answer is easy: I’ve got a pretty good basis of comparison. To wit:

  • Level 7: While riding the Brian Head Epic 100 one year, I crashed at mile 70, bruising my hip, separating my shoulder, and breaking off my saddle. I rode the next 25 miles of uphill without a saddle, during which time both my calves cramped up solid and my knee started bothering me.
  • Level 8: While riding the Leadville 100 one year, I crashed on a downhill section, completely dislocating my shoulder (I resocketed it on my own), getting a nice road rash, and then finished the race while dry heaving, completely exhausted and pretty dehydrated.
  • Level 9: At 0.1 miles per hour on a technical move on Porcupine Rim, I fell on my side once, catching all my weight on my right arm. This tore my rotator cuff and started my ever-growing SLAP lesion. This is what caused the “Elden Scream” my friends still talk about to this day.
  • Level 10: I watched my wife go through six months of chemo. That stuff sucks. Not as bad as what happens if you don’t do it, but still.

So on Saturday — the nicest day of the year so far, after I’ve been off the bike for two weeks, even — I didn’t go on a ride. Couldn’t put weight on the hand, and for sure couldn’t use the brakes. You know, that’s probably level 6 pain right there.

The Question
So, was level 5 just about right? Or should I have gone higher? Lower? What’s your personal yardstick of pain?

Oh, and here’s my hand, 48 hours later. Looking much better, I’d say, though still very puffy.

PS: Today’s weight: 163.6, still.


  1. Comment by Dave Nice | 03.18.2007 | 10:40 pm


  2. Comment by seven22 | 03.18.2007 | 11:07 pm

    Level five seems appropriate. Lacerations are generally not that painful. Honestly, the amount of hair on your arm is more interesting than the wound.

  3. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 03.19.2007 | 12:04 am

    That’s one nasty cut. On the other hand, now you can clearly see the benefits of waxing/shaving your manly shrubbery. Although now you have that nasty scar your future as a hand model for Estee Lauder is severely inhibited.

  4. Comment by Weean | 03.19.2007 | 12:26 am


    Is this injury not going to seriously inhibit your riding and weight loss programme (that’s right, two Ms and an E)? That should interest the B7ers.

    On your upside/their downside, it should also inpact your ability to hold the fridge door whilst gathering big armfuls (armsful?) of treats.

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

  5. Comment by HighwayMunky | 03.19.2007 | 1:09 am

    Nice Stitches!

  6. Comment by buckythedonkey | 03.19.2007 | 2:02 am

    You could try tearing the cork out of a tequila bottle with your teeth, spitting it onto the floor and barking “one” before taking a nice long pull (loud gulping sounds at this point would reinforce your point).

    Presuming you don’t injure the same hand, you could also wave your scissor scar in their faces while repeatedly saying “You see this? Eh? Eh?”. Hopefully they won’t remember that you graded it a five at the time.

    I like the Estee Lauder connection. Maybe you could bellow “‘because I’m worth it, OK?” to everybody in the waiting room after each swig from the bottle.

  7. Comment by bikemike | 03.19.2007 | 3:43 am

    Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Frankensteen) would be proud. Second, move next to the Fire Department.

  8. Comment by Lurch | 03.19.2007 | 3:48 am

    That IS a lot of hair. Wait…what was the topic of this post?

  9. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 03.19.2007 | 4:00 am

    1.So if that joins nicely with the lifeline on your palm it should mean you will now live right through to 150.
    2.Good rule of thumb to use here 5 stitches = pain level 5 so you got it right.
    3.Hope your manicurist is not charging too much
    4.Did not see any mention of tears so well done there
    5.and what Dave Nice said – Ouch! and he knows about pain having had his bike stolen.

    How long will it keep you off the bike?

  10. Comment by dawn | 03.19.2007 | 4:33 am

    Actually, you should have rated it a 7. Always rate the pain a 7, even if it is just a splinter. It will get you treated quicker.

  11. Comment by Sean | 03.19.2007 | 4:38 am

    I’ve made a couple of ER visits and they certainly expect you to be a wuss. I just go ahead and cater to that, I sure hate to disappoint people.

  12. Comment by Al (female) | 03.19.2007 | 4:55 am

    The only time (yet) I’ve ever been to the ER I was vomiting all over the place, shaking uncontrollably, and half unconscious. Even though it was about 3 in the morning I too had to wait forever in the waiting room while all the ennui cases got shuffled in ahead of me. I can’t be positive but I’m pretty sure when I was asked the pain level question I answered “fugerge”. Did I mention I was half passed out? Any pain I thought I was in however was miniscule compared to the spinal tap I was subjected to when a Dr. finally did see me. That pain can be quantified on no 1-10 scale that I know of.
    But yeah, the level 5 was probably spot on. Any higher and you’d risk being called a wuss by everyone here.

  13. Comment by Tim D | 03.19.2007 | 5:29 am

    Were you never taught “hands behind the blade, cut away from the body”? I have a scar on my little finger where I sliced an inch long strip clean off while preparing some fish. Pain factor was about 2 until the next day when the nurse started poking it about and telling me off for not coming in sooner and getting it stitched, when it went up to about 6.

  14. Comment by Steve | 03.19.2007 | 5:41 am

    You know, I’ve done something like that in my lifetime, as well. Silly self-inflicted wounds. I pierced my palm with an exacto blade. Right in and out the other side. I was dissecting a rose bud for a science class. I was in 5th grade.

    Thankfully you weren’t doing scissor sprints. Who knows what unforeseen damage you would have wreaked upon yourself.

  15. Comment by Brewinman | 03.19.2007 | 6:28 am

    Where did Born4Lycra learn to count? I see seven stitches…

  16. Comment by Jon | 03.19.2007 | 6:35 am

    I’m an ER nurse and I think 5 was about right, well maybe 6-7. I use the scale of zero being no pain while 10 is being set on fire while having your testicles crushed. Get well soon and watch out for infection.

  17. Comment by TimK | 03.19.2007 | 6:51 am

    Maybe you should work out an ads for schwag deal with the Acme Safety Scissors company.

    Those big cuts always seem to hurt more later than they do at first. My wife has you beat with her Snapple bottle injury. She was carrying it upstairs to recycle it, tripped, fell and put the handle holding the bottle out reflexively to stop her fall. After transfusions and surgery at Georgetown, she’s got a nice scar and crossed nerves. And for some reason, she still recycles.

    Next time use your teeth!

  18. Comment by James | 03.19.2007 | 7:11 am

    Reminds of the time I thought I’d cut a poker chip in half in order to make a mount for my helmet light (the “why” is a long story). I grabbed some scissors — see where this is going? — and when I finally got them to cut the chip, they closed on the end of my finger, making a nice V shape cut. The scar is still there. If I have to cut anything thicker than paper, I now pull out the dremel.

  19. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.19.2007 | 7:19 am

    Jon, that happened to me once, and I’d say it was only a 9.

    Fatty, I don’t remember you being that hairy, are you bathing in Rogain?

    163.6 Oh man, the scale is jerking you around. I’m guessing two days from now it’ll suddently register 187.

  20. Comment by Al Maviva | 03.19.2007 | 7:45 am

    Hey, nice cut, Fatty.

    When I was a wee man living in Europe, I used to drink rather a lot of beer. I had always done this fratboy party trick-level bit of stuntery to open bottles when I was drinking. I’d catch the gnarled edges of the bottle top in some skin on my arm or face, and twist. The skin would spin a little bit until the bottle top snagged, and then the top would unscrew. When I lived in Europe, however, I frequently forgot (for some unknown reason) that I was drinking European beers. The problem is Euro bottles never had screw tops back then. So I would place the bottle top against my skin, twist hard, and suddenly rip open a crescent-shaped tear about 1.5 inches long. It typically combined the pain of a Dutch Rub, with the resistant-to-congealing blood of any long cut. Because I was drinking, I seldom cared.

    That wasn’t the only problem with the Euro bottles. The other problem was that I have gorilla hands with corresponding Angry Gorilla Strength, and even using an approved bottle opening device, I would sometimes pull the tops up a leeeetle too hard, breaking the neck off the bottle. Combined with booze-fueled clumsiness, this generally left me with a bad cut on my wrist – normally the right one, but sometimes the left. It is fortunate nobody paid much attention to me at that time in my life; otherwise I would have found myself institutionalized after “repeated suicide attempts.”

  21. Comment by sans auto | 03.19.2007 | 7:47 am

    In the science community we study pain. I once participated in a pain study to test recovery drinks. They had us doe 10 sets of 10 on the leg extension machine at 130% of our 1 RM, only doing the eccentric part of the contraction using only the left leg. I hobbled a lot after that, but it only rated about 3.5 on the pain scale (they use a 10 cm. line and you draw a line between no pain at all and worst pain You’ve ever felt) Pain is generally measured in cm.

    The most recent study was a cramping study where they used electrical stimulation to induce a cramp in the arch of your foot. Evidently I’m not prone to cramps because it took a lot of power to make me cramp (more than anyone else in the study). I rated that pain at about 4-5.

    I’m currently being recruited to participate in a study where they inject concentrated saline sollution into the area just below your knee cap. We’ll see how that goes. The only problem is that I’ve never really experienced excrutiating pain so I feel my results are a little skewed.

    Fatty, I think that was a solid 5, if not more… if you want to know the spectrum of pain, let me know, I’m sure we could use some more subjects around here.

  22. Comment by LanterneRouge | 03.19.2007 | 8:09 am

    The contrast between your hand and your sasquatch-esque arm is quite unsettling. Did they have to shave your hand before doing the stitches?

    p.s. I’m glad you’re okay.

  23. Comment by Lisa B | 03.19.2007 | 8:13 am

    Look at it this way: at least your hand is clean. But you now owe your wife a lot more than dinner and a movie.

  24. Comment by msk | 03.19.2007 | 8:41 am

    great scar
    nice travelling stitch – going to be a neat and tidy job
    if you want it to turn into a more manly scar you might want to start picking at it a bit now, maybe rubbing in some soil / dirt into it

    just remember “wounds heal, scars fade, glory lasts forever”

    but don’t know if the glory counts for self inflicted scissor accidents

    ditto on the sasquatch arms, shaved hands thing – freaky



  25. Comment by dug | 03.19.2007 | 8:51 am

    is that hand a prop from young frankenstein? and i don’t mean the stitches, i mean the hair.

  26. Comment by Boz | 03.19.2007 | 8:52 am

    I ran myself over with a snow-cat once. Try that trick sometime. Luckily, i had groomed over the area where it happened several times, so injuries were limited to 16 skull and face fractures, crushed wrist, and broken humerus. When the shock wore off, the wrist w/ bone protruding from the skin hurt the worst – a 9 on the pain scale. A little incident involving white gas and a wasp nest was more painfull than that, an almost pass-out 10. Seeing the skin bubble like bacon on your lower leg/calf is nasty. Burn care doc probing for nerve damage really sucks. This sounds like a topic for ramdom reviewer, eh dug?

  27. Comment by Eric | 03.19.2007 | 9:19 am

    I think you could devote an entire blog to self-inflicted wounds by grown men doing things they would beat their children for even thinking about. Speaking of which …. I recently had my own encounter with scissors-in-a-knife. I carry one of those small Swiss Army knifes that has a blade, file and scissors (and the secret tweezers and tooth pick) in my pocket. IAfter using the scissors to cut something, I put the kife back on my dresser without folding the scissors back into the knife body. The next day, rushing to get dressed, I grabbed the knife and jammed into my jeans. As the bottom of the knife-body hit the bottom of the pocket, the force drove the pointed end of the scissors into the fleshy part of my hand at the base of my thumb. Not a lot of pain, but I felt it sliding in, and that scared me more than it hurt. And it did bleed quite a bit. And, as you know, when one hand is clamping the wound on your other hand shut, you can’t just put a band aid on yourself and pretend the whole stupid thing never happened. So I had to wake up my son (wife was out of town) to help me. Luckily he is young enough to think the blood was cool, and not prima facie evidence of my stupidity.

  28. Comment by Rick S. | 03.19.2007 | 9:38 am

    Just what I needed to see before heading out to lunch.

  29. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 03.19.2007 | 9:57 am

    Hmmm, so none of the women have a stupid injury story, interesting.

    I think you overshot your rating. I’d give it a 3, maybe 4. In my family you’d have to be dying to go to the hospital. Tape and superglue do wonders. And yes, we’ve used them both, lots of times. Along with other things I probably shouldn’t mention. My dad was pretty inventive.

    Knowing first aid should be a pre-requisite to marrying a cyclist. Its certainly come in handy for me.

  30. Comment by Steve | 03.19.2007 | 10:24 am

    I guess like everyone else my first thought was of the hirsute arms. There are lots of men out there with less hair on their heads! Be proud.

    Being a late 40’s something man I can relate to the self inflicted injuries thing, but I try to learn something from my experiences. Next time try a pair of wire cutters on the ziptie…just clip the connector part. You don’t have to get under the band. Very effective and very safe.

  31. Comment by SYJ | 03.19.2007 | 10:32 am

    First and foremost, I’m glad you’re OK.

    I was going to comment upon the rug you wear on your forearm, but it appears that *ahem* one or two others have beaten me to the proverbial punch. That said, you would probably do well to shave that mass on final B7 weigh-in day – it’d likely net you an additional pound or two.


  32. Comment by SYJ | 03.19.2007 | 10:33 am

    PS, the lawyer in me says that you need to sue both Leatherman and Master Lock. It’s a slow day at the office – let me know and I’ll get to drafting the papers…

  33. Comment by Al (female) | 03.19.2007 | 10:40 am

    Mrs. Coach,
    You want a woman’s stupid injury story? How about 2.
    1) Giving myself a concussion during a skit at one of those religious retreats in high school.
    2) Breaking my foot tripping off my parent’s driveway. Degree of difficulty: the driveway was less than 2 inches higher than the grass.
    I have some more impressive sports injuries but these are by far the stupidest.

  34. Comment by jill | 03.19.2007 | 11:03 am

    Wow …

    So that’s why they take away scissors in the carry-on check at the airport.

    The ER sounds like the most miserable place in the world … waiting for hours in a state of near-catatonic distress with a bunch of bleeding, leaking people. Next time, you should get your wife to apply the stitches.

  35. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.19.2007 | 11:40 am

    Nice scar, Eldon, but I have to say you are a piker if that is your worst self-inflicted + stupid injury. (I am giving you manly credit for all MTB wreck injuries as not being self-inflicted, as these things just happen, and as for stuupud, it would require mean witnesses).

    1. 4th grade 8″ long gash on left thigh – playing pirate with long kitchen knife, and wiping off virtual blood onto leg while running. And no, I have never been coordinated enough to even contemplate sucessful completion of such a maneuver.

    2. 5th grade – jammed a staub of rotten stump through my foot jumping onto the stump at full tilt, barefoot, playing one of those games where you have to get “home” without being tagged. (Same discalimer as above.)

    3. 8th grade – radial arm saw cut into middle joint of middle finger, permanent 20 degree cant towards the index finger. (Why would my dad employ a son who would daydream while on the business end of an 18″ diameter radial armsaw?)

    4. 10th grade (still working in the cabinet shop) ran a board backwards through a dado blade, and sustained no less than 10 separate scars on right hand. (In my defense, I was trying new machining techniques in search of higher product quality. Or something.)

    5. Junior in college, leaning back on a metal frame chair with metal foot skids on a hard linileum floor – caught entire weight on left wrist – broken navicular bone requiring bone graft surgery – because I did not tell anyone it was broken until the pain was so intense four months later that I could not open a door knob.

    6. As a young officer in the Navy, pulled a 750 pound submarine hatch onto my left wrist as I climbed down the ladder into the ship. Let out a pre-authentic Eldon scream on that one. surgery required. Amputation a possibility – all is happy, thank God.

    7. A year or so after the hatch incident, the Navy having inexplicably failed to transfer me to permanent desk duty, I exposed my planted left leg to a crazed lineman in an intermural football contest, so he could clip me, severing the PCL ligament in the left knee. I made amends some months later by trying to play basketball after four months underwater, and coming down wrong from an ungainly rebound to sever the ACL.

    My children & wife try to keep sharp things away from me.

    Heal fast!

  36. Comment by joe | 03.19.2007 | 11:46 am

    Wow.. seven stitches from a pair of scissors. I’d say my the majority injuries(all requiring stitches but never more than 3) are not even close to comparing. The only one i have that comes close is a four inch scar down my right wrist I earned by jumping off an end table to grab a balloon string when i was around 5 or 6. no stitches it just got wrapped up in gauze and such at home by mom and dad.

    on all my other injuries, the ones requiring stitches, actually getting the stitches has been more painful for me than the actual injury. most recent was when i fell playing hockey and ended up with my chin split open. no idea it’d happened until one of the other guys said “hey.. you know you’re bleeding right?” The guy in charge called my mother, i was still a minor, and she took me to Ready Med or whatever its called. they insisted upon stitches although I say it could have just been taped up. Something about not wanting it to scar. yeah.. cause one more might clash with the other 3.

    super glue and duct tape are great medical tools as well. just last year i super glued my thumb closed after I sliced it open.

  37. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 03.19.2007 | 12:12 pm

    what is it with hockey players and busting open their chins? My husband played in HS and did that and had (argueable, see below) to get stitches. The next week it was a few stiches in the bridge of his nose. Couple weeks later, stiches in the chin again. If it had been me in charge we wouldn’t have done anything to any of those, but I was just the girlfriend at the time. His dad took him to InstaCare every time, paid the $75 co pay for some antiseptic wipe and a couple dingy stitches. I think the $2 superglue would have worked better. But what do I know?

  38. Comment by mocougfan | 03.19.2007 | 12:13 pm

    My step dad and I were doing a house remodle once. He was using an air pressure nail gun. He shot one of the nails in between the thumb and forefinger. In the exact place as fatty. He screamed. So did I. He in pain, me in laughter. I’m not sure what made him madder…. the pain, loss of time on the job, or me laughing at him all the way to the ER. And yes, I had to pull the nail out of the board he was nailed to.

  39. Comment by TidusBlue | 03.19.2007 | 12:22 pm

    Hockey is dangerous… my wife hates that I still play. I broke my ankle 3 years ago, last year took a puck to the chin while reffing and in december I think I must have done something bad to my knee… I still can’t put too much pressure on it or bend it very well, but if I went to the doctor I wouldn’t be able to play hockey for a while… so I’m waiting until it just falls off to get it looked at.

  40. Comment by Lowrydr | 03.19.2007 | 12:27 pm

    Man that is going to be one cool scar there Mr. Fat, (don’t know you well enough to call you Fatty). Showed it to my son and he just giggled. Then he brought up the time he went over the bars on his Mountain bike and split his knee cap open with the brake lever mount. Had to take him to the local stitch and go. Came out with 7 across the cap, and bragged to his uncle that he had more stitches than him. We had to haul Willy in for elbow stitches (4) 2 hours before that.

    Just tell all the locals you saved your self from a mugger while in the big city. They’ll think your even tougher than a 5 on the scale. Then this one time in Boot camp. Oh wait, I signed a non-disclosure statement on that one (but it did involve a gun). Get well and back on that bike soon.

  41. Comment by the weak link | 03.19.2007 | 12:44 pm

    As a physician I feel extremely qualified to clarify common usage of the Pain Scale, based on my careful observations:
    10. Having EKG electrodes ripped off someone’s hairy chest.
    9. Getting a TB test (that’s me, actually. I’m not sure why I hate intradermal injections os much).
    8. The blood pressure cuff inflating to about 400 psi.
    7. Getting a rectal exam.
    6. Getting the EKG electrodes applied. The gel coating on the electrode can be so frightfully cold.
    5. Getting my bill and discovering that the insurance company has retroactively denied coverage for everything.

    Frankly the scale is worthless. I’ve seen people with a pain level of “9″ head to the outside so they can smoke. OTOH, I once collapsed in my office because I had a gallstone attack that dropped me, and I rated the level as a “6″. I’m guessing that getting a limb amputated without anesthesia would make a “10″ rating.

  42. Comment by joe | 03.19.2007 | 12:56 pm

    the chin thing occurred because i tripped over the goalie. best part was by the time the hacks at the Ready Med or whatever its called started stitches it had been done bleeding for 20 or 30 minutes.

    only other serious injury we’ve had while playing hockey is this kid fell and dislocated his elbow. i didn’t even know you could do that. though.. this was the same kid that broke his arm and went undefeated in HS wrestling(so small no one else was even close to his weight class) he definitely earned the nickname we gave him, Hurt.

    actually, thinking about things, there was one kid we played with who got a nose bleed that just bled all over for like an hour. apparently it had happened before, result of some medical condition.

  43. Comment by TidusBlue | 03.19.2007 | 1:48 pm

    dislocating my elbow was a 9 on the pain scale. I’ve been in a lot a pain in my life, but that was it… I was incredibly intoxicated (really, anytime I got hurt in college I was intoxicated), but it was a big 9. in comparison, the broken ankle mentioned above was a 4, maybe.

  44. Comment by Born4Lycra | 03.19.2007 | 1:58 pm

    Brewinman. 5 stitches, two ties (or anchors) – that’s according to the surgeon who last stitched me up. I was proudly saying I had got into double figures but was corrected on the spot only 8 stitches and two ties. But hey if it is 7 stitches then FC has shown some intestinal fortitude by calling it a 5 and I stand corrected.
    FC I agree with LisaB Mrs FC just earned a whole pile of points on which you will have to pay up big time.

  45. Comment by MBonkers | 03.19.2007 | 2:02 pm

    I hope you get paid well for being in those pain studies. Doesn’t sound like something I’d do in my spare time…

  46. Comment by KatieA | 03.19.2007 | 2:48 pm

    Look on the bright side – at least you’ll have another fun scar to scare small children with, and you weren’t resting the ziptie on something else when you stuck the scissors in.

    I still remember falling up an escalator (running up the down one) and getting the corner of it in my knee. I didn’t even go the emergency room – but my local GP, as he was right next to the shops. That was about a five on the pain scale, but a 10 on the scale for my mother, who fainted when the doctor stuck a pair of tweezers into my knee and said to her “look, you can see right down to the bone!”.

    How about getting something out of the cupboard whilst standing on a chair, falling off, breaking my wrist so badly that the bone stuck out of the arm and having to have surgery to get it re-broken? Probably a 4.

    Rolling my ankle badly in warm up for a basketball game, and tying my shoe tighter and keeping playing (which resulted in a week of crutches)? Give it a 2.

    Although my current broken finger, with torn ligaments, which I’m still playing basketball and netball with, hurts occasionally like a 7. Maybe it’s cause I’m getting old.

    On a happy, but somewhat related note – my Dad completed the Six Foot Track “ultra marathon” two weekends ago (hey, I was on holidays, I only get to brag about this now) in 7 hours, 16 minutes. Related part is that he fell down three times – it’s in the bush, so it’s tree roots and rocks everywhere – bruised his hip and two ribs severely and dislocated a finger. That was about 15km into it, and it’s 45km long.** So buck up FC, at least you didn’t have another 30km to run after stabbing yourself!

    ** Please note, my father is an idiot – example: he once used a circular saw to cut up some steel reinforcement in our old front yard, and when he came in there were all these little trangular cuts on his arm, from the saw. We got the Dettol out but (to quote): “It’s fine, the heat from the blade quarterised the cuts.”

  47. Comment by becomingblue | 03.19.2007 | 3:44 pm

    After reading all this, I’m afraid to move.

  48. Comment by vertigo | 03.19.2007 | 4:19 pm

    For sheer visual impact, my brother-in-law’s face after being kicked by a horse was simply beautiful. Not sure what he would rate it on a pain scale, probably a 2…

  49. Comment by vertigo | 03.19.2007 | 4:28 pm

    My own pain register topped out shortly after the percocet wore off following the removal of any future possibility of gene pool contributions. I was walking back to the couch when I tripped slightly, caught myself and was immediately brought to my knees when the boys bounced around a little too much. Probably an 8.

  50. Comment by dpcowboy | 03.19.2007 | 4:56 pm

    Looks like a nasty cut, I have the matching scar (very similar accident) on my right hand. This is weird.

  51. Comment by Wonderdyke | 03.19.2007 | 5:33 pm

    Because, you are not a highly-skilled emergency room nurse (as I am), you are obviously unaware of the potentially devastating consequences of even just a touch of ennui, let alone a full blown case. Just so you know, the “put a number on your pain” thing is just something us nurses do to get you perseverating and possibly lead to a humorous blog posting.

  52. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.19.2007 | 5:57 pm

    I’ve broken just about every bone a body has, but nothing has ever hurt as much as the 5 migraine headaches I’ve had.

    As for cuts, once when I was a kid, I was using a filet knife to turn the volume up and down on the TV (think white trash tv with no knobs and the volume control is a slider, also with no knob). My sister and I were arguing about the volume, and I grabed the knife by the blade and put it behind my back. She reaches around and yanks it out of my hand.

  53. Comment by LMouse | 03.19.2007 | 6:21 pm

    Well, let’s see…

    natural childbirth: mmm ’bout a 6 (4 times, 10 pounders).

    herniated disk: 7-8 because they made me live with it for such a long time before they would do the surgery.

    dental work without novacaine when I was a kid: still hate dentists–8.

    Poison Oak: I get it reeeeal bad. All over. Like black death. Easily a 9.

    Broken heart: off the charts.

  54. Comment by Rocky | 03.19.2007 | 7:49 pm

    The Boy Scouts teach a lot of things. Here’s one you apparantly missed: Always cut away from your free hand.

    I’m no Eagle Scout. I’m just sayin’.

  55. Comment by Rocky | 03.19.2007 | 8:15 pm

    Okay. So I had to take a stab with that last comment. It’s my job, and my nature. And I haven’t for such a long time.

    Three episodes to ponder:

    1. Diving through an open panel on our back door when I was a kid, which my dad had haphazardly repared with tiny tack nails that were there long after the panel had again fallen out, and hooking my tongue on said nail as I flew by – pain rating (have you ever had stitches on your tongue?), 7.5. And geez the tongue bleeds a lot.

    2. Catching my ice skate in a crack in the pond and falling onto a shard (sp) of ice which went through my jacket, shirt, long johns and skin to stick into my side leaving a three inch gaping wound in my side. Actual pain – probably a 6. Add the visual to a six inch piece of ice sticking out of a nine year olds side – it nearly passed me out – a 9er.

    3. Watching my sister slip from a home made ladder rung and hang all of her weight by the flesh of the back of her leg while I ran to get my dad to unhang her. Sympathy pain easily 10. Eeewww.

    You are on target with a five. Nice work.

  56. Comment by buckythedonkey | 03.20.2007 | 1:01 am

    Ugh, I have trouble reading sentences that contain the words “dislocate” and “elbow”.

    I have one that scored surprisingly low on the pain register but maxed-out on the “how stupid must this look to others” scale. Oh, and the end of this story is gross.

    I was oiling the chain of an off-road motorcycle in 1980.

    The accepted method of doing this when out in the country and about to go and have fun was to start the thing, go over to the left hand side (the chain side), tip the bike towards you so it’s now supported by the front wheel and the kick stand. The back wheel is clear of the gropund.

    Then you either reach over or ask one of your mates to boot the bike into 1st. Now, holding the left bar end with your left hand, you can spray chain glop onto the moving chain.

    Simple enough. Everybody did it time and time again.

    At this point, one of my friends gets onto his bike (an old CCM crosser with a big, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine). In his haste to get going, he botches his start completely. Maybe the engine was cold. Maybe he fed the clutch in a little quick. Whatever the reason, he stalled. He stalled with both feet on the pegs. He stalled with the bars not quite straight. When you stall a big single, it stops dead.

    So when he stopped he performed a perfect “sack of sh*t”. Do you use this term in the US? It’s the same sort of crash that happens when you come to a stop and you can’t unclip your shoes.

    None of this would have mattered had it not been for the fact that I broke his fall.

    So to the part you’ve all been waiting for. My friend landed on me and my fingers went straight in to where the retreating lower part of the chain meets the rear sprocket. You’re really not supposed to do that. Now my chain was being properly lubed in something other than oil.

    I was saved because my bike was a dainty Spanish trials bike with a low capacity, cold, 2-stroke engine which promptly stalled.

    So, once somebody got my bike into neutral and we were able to extract my mangled digits we went off to hospital. Sadly there was no tequila to hand but the pain pegged bizarrely about a 2. Interestingly, they pumped me full of military-grade painkillers anyway, which had me puzzled until they informed me that the only way to clean the wound of all the oily crud that was in it was with a scrubbing brush.

    For some reason I was detached and morbidly fascinated enough to watch the work. Oh, and I was drugged-to-the-eyeballs. The nurse was uncommonly pretty and, as she bent to her task, she wore a frown that I thought made her even more attractive. I observed all this through the fine mist of oil and blood that her energetic scrubbing raised.

    It’s an image that remains vivid to this day.

  57. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 03.20.2007 | 2:04 am

    My dad was a motor mechanic and when he moved into other careers he still did all of his own automotive work. Like buying a rusted wreck for spare parts then spending a Sunday afternoon turning said wreck into shelves of spares. After detaching all the big greasy bits from outside he cut the car in half (here it comes) with (wait for it) a “handyhawk”. This thing was like a carpenters hammer but instead of the claw on the back end it had a mini axe.

    After tearing the car in half he was pulling the wiring loom out from under the dash with a repetitive downward jerking motion. Until it let go and he raked the soft fleshy under side of his forearm across the recently butchered floor of the car.

    I was about 8 or 9 and playing in the backyard with the inevitable visits to ask the ever useful “wacha doin”. Dad called me over and asked me to go upstairs a “get a couple of bandaids and another beer”. Mum came down for a look and immediately decided that a hospital visit was in order. After waiting over 4 hours, dad was the proud owner of 7 internal muscle stitches and 15 normal ones on the outside and all he had to say for himself was “the bloody doctor wouldn’t let me take my beer into the treatment room”.

    Or when he fell off a ladder at work, walked 3 kilometres to a phone box because his “sprained” ankle hurt too much to push in the clutch for him to drive. My uncle came out and took him home. When mum got home from work she tried to pull his work boot off and he made a funny noise like someone drowning in custard. He said it was just sprained and he would be OK with a couple of aspirin and a sleep. As it turned out, his “sprain” was a tib/fib fracture that required a rod, a plate and a dozen or more screws to repair.

    His pain rating for both was “gimme a beer and get on with it”.

  58. Comment by John | 03.20.2007 | 2:57 am

    I would have gone for 7. The emergency ward is not the place to be trying to impress a total stranger with your manliness and tolerance for pain.

    Sure they’d think you’re a wuss, but you wouldn’t have been sitting around waiting for so long.

    Your examples of more painful experiences I’d rate as 10, or perhaps 11.

    Yes, I _am_ a wuss, but I’ve never had trouble getting fast service and pain killers .


  59. Comment by Jimmy | 03.20.2007 | 3:52 am

    You owe me a monitor. As I was reading your post, my pit bull was dozing on the floor next to the computer desk. When I saw the picture of your…forearm? I had the natural “Ohmigod! Look at all that hair” reaction that everyone else did.
    This reaction woke my dog, he also had an “Ohmigod – what is it” moment and attacked the monitor viciously. I laid it to rest this morning.
    A Best Buy or Circuit City gift certificate for $100 ought to cover it.
    Thanks for your prompt attention.

  60. Comment by fatty | 03.20.2007 | 7:11 am

    i love the comments section of my blog.

  61. Comment by regina | 03.20.2007 | 8:12 am

    well that is quite a little zipper that seamstress stitched for you. You better start picking at it right away or there will not even be a good scar to point to.

    Pain levels score card worst to least
    anything dental (sonic cleaning counts)
    anything with the feet
    knee dislocation
    giving birth without an epidural (I have done this twice)
    sinus infections
    anything with lots of blood because it is shocking and i Hate to see it.
    anything without lots of blood but that slows me down, because that really annoys me.

    Ok i think that about covers it.

    and I am proud of you that you stuck to being good while you were away, good job.

  62. Comment by mocougfan | 03.20.2007 | 8:14 am

    Surely your not putting anything dental as the worst! Maybe you need to come to Missouri so I can take better care of you.

  63. Comment by Jouni | 03.20.2007 | 8:23 am

    Wow…impressive. But to echo the sentiments of many I’m glad you’re OK and hope you heal quickly.

    Having said that, chicks dig scars and tattoos. I have all kinds of scarring on my legs from road rash (30 pounds ago, when I was abused mercilessly as a cat 2) that I have covered up with full sleeve tattoos. Therefore, I suppose I have no cool scars ‘in play’. (Hmm…I’m really incoherent this morning.)

    Tattoos hurt but I won’t apply the rating system, because I pay someone to do this to me.

    FC, if you wish I can send pics of what former road racers with no brains do to their legs.

  64. Comment by Al Maviva | 03.20.2007 | 8:34 am

    And that’s why we love Australians, Mike.

    Joe – I’ve got the hockey scars on the chin, too. My main one resulted from the butt end of a Koho stick up under the chops. I bled like a stuck pig, but it didn’t hurt too much once the gray fog cleared up (probably a concussion) so I kept playing. I have similar scars on my back from getting nailed into the boards by this one guy I used to have to play against *a lot*. I hated that guy. If I saw him today, I’d probably throw down my (cycling) gloves and try to kick his butt. Problem was we were evenly matched, so he broke my nose a few times, and I his…

    I guess I could do a list. The weird thing is, a lot of bad pains just don’t hurt that much at the time.

    Shooting a fingertip mostly off with a .22 – didn’t hurt at all – maybe 3.
    Doctor digging .22 projectile out of my finger, tearing out nail in the process, scraping the forceps across the finger bone – 7. Really bad. Even with the drugs.

    Stapled finger to 100 page report using auto stapler – 2. Unbending bound in staple, then pulling it out with pliers – 4. Remaining bruised finger – 3. For weeks. Abuse from co-workers – 2.

    Knocked out by a sucker punch, which cracked my sinuses and broke my jaw and messed up my teeth – 3 when it happened, 7 for the next 48 hours, and an ongoing 3 for about a month as I coughed blood clots out of my sinuses, and as (most of) my (remaining) teeth moved back to their initial positions.

    Third degree shoulder separation and dislocation – nothing. I just passed out. It pegged the meter, apparently.

    Having the (separated) dislocated shoulder jammed back into the joint by an Army medic – nothing. I passed out again. [Sound of needle hitting limiting stop].

    The first 48 hours after a separated shoulder – constant, throbbing 3.

    Got gouged in the eye, badly scraping the cornea – 9. I actually screamed at my wife, “Get the f*** away from me… don’t get near me… it hurts when you move near me.” I passed out a couple times from the pain, couldn’t open either eye for two days. It was the most I could hurt without just losing consciousness.

    And I’ll note, the only time I cried during all of this, is when the guy knocked me out with the sucker punch, and that’s only ‘cuz he screwed up my tear ducts and my eyes ran for weeks… (I’m assuming where Yoda dies doesn’t count).

  65. Comment by mark | 03.20.2007 | 8:44 am

    From all these examples you could create the “FC Bike Pain Index” (along the lines of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index – Schmidt has some fun and useful descriptions of pain levels, i.e., “may as well just lay down and scream”) for your readers to use in emergency rooms. All bike-related injuries count, even if they’re only tangentially related, i.e., unwrapping the packaging on a cable lock.

  66. Comment by BIKEMIKE | 03.20.2007 | 9:44 am

    if it starts to itch, scratch really hard.

  67. Comment by MTB W | 03.20.2007 | 1:48 pm

    I have one stupid, self-inflicted injury that people remind me because of the visible scar. When I was a kid, I had my pencil, pointy side up. A friend told a joke and I laughed so hard, I put my forehead right into the pencil. After removing said pencil, I had a nice round hole in my head (yeah, people say that explains my behavior!). Anyway, the doc at the emergency room fished around and took out some graphite. Apparently, he left some in because I have a nice blue/green scar. I really need a cool story to explain the scar – laughing and slamming my head into a pencil just doesn’t have the pizazz for chicks that dig scars. BTW, don’t recall too much pain so likely a 1 or 2.

    FC, I disclocated my shoulder while skiing, but the painful part was that it took the canadian doc and two assistants 3 tries, pushing, twisting and pulling before it went back in. They ripped up more stuff and did more damage than the original injury. That was the painful part – probably a 7. Should have done it myself!

  68. Comment by Anonymous | 03.20.2007 | 2:01 pm

    Fatty, you are lucky you didn’t lose that thumb! I was once cutting hard Italian rolls with a serrated knife, of course it wasn’t working and I got impatient. Unbeknownst (sp) to me, I had cut through the skin, tendons, ligaments, and nerves of my pinky finger. I only found out when I let loose my death grip on the roll only to see blood spurting a couple of feet into the air. An hour and a half of sewing to put it all together again. Only I don’t think they connected the nerve, my finger always feels cold even when its 100 degrees out.

  69. Comment by sans auto | 03.20.2007 | 2:11 pm

    My wife may kill me for this, but I’ll say it anyway. Her most recent stitches were on a finger from when she cut herself while cutting ice cream.

    She also has the best scar on her foot. It’s about 2 or 3 inches long and probably a quarter inch wide where it starts. It starts between her big toe and the next one extends up her foot. She was running to go down a slip-n-slide, but when she dove, her foot caught on the double headed nail they used to attach the top of the slide. She says it wasn’t really that big of a deal, but the stitching job wasn’t great and she didn’t get anything fixed when it started falling apart.

  70. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.20.2007 | 3:01 pm

    Huh, now I know why my health insurance is so expensive!

  71. Comment by msk | 03.20.2007 | 3:27 pm

    this thread is starting to sound like the scene from jaws so….

    “Mary Ellen Moffat. She broke my heart.”

    well actually it was sharon buchanan, 1983

  72. Comment by IndoorRolyPoly | 03.20.2007 | 5:17 pm

    About 3 years ago in one incident at work I De-gloved my middle finger (from the tip to the first knuckle), ripped a 1 and a half gash in the palm and broke the fifth metatarsal of my left hand.
    I didn’t feel a thing when it happened (REALLY) I just knew that it was bad (with out even looking at it). Ok, there was pain. I’d say about a 7, but not right away, and not really from the injury to my hand. The only true pain I felt (with in the first 10 min) was the sad realization that things in my life were about to change drastically. The biggest disappointment (or pain) of it all was that I had a brand new sportbike coming in 3 months, and I couldn’t make a fist to grip the throttle! When I realized that fact I almost puked.
    I guess if there was any pain after that I wouldn’t have felt it, the medics had enough “pain-be-gone” in me to keep me from feeling my eyelids.

    I sure hope this doesn’t keep you off your bike for long and from the looks of it you’ll be back in the saddle shortly.

  73. Comment by IndoorRolyPoly | 03.20.2007 | 5:38 pm

    I think I found my twin!
    Al, if it weren’t for the hockey thing you and I would be brothers!

    A 3: for a grade 3 AC separation of my right shoulder that I got in a motorcycle accident. A 6: for rolling over onto it while sleeping.

    A 4 for broken nose while playing tackle football in the yard (I was young and pain wasn’t something I was used to yet)

    A 6: for stabbing my eye with a screw driver trying to remove a cotter pin from the mower deck on my riding lawn mower. I scraped the cornea bad enough that the doc. didn’t need to put any of that florescent crap in it to see the scratch. A 5 when trying to open my eye to let my wife look to see if the eye was till there.

    No pain when I knocked my dumb ass out slipping on ice while shoveling the drive.

  74. Comment by Ricky | 03.20.2007 | 7:59 pm

    That’s gonna leave a mark, Easy.
    Next time the doctor asks you to rate your pain, the answer is 10. Say it for your friends. You could have been a hero with us, Notcandyman.

  75. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 03.20.2007 | 10:29 pm

    I often wonder why I come here so often. Now I know. It’s the split personality thing. First bully me came here to tease the fat cyclist about his shaved hand. Then wimpy showed up and told horror stories about my father. Now the real me appears to offer a couple of “why did I do that moments”.

    Many of you have read about “The Ambulance Ride” over on my blog. As I have just re-entered the racing scene I am bumping into a lot of people who remember that fateful day in 1988. One of them, in the retelling, even told me who caused the accident (although I already knew). Except I knew the guys name was Arthur. What I discovered this month is that his nickname in the bunch was scabby. As in I fall of a lot and am always covered in scabs from road rash.

    Many of you would have read about how my wife broke my collarbone with one punch over at my blog. I won’t go into the details again but teasing a shy girl when you are already injured is just asking for trouble.

    That’s the 2 stupidest things I can remember doing. Except joking to my wife when she was obviously not in a joking mood about a divorce. Man o man, is my mothers lounge lumpy.

  76. Comment by Tim D | 03.21.2007 | 1:52 am

    When I was about 4 and my brother was 3, he had a little red tricycle. One day he tried to bump it up a curb that was a bit too high. He toppled over backwards and split his head open. Blood everywhere. My Mum left the rest of us with neighbours while she took him (on the bus, we didn’t have a car or a phone to call an ambulence) to hospital. When my Dad got in he asked what had happened. “Paul broke his head doing this” I said while re-enacting the scene. I toppled over backwards, split my head open and had to be taken to hospital. 1 inch scar on the back of the head for both of us.

  77. Comment by Lowrydr | 03.21.2007 | 4:40 am

    One summer after a week long bike tour, I got home and the wife mentions that the yard needs some mowing. So in a hurry to get it over with, I slide on the old flip-flops and start pushing the mower.
    While backing up around the shrubs beside the house I step on an old stub sticking up out of the ground. Right up the through the bottom of the foot along the arch and ends up under the skin on the top, it’s a 6 at least.
    Dr. digging the stick crap out while on drugs 3. No shoes for over a week, get to work and everyone thinks that I had cut the foot of all the way. I fooled them and their dang rumour mill.

  78. Comment by barry1021 | 03.21.2007 | 6:02 am

    Bike Mike
    Gotta go over and read about your wife TKO’ing you with one punch, and then make ruthless fun of you.
    would love to hear from some of your buddies about you from your wild days. unfortunately, it’s unlikely any of them have survived. You are obviously just a TOTAL FREAK OF NATURE!!!!!


  79. Comment by regina | 03.21.2007 | 6:15 am

    Al your hilarious, your wife is still your wife right, she is a saint.

    mocougfan, well I would but I am still in the shock and psychotic denial episode from my last trip the dentist, 8 months ago, where yet again a small simple filling turned into a root canal and crown, when the tooth cracked and died at lightening speed, funny, still hurts-level 1 sometimes 2, just enough to bug the crap out of me, every day, I think it is because the crown is not even reminiscent of the former tooth. She could not use the cool new exact same tooth machine because those really conduct temp and would cause more pain, more pain, not possible. And I live in nebraska, I take my car to missouri for service, we do not have a mini cooper dealer here.

  80. Comment by Ian Hopper | 03.21.2007 | 10:08 pm

    I’ve had more injuries than I care to count, but by far the dumbest: In college I was sitting watching TV in a friends room. I had just bought a new knife (I’ve always collected knives), and I was playing with it *open, shut, open, shut, open, shut…* you get the picture. Finally I layed it down OPEN on my lap. My friend reached over, grabbed the handle and started to take it. Stupidly (and to my credit, I’ve never done it again since), I grabbed the blade, and she pulled it through my fingers. I screamed like a little girl, and so did she and she dropped the knife (thankfully causing no further damage). Fortunately, I wasn’t grasping hard so the cuts werent’ too deep. The pain was about a 2 as the knife was shaving sharp, but the feeling of cold cold steel sliding through the skin of 4 fingers… still gives me heebie-jeebies thinking about the sensation, and I can remember it as though it happened 5 minutes ago. My respect for sharp stuff went up by a factor of about 5 that day.

  81. Comment by Tortuga | 03.23.2007 | 1:04 am

    Slashed myself in the SAME EXACT place with a carton cutter when I was a 19 year old grocery clerk. By the time I dropped the blade and looked down, the blood was pretty significant. One of my co-workers was very excited to take me to the hospital, as he’d just purchased a new (used) Nissan 260Z. (This was in the early 80’s). Thought I would die in a car crash before I bled to death! Had about the same ER experience as you did, but being 19, and dumb, I begged for painkillers. The ER doc wasn’t having any of that, so the best thing it got me was a week off of work! Have a pretty ugly scar as a reminder.

  82. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » A Moment for Reflection | 07.10.2008 | 9:04 am

    [...] to the emergency room. There, they asked me my pain number. Oddly, I had just recently re-read an old post of mine and the comments thereto, so decided to go with 7. A strategic [...]

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