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  1. Thinking back, I can remember a few specific instances of pain in my life.

    1. When I was 14 I fell out of a cottonwood tree and broke my wrist severely. Because I had just eaten a meal the doctor had to set it without anesthetic. I’m sure my screams reached the furtherest corners of the hospital, I’m embarrassed to recall.
    2. On some occasions of severe hazing at the Naval Academy I experienced severe muscle cramps in my legs when forced to take awkward positions.
    3. Severe cramping of my calf muscles over a period of years incident to nerve damage from a slipped spinal disc. This still happens occasionally and likely derives from the fact that only part of the controlling nerves are operable in each leg. Also, nerve spasms at random specific spots, from the same problem. These are especially sharp, stabbing pains coming at random intervals over a span of 12 to 36 hours.

    Pain is ubiquitous in life, for either sex. Maybe the problem with childbirth pain is that it is predictable and therefore more dreaded. Oddly enough though, once the pain ceases I find it quickly loses its importance in my mind – it’s as though it never happened. Maybe this is the brain’s way of coping. In any case, I think it’s a mistake to assign greater importance to childbirth pain than other kinds – there’s just too much of it around. Just my opinion.


    • Sure, we all have various accidents and medical problems. But we don’t choose those or, as you point out, anticipate them. Personally, I found 12-14 hours of increasingly intense contractions/spasms of my entire core to be an agonizing and unforgettable experience. That business about forgetting the pain of labor and delivery … I’d pay good money to be able to forget that and any other pain, because that has certainly not been my experience.


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