I have this child. When faced with food he didn't like, he complained his stomach hurt. Then one day it became a tooth ache. Every couple of days he would mention his tooth hurting, but then, when prodded, would stop complaining and eat.
Finally, after complaining while eating a meal where all the options began with Mc-, my husband decided it might be more than a food-avoiding gimmick. He looked into the deep pit of our son's mouth and found hiding in back a severely abscessed tooth. He should've been writhing in pain for at least a week. That is when we learned he has excessive pain tolerance; for all he complains, a small stomach ache could be appendicitis!
On the other hand, I have this child. A papercut is the end of the world. Stubbed toes elicit animal like howling and scraped knees warrant headache-inducing screeches. I must hear him holler from stepped on feet, small pinches, or simple stumbles a hundred times a day. He has zero pain tolerance (and excellent vocal skills).
Just what is the mystery, you ask? I am describing the SAME child.
Got it? Screaming and crying = fine, calm or slight mention of pain = might be dying. My child with the highest pain tolerance happens to have no pain tolerance at all.
- So ... if you see my child complain of something small and he doesn't even seem upset, yet I give him a full history and physical, don't think I'm an over-hovering mom.
- On the other hand ... if you see my child come up to me practically wild with pain and I just roll my eyes and send him on his way, don't think I'm completely detached.