My 18 month old son seems to feel very little pain.
Ever since my son was born he has been a fairly sturdy character. I have watched him smack his head on concrete with barely a sniffle, I've watched him fall headfirst out of a booster seat and land on hardwood flooring without getting any reaction from him (all the patrons in that restaurant unanimously agreed it was strange that he didn't get upset), and tonight I watched him slip and smack his head on our linoleum flooring. Tonight, by far, is the most vicious accident I have witnessed with the end results being a bloody nose, two bright red lines crossing across the exterior of his nose, and a massive raised bump on his head. He immediately asked for a hug and cried for less than 30 seconds before merrily continuing his play.
This is getting increasingly worrisome for my husband and I. We have tried the method of engaging our son in a playful activity and then spontaneously pinching him to see if he can feel pain but we can't determine the outcome because whether we mock pinch him or maliciously do it, he just seems upset by the pinching motion. (This experiment has been done twice; once for each parent since he responds differently to us.) He does cry when getting shots but only for a few seconds.
He's never truly been sick (excluding a few minor colds), the only two times he ran a fever they were short lived and did not require medical attention, he's up-to-date on all of his shots, we rarely give him any medication, he wasn't premature, and I never experienced any difficulties with either my pregnancy or labor. Our son is also either 'on-time' or 'ahead of the curve' when it comes to milestones. It's just this whole pain issue that seems to be the problem. We have also tried talking to his pediatrician but the doctors in our surrounding area are woefully inadequate when it comes to diagnosing anything important.
I'm going out of my mind with worry. Does anyone have any experience with this?
My DD is pretty similar, although she's not a super active kid, so not many really painful injuries. But there are lots of times where I look at her reactions and feel surprised and a little wierded out by how not painful things are. Yesterday she picked up some icy snow with her bare hand and started walking down a trail with it, for minutes (it stayed frozen) and with no pain that I could see. I know I would hurt if I was holding it. She was a 27-weeker and her OT asked us once if she looked like she felt pain normally, and I said yes, but it planted the seed of worry. I know there are people who don't feel pain, but I thought it was exceptionally rare. Or maybe she was worried about neurologic conditions where kids feel it but respond unusually.
But anyways, I think she acts that way b/c she is so 'in the moment' and focused. She cries briefly and moves on. With the snowy ice, she probably had nothing on her mind other than the destination.
I think a good 'test' is if during a shot/ injection, for example, if your son isn't unhappy with how you are holding him prior to the shot, and only starts to cry when he gets the shot, then that is a good sign he is feeling pain normally. It actually doesn't hurt that bad, like grownups usually don't cry, and kids don't (necessarily) complain/ cry about it once they are distracted by the next fun thing.
And the fact that he is otherwise a happy, healthy boy is totally reassuring.
DH feels no pain, super high threshold....not only for pain but for pain meds, major downfall if he is actually injured and need relief. DD has had a few fairly nasty falls, including a black eye at 9mo for falling on a plastic toy and a fall off the bay window head first to hard wood floors (uncertain whether she also bounced off the bench below the window) - each was a quick cry then back to playing. She'll actually whine more over something small than the big stuff. I dunno I think it's fairly normal. I also don't react big if she's hurt which does play into it big time if a parent freaks out, but like sageowl said, I think definitely beneficial for kids since they do tend to get hurt more as they figure out the world around them!