Regardless of the situation, no matter how hopeless the outcome may be, I will never quit, and I will never back down. I have become the wolf.

Levels of pain


Don’t you love it when you go to the doctors or the hospital and they ask you to “rate your pain”.  What is this a freaking game show.  If I pick the right number between 1 and 10 to I win the magic injection that will dull the pain. 

Help me figure out this pain scale thing.  So if a 1 is a stubbed toe or hang nail then a 10 must be an axe to the head or cut off my leg with a chainsaw. 

But is it consitancy of pain or level that generates that scale.  A hang nail can bother you for a long time.  You tend to bump it constantly, and a stubbed toe can throb for hours.  While an axe or chainsaw wound while most assuredly hurt like the world ending, such would result in almost instant unconsciousness either natural or chemical.  So which is a greater pain?

And when they ask you to rate emotional pain on the same scale?  How do you rate emotions on a scale of 1-10.  People ask me how I’m feeling and I don’t know how to answer them.  Do I give them honesty (which I’ve discovered makes most people run and hide) or give the polite I’m OK and move on?  What do people want to hear?  Are they asking about my physical or mental health?  I’ve pondered this endlessly.   And just because you ask, don’t think you’re gonna get the true story.  Trust me, sick people can tell if you’re genuinely asking or just doing the mandatory “howareya”.

Guess my heart just hurts today for all the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s that run everyone’s world.  I love where I am, I just wish I had made a few different stops along the way.

Off to wallow in my wounded emotional quagmire. 

Give a smile to someone today, you won’t need it anymore and they will remember it all day.

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Comments on: "Levels of pain" (6)

  1. A 1-10 scale used by nurses for subjective evaluation. Smiling.

    • Hence the question – define the subjective that they use for evaluation. One thru five I can see for evaluation purposes. One is “owie it hurts”, Five being “remove the axe from my brain”, two, three and four just fall into line. But one through 10 come on, when you’re in pain, do you really need to expodentially break it down for them. Put it to ya this way, you poke where I say it hurts and one of two things are gonna happen, either I’m not going to hurt you back, or I am. Now if it’s in the “hurt you back” category that means it hurts enough to react, but not enough to kill me. Not hurt you back means either that it doesn’t hurt me all that much, or I’m unconcious and you’d better run like hell when I wake up, cause I know you did it.

      Good scale to me.

  2. Catie said:

    Trust me, nurses hate asking about a patient’s pain on a scale probably as much as the patient gets asked. Unfortunately the government requires that we “quantify” the pain. It would be a hell of a lot easier to chart, “patient is experiencing significant pain that would make anyone else hide in the closet and suck their thumb” The real trouble with the scale, aside from your observations here is that it may be effective for acute pain (sudden onset, short term, like post surgery) however Chronic pain, which seems to hang around for long periods of time, our bodies adjust to. So what would have been a 8 in the beginning is now a 4 because your body has decided that it ain’t going away so we may as well adjust to it.
    Suggestion……..decide what is acceptable to you on that scale. If what you feel is a 4 (now because it is chronic) where would you want that pain to be at so that you could function better throughout your day? A 4 to some nurses might be…..”wow, great, so the pain med is working” but if you say……a 4 is not acceptable for me, I want to be at a 1 or a 0……then they MUST give you something to help reach your goal.

    Emotional pain is much different of course and very difficult to quantify. You hit it on the head with what you wrote. Most people who can’t handle hearing REALLY how you are feeling are likely in denial of their own unforseen illness. It just brings their own mortality into view and they brush it off……….just saying………it isn’t you they are brushing off……it is their own lack of courage to face the unknown.

    Oops….that was quite the response! ((((HUGS)))) Thinking of you!

    • Oh Catie, I can’t wait to see you on Thursday. I so hope you can get the time to come over and play. I’m just being a complaining brat as per usual. This is the only place where my cerebellum bombulum is even read or even noticed. I’m one of the better patients just cause I’ve gotten so much practice. I’m the one who brings flowers to the nurses station, Hubby has brought Taco Bell and Mac’s for the entire floor. It doesn’t matter how bad I am, you poor ladies have to deal with all of us assholes at once. I always try to remember please and thank you, match your names to faces, and to smile and crack a joke.

      And please 0 pain level??? Isn’t that an illusion?

  3. Catie said:

    I hope so too! I promise some time this week it will happen. I just had to fire my on call nurse, which means I get to be the on call nurse for the next 6 days (day and night) plus my day job! I will give myself a time adjustment and get a few days off next week for my trouble! You will be my first stop, even if I don’t get to torch!

    Don’t apologize for your feelings, you have valid reasons for feeling how you do and this is the perfect place to express them. I have an online journal as well (private at this point, so I can really rant!) It is good for your soul to put it out there and you do it so eloquently! Believe me when I say, when you are dealing with all that you must deal with, it is NOTHING compared to what those who are providing your care can even compare. YOU give those nurses a reason to keep going to see your courage and strength in the midst of the horror of it all!

    AND YES 0 pain level is possible, there are many ways to treat pain. Not all pain is the same, so if we treat all pain with narcotics we won’t get to the real cause of the symptom. That is where physicians make a big mistake. As you are well aware, part of pain is emotional and spiritual but also neurological. All of these types of pain can not be treated simply with a pain pill! Neurotin is a good one to include with an opioid to help with the neurological pain. I also recommend melting glass for the emotional and spiritual part 🙂

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