Changing The Pain Scale

Changing The Pain Scale

Has anyone else been dealing with an outrageous level of pain over these last few days? I wish I could say it was all due to the rain affecting my area, but my pain actually escalated once the rain was out of the area. Bizarre, right?

I’ve never felt that the doctor/hospital grade pain scale is one that can truly be used on anyone who suffers from any form of Chronic Pain. It’s so ludicrous for me to ever be able to say “I’m at a one.” when in reality, my daily pain levels rarely, if ever, reach a one. Our bodies are over-producing pain, so our scales should read something like this.

#1- “I feel good, lets wait five minutes, the dynamic can change in an instant.”

#2- “I told you the dynamic would change. Weren’t you listening?”

#3- “I’m used to this level, it’s what chronic pain sufferers often call “normal”. The truth us, there’s nothing “normal” about it.

#4- “Shit, where did that new twinge come from?!”

#5- “Great, my day is officially SHOT TO SHIT!!!

#6- “Taking something for the pain. Cannot allow it to escalate over a 6. In fact, I refuse to allow it to escalate over a 6.”

#7- “Motherf!@#$%! The pain has escalated OVER a 6.”

#8- “Trying to remain calm through this pain, so I don’t flip the hell out and do something I will regret.”

#9- Writing down things we might regret.

#10- Getting to 10 is not a goal. It’s something that happens all too frequently. For a “normal” person, they’d be demanding pain meds at their doctor’s office or the ER. They’d be screaming for that medicine like they were giving birth without an epidural, or like someone was cutting them open and burning them at the same time. Somehow, we manage to endure a 10 when it’s really a 50. When we emerge, we’re back between a 3 and a 5, but we know 10/50 is always in sight.

The pain scale for sufferers of any form of Chronic Pain needs to change.

11 thoughts on “Changing The Pain Scale

    • I’ve noticed that most of us are never below an 8 on a regular basis. It’s awful. I’m definitely over a 10 right now. My brother needed something about an hour and a half ago, didn’t realize I was asleep and still in pain after all these days, came in and I flipped the hell out on him. I actually threatened to stab him in the eye with a screwdriver, which obviously isn’t my normal reaction to being woken up. No matter how many times I warn people that my pain is constant and can really alter my mood, they still act like I’m all good and can be annoyed 24/7, never requiring an ounce of sleep, and be at their beck and call. GRRRR!!!

  1. Excellent Blog! I was just discussing this same subject with my pain management doctor two weeks ago. I told him he needed to build a pool for us pain patients to use for water physical therapy as no physical therapist in this town understands “pain”. My first day of water physical a year ago the physical therapist asked me what my pain level was and I responded way over 10. She rudely said if you are indeed way over 10 I am calling an ambulance! I refused to go back!

    • I don’t blame you. I tend to go off on the ignorant, especially when it comes to stuff like this because they’re intentionally not “getting it”. They’ll treat us, they’ll accept our money and insurance, but most of them don’t really believe we’re hurting. That’s when I get angry. When someone is suggesting that my pain is a lie, it pisses me off. When doctors or nurses look at me like I’m being exaggerative, I say “I don’t have the ability to exaggerate, and I could never exaggerate this kind of pain. Nor would I. It’s insulting for you to even suggest, given my medical history and my history of injuries.”
      One of the key problems is that they’ve been taught that anyone openly discussing pain is some kind of junkie looking for a fix. I’ve never met a single person who suffers from any form of chronic pain who was walking around like they were in desperate need of detox, more like “I can’t get out of bed today because it hurts THAT MUCH.”, or “Don’t hug me. It’s too painful.” They act like we’ve all got a needle in our arm and that’s how we walk down the street, as opposed to doing our level best just to function. It’s not only offensive and ignorant, but arrogant. I always say “If you don’t know how to be a doctor, I strongly suggest a refresher course. Medical school is expensive, you should have learned something in 8 years, especially in terms of today’s medical issues and what affects patients in this day and age. Please send someone in here who knows what they are doing, thank you.” Some people think I’m being rude, but if I show up and I’m asking for help, then I expect quality care, not to be pawned off on someone else because I’m honest and direct.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. =)

      I whole-heartedly concur. It’s been a very, very long time since I was a patient that didn’t suffer from Chronic Pain, so I’ve dealt with all sorts of attitudes. Whenever I see the pain scale, I actually laugh at the irony and stupidity of it because it has smiley faces on it and other symbols that irritate me. I don’t smile when I’m at an 8. No one I know does.

      • Initially I thought I wasn’t seeing the smiley faces correctly. I thought maybe the symbols were something I was missing, but I walked right up to it to double-check and there was a smiley face at each level, for more than half the chart. Can you imagine?! I wanted to ask the nurse if it was some kind of a joke, but they’re so anal in the emergency room that wasting a comment or a perfectly good snarky remark is a total waste of oxygen. I should have snapped a photo with my phone. I’m still astounded by it. I don’t find pain amusing, nor is it anything to smile about. I’d like to think it was for young children, but I’ve never seen a child at that particular hospital, so I have to wonder if there’s a separate portion that includes an ER for kids on the other side of the campus, which is true for many major hospitals I’ve been to that have an attached children’s hospital.

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