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Monday, December 22, 2014

Please rate your pain today? Ok, what area?

The pain scale. Technically known as the "Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale" is the most absurd scale for those of us with Chronic pain, Fibro, Lupus, MS etc...etc... Because we just don't have one area of pain. It is wide spread pain that changes hourly and sometimes by the minute. That may sound like I am exaggerating to some but us chronic pain sufferers know how true that statement is. When you go to an appointment, the nurse asks you as soon as she gets in the door about rating your pain but never asks for different areas.
Let's look closer shall we?
Nurse: "So, on a scale from 0-10, what is your pain today Jenn?"
Me: "7"
Nurse: "Is that your neck?"
Me: "No, my neck is a 3. My lower back is a 7.
Nurse: "Okay."
Me: "My fingers are a 2. My knees are aching around a 4. So you better grab an umbrella because it IS going to rain later. Upper back is a 3. My left elbow is a 7ish when I lift items but right now a dull 1. But it does give me an urge of wanting to rip it off because it aches constantly. My feet are maybe a 1 but a 10 when I first get out of bed in the morning.".
By this time the nurse has lost interest and you get the eye roll. BUT IT IS ENTIRELY TRUE!! Our pain is never in just one area of our body. It is everywhere, rated all up and down their precious pain scale. Do I sound a little bitter? That's because I am. It is bad enough being in pain every single minute of every single day, you feel like you have to prove it to the physicians, nurses, clinicians, family, friends, loved ones and that you are NOT crazy nor making it up just to get narcotics. You just want pain relief. The precious, absurd pain scale doesn't really even give a clear picture because I think we have been in pain for so long that we are used to it. Meaning, my dull aching left elbow as a "1" could possibly be a healthy person's "7". Or my husband's "15". Love you babe!
I just wish there was just a more accurate way to explain your pain. I wish the pain scale was not just for one site. I suppose this is where we have to advocate for ourselves, ignore the annoyance eye roll and put it all out there without being judged that we are crazy or just wanting narcotics. We just want to feel better!!!



Just a little side note... My hubby pulled his hamstring the other day. It is painful. I know that it is but I did say to him "Now, imagine that pain everyday. That is what I go through. That is why I get bitchy".

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