When the pain scale becomes useless

Most medical professional use that pain scale, numbered one through ten, with increasingly dour expressions on the faces of the metaphorical patient. You’ve probably seen it floating around on the internet.  The problem is that this scale is based on being healthy with a temporary illness. It is completely useless for individuals like me who struggle with pain on a daily basis. It’s simply not properly designed for those of us who never have a day pass without being in pain. Let me explain why…

girl-1733346_1920For example, last Friday I experience the worst flare up to date. I can’t even put into worst how painful it was. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t type, I could stand up, I couldn’t sit, it hurt too much to lie down and sleep. There was so much inflammation and bruises appeared on my right upper leg and my right hand. Today I’m feeling much better. That’s doesn’t mean that I’m not struggling in pain. It fact, I’m having trouble walking and my rib cage feels like someone is trying to break it apart. A healthy individual who would be feeling the pain I feel today wouldn’t point to the 9 or 10 on the pain scale. When I say I’m feeling better, it just means that I’m happy it does not have bad as last Friday. I’m relieved. I’m happy.  It’s more than most people will ever experience, yet we have no choice but to bear it. Life goes on as they say.

Pain handling and identifying gets really weird when you are grateful it’s not worst and always comparing to the worst you’ve ever felt. That means the pain scale is constantly changing. It also means that the amount of pain you can handle changes every day. We become masters of coping.  There is no other choice. We learn to smile through the pain and anguish because you simply can’t live a life constantly crying.  If we make a sour face or actually cry, it means the pain has gone beyond the scale itself.

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