Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pain Intensity Scale


I have a new respect for the Pain Intensity Scale the doctors and nurses pull out at some office visits. I've realized that the number a person rates their pain on this scale is relative to how much pain they have ever experienced in their life. Some people live with severe chronic pain every day. They may say that the pain of getting their thumb hammered rates about a 4. If you live your life with very little every day pain, you might rate the thumb hammering pain a 10.

Before I had my shoulder surgery, I told the doctors my pain level went from a 0-10 depending on what I was doing at the moment. Now that I have had the shoulder surgery, I realize I was nowhere near a level 10 on that scale.

A level 10 for me was the moment before giving birth to a child without first having an epidural. Or more recently, the few days after my nerve block wore off, exposing the raw pain of having my shoulder tendon screwed into my shoulder bone. It's when I'm forced into a catatonic state, unable to speak, think or move for an hour or more.

Today, I am happy to say I was at a mere 2 most of the time, and I only took three Vicodin all day. I know tomorrow will be even better. Soon I'll be at a 0 without pain pills unless I'm working on physical therapy exercises. I can't wait.

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