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Seasoned chronic pain people

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
If your posting in the chronic pain forum. Then generally your pretty seasoned with pain, and pain scales.
It just blows my mind when a member says, my pain is bouncing between a 5 and a 10. Even a 5 and a 9 is all over the board.
My P.M. Doc. Jokes with me about different patients. And 1 that walked in sat down in a chair. And when the Doc. came in and asked her what her pain level was. She said between a 10, and 11.
He told me why don't these patients get real. You experienced a 10 many times. But never unless your on a drip system in a hospital bed.
Do they think I'm going to give them something extra? Not unless a ambulance brought them in on a gurney!
They need to get real is it a 5. Or a 5-6. And don't they know there is no 11 on that scale.
People get real! It is irritating!
Click my name to see my Medical history
You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    For those of you that do not know Jim, he has been a member on Spine-Health for over 4 years.

    He has been through so much medically, that many others would have given up. He has had other life struggles, and he still handles it. So, basically, he is a member that a have a good deail of respect for.

    I am sure that many new members may think his post was cold and harsh. That is not Jim. He is talking from experience. There are many other long time chronic pain patients that have said the same thing that Jim did in this post.

    I have made numerous threads/posts talking about the same thing. When ever a pain level hits around 8 or 9, its time to head over to the Emergency Room. At 9, you can not take care of yourself and you need assistance.

    So, when we hear about people having pain levels of 9,10,11, and still posting we have to shake our heads.
    That is just one of the problems with the pain scale. People figure if they state their level is at the top, then
    they will get more attention from the medical field. In reality, many doctors can see through all of that.

    There are many ways a trained medical professional can 'see' and 'read' the level of pain a patient is in. One way, is looking into the 'eyes' of a person. Eyes dont lie.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • You folks aren't the only ones who read those things, followed by a lengthy post and then I read it and shake my head. I do believe that it is a sign of the classic crying wolf- if I say that my pain is a 10 or higher, it will accomplish one of two things, either I will get better drugs ( according to what they have read somewhere is "better" or I will get a higher dose . That's one of the reasons that I personally refuse to discuss dosages or make suggestions for someone who asks how to get their doctor to give them more/different meds. Add to that, we aren't privy to their medical history, nor, should we be telling someone that the doses that their physician prescribe is not adequate or they are undermedicated, or it is an issue of tolerance.
    Being realistic about pain levels, and discussing our accurate conditions and abilities with our doctors is the only way to get adequate and proper treatment.
    Thanks for starting this thread. It is not meant to belittle or demean anyone but we all have to keep in mind, that we need to be realistic, and not over exaggerate or underestimate our pain levels or the ineffectiveness or effectiveness of our meds if we want to be seen as an honest person. My PM doctor tells me that he has patients all day long who are at a 10 plus and he knows then that they are a person who he needs to watch-
  • ANelson,
    Yes, there is a huge difference between a true 10 in acute and chronic pain. But I guess for me, when I read about someone who can take the time to post during a so called "10 plus" episode and then can get themselves to the local ER for meds, then they are not really a "10" at all. The two times in my life that I have ever experienced what I thought was close to a "10", was right after a myelogram when they moved me to the CT unit and then back to another guerney , and the pain was so bad that I couldn't breathe because I was sobbing was so hard.....I could barely nod my head when the nurses and doctors asked me if I needed something for the pain. That, to me is a 10.....I wished for unconciousness at that point.
    The second time was after my first back surgery, when they moved me on a back board from the post anesthesia units bed to my room......I have never felt pain like that before and never want to again.
    I know that my own perceptions of what level of pain I am in have changed drastically over the time that I have been dealing with my back problems and what I previously believed a level of pain to be has evolved over time. I guess for me, when I read about someone complaining of a "10" pain level and going to the ER for treatment multiple times seems to me that it feeds into the perceptions about people on pain medications. Pain is not going to kill us, despite feeling like it will. Most ER's will leave us sitting in the waiting room for hours or lying in a room waiting for treatment for several hours. If someone is in that much pain, how can they manage to sit around waiting , in the waiting room or the treatment room for hours? Or post on a message board? That's where I have conflicting views I guess. If you are able to do those things, then you are not anywhere near a "10 plus" or even a 10.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    As with your previous post regarding pain levels, this one was so very real and true

    Thank you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • ben_indianabben_indiana Posts: 288
    edited 09/04/2012 - 8:44 AM
    I just posted about this recently! When you go to see the doc, it seems to be the first thing they ask. And I always ask " right now? Most times I see a doc, I take the day off work. So I am generally relaxed & havent put stress on my back that day, so my answer is usually a 3, I feel it... but its not killin me. I dont believe I know a 10, hope I never do. I once had a hot metal chip fly directly into my nose, that hurt like hell! But I can imagine much worse. If I got run over by a semi truck, that would be wayyyy worse, right?

    I do believe my pain was underestimated by docs because I did not exaggerate my pain. I would say I max out at about 7 when it comes to my back. That 7 hurts like hell too, I would say at 4 I cannot sleep. At 5 I have a hard time working, or standing for that matter. Even at a 2, I am not a happy camper. I felt about a 5 last night & barely slept at all

    Many would interpret all that so much differently. A 2 may be a normal day for some. I havent had a steady 2 day in a looonnngggg time. When you tell a doc 2 or 3, they think you dont need them. I want to be pain FREE!

    Also, so far I have stayed away from narcotics, but I got a scrip for vicodin & valium for after my microD. Damn pill junkies ruin it for people really in pain. I just dont like em, and hope to go back to my flexeril & naproxen ASAP. But Ill take what I gotta in order to recover. Drugs just cover pain, if thats the only option, you do what you must. Like anelsen said, I want the prob FIXED, not dulled.

    Back & nerve pain is, to me, very different than other types of pain. Im optimistic this Microdiscectomy is gonna change my life, in the GOOD ways.

    Thanks all & Good Luck!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • I know that medical professionals need some way to guage our pain level so that they can provide proper treatment, but pain is all relative to what we have felt in the past and what we can imagine.
    Pain in different parts of the body do affect us differently. I've had cervical pain and lumbar pain and all the associated arm, leg, hand and foot pain that goes with it. Sometimes it goes on for so long as to seem unbearable and depending on how run down you are from lack of sleep it can also affect how you perceive pain.

    My painscale was reset 2 years ago when I had a partial knee replacement. Before the surgery the anesthetist gave me two nerve blocks meant to deaden the pain. I had the same blocks 6 months earlier for a arthoscopic synovectomy and woke up with very moderate pain. After the knee replacement they woke me up in the OR before transferring me to recovery and I woke up screaming, the femoral nerve block completely failed. For the next 18 hours or so I was chasing the pain trying to get it under control. While I can believe there is worse pain out there then that, I hope I never experience it. So my 10 is waking up after someone has cut your bones and hammered metal into them with no pain control... I agree with with Jim and Sandi, there is no way a person experiencing a 10 could post on a board or drive themselves to the ER. At a level 10 it is all consuming and you can't concentrate enough to type or drive.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/04/2012 - 10:38 AM
    davrunner said:
    I know that medical professionals need some way to guage our pain level so that they can provide proper treatment, but pain is all relative to what we have felt in the past and what we can imagine.
    " there is no way a person experiencing a 10 could post on a board or drive themselves to the ER. At a level 10 it is all consuming and you can't concentrate enough to type or drive.
    Exactly Dave, the last line of your post sums up my thoughts perfectly. A 10 is all consuming, and while I do think that the pain scale contributes somewhat to the need to overestimate one's pain levels, I think that it makes some in the medical field look at us differently when they hear over and over again that someone's pain level is a "10 or over".....I wish that there were a better way of describing pain levels that allows both the patient and the physicians to be on the same page when it comes to interpreting what those levels are and allows both sides of the equation to reach the right treatment plan, for that condition.
    There has to be a way. Maybe I will think on it some more and maybe we can come up with a more accurate way of describing pain so that patients and their care givers can be on the same page. Wouldn't that be something?
    And you are welcome Dilauro.....as I said, I don't want to single anyone out, or make anyone feel badly but at the same time, we have to find a better way of describing our pain levels without resorting to overdramatizing to get attention from our physicians.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    First off I would like to apologise. For maybe being to harsh and somewhat cold. But I had been reading back in the archives, (2008) to present day. Looking for something in particular. And I just got irritated having to read post after post of people with totally unrealistic pain numbers.
    I was thinking maybe they were in the wrong forum. Pain scales are far from perfect. And a lot of good points were made. Such as my level right now is a 3 but I haven't done a thing all day. and I am taking meds as a preventative measure. But when you drive back to work with a hour and a half drive it will inch up. Then put in a full days work. And drive home for another hour and a half. Well, that 3 has become a 4-5. Run that scenario down to the Doc. I also like to say my pain is a 3 today, but the 30 day average since I saw you last has been a 4-5 sometimes higher with meds. Today is a good day! I'm always giving my pain # with meds or without meds.
    My brother is a spiney who never does forums, likes to say. My pain is killing me today. It's been a 5 all day. But reminds me that he's been a spiney for several years. And his 5 today, given to an average person. would have him on his back crying and screaming for a morphine drip. So tell Doc. that you're a 5 on a seasoned spineys scale.
    I do think the current scale system is far from perfect. But arm your P.M. Doc with as much info as possible. And look at the scale system faces and numbers. And try to be as honest as you can. I think a lot of pepoel on this forum could do a lot better!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 09/04/2012 - 3:08 PM
    Wow, this thread really hit close to home for me. I was thinking about this and realize that you all are right. I think my pain levels do depend on what I am going through at that time, whether it is acute or chronic. I think I may have experienced a 10 when my epidural block failed during the birth of my son and had him naturally:( But then again that intense pain only lasted a few minutes and was quickly forgotten:) Another experience was when I woke from bunionectomy surgery and the block did not work. They shaved the bone in my foot and orthopedist said that this will be a very painful surgery when you cut on bone and it was very painful and I think may have been a level 10. I was vomiting and crying because of the pain and took forever to get it under control.

    So what would I think that my everyday chronic pain level would be after 28 yrs. I would think after experiencing very few truly level 10 days I would say my pain level hovers around a 3 most days. Yes I have days when the weather is bad like this week with tropical system moving through level 5 would be appropriate. As all of you have said it depends on the day, what I am doing, how long I have expereinced pain and I also add in when my mood is depressed. I seem to hurt more when I feel more depressed or anxious.

    Thank you for bringing this up and I took no offense and didn't think you were being mean Jim, just honest:)

  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 09/05/2012 - 3:47 AM
    I think that a person new to spine pain is going to site a higher number than those of us that have been dealing with this chronic pain for years. Like it was said, pain scale perceptions change the longer you have constant pain.

    I've had a few acute 10 on the current pain scale (the first time I sat up after lumbar fusion, a lumbar muscle spasm that made me fall to my knees, stomach cramps after food poisoning where I couldn't breathe and hubby wanted to rush me to the ER), but they were all very short lived. It's true that if you were to experience an extended 10, you wouldn't be able to type or drive - I know during my episodes I couldn't even breathe, much less do anything else.

    Sandi, if a new pain scale, a much more comprehensive and true value of your pain could be developed, it would help us and our doctors tremendously. I know that my surgeon doesn't put much stock in the pain scale, he never even asks. He totally goes by what he sees on my x-ray, MRI and my face. Of course I have to fill out the little pain scale form every time I see him, but I think it's just for the record, not for treating my pain.

    I also think that the longer you deal with pain, the lower your perception is, having known worse pain after surgery or procedures.

    One thing to note that I found interesting is when the nurse at my pre-op told me that after surgery, if my pain was at, say, a 4 or 5, to exaggerate it to a 6 or 7 to be sure to get the proper pain relief. She believed that we may not know our true pain levels, having to deal with it for so long. So it's better to treat your pain at a higher level than what you perceive it to be. But that's in the hospital, not in every day life.

    Great comments on here regarding this subject.
  • LovetrotravelLLovetrotravel Posts: 296
    edited 09/05/2012 - 8:52 AM
    I also agree that those new to chronic pain will rate their pain higher and I think most Drs. and PMs especially will take this into account.

    As Ron mentioned....many Drs. have ways of looking at our total body language, our movements, and our eyes as when a person is in severe pain...there is really no hiding it.

    My PM and I are friends outside of our appts. and have gotten to know him over the years and what it's like on his end as the Dr. Of course he never mentions direct details about patients or does anything to go against the HIPAA.

    But he will talk about how if someone is joking around with the staff/nurses....or if it's a woman and they are carrying this huge purse but is claiming they can't even hold a few pounds or their shoulder/neck is hurting so badly. Same thing with driving yourself into the ER or an appt. and saying your pain is close to a 10. As we've said...that just isn't possible to do if you are hurting that badly.

    They listen carefully to everything that is said...and they are also looking at how a person takes care of themselves otherwise. If they smoke,are very overweight. or drink heavily and not doing anything to try and better these situations....they are extremely skeptical about a person then coming in to request pain medications to get them through their day. The Drs. think to themselves...this person doesn't want to do any of the hard work to care for their bodies and health and just want pills to "fix" them or make them better.

    Now..as I've written in other threads...my Dr. is very compassionate, as well as the Neurosurgeons in the practice and all a person has to do is say they are struggling with trying to quit smoking, or lose weight and they will do everything in their power to help them with this.

    So...even though my PM still goes by the universal chart of choosing a number for your pain levels as well as describing the type of pain and where it is in your body....they are watching and listening to every single detail to assess the patient's pain levels.

    As mentioned, my PM knows me so well and so many of his long term patients that he can tell within a minute of seeing them how badly/well we are doing for the day.

    So...I think there is slack given for those that are new to all of this as going through those first few months of chronic pain can be the most miserable and life altering as they are finding out this could possibly be their "new norm"....
  • not to brag, but i believe i have a high threshold for pain. i just had a bilateral fusion where they go in the side for a fusion to fix a broken disc. when i woke, they asked me to move my leg, the pain was so bad i screamed, i have never had pain that bad ever except for a kidney stone. it was in my left leg. what fried my bacon is that the dr said he did not go near my nerve at all. i complained and complained and was awake all night before they called him for increase in meds. he came in the next day and i said i am not lying it is horrible, he finally said he checked with other drs and apparently they have had this happen to them. he said it took him 45 minutes to hammer the metal and bone in my dis because it was too tight of a fit. he finally fessed up and apologized to me. well it has been 3 months and the pain is gone more or less but my leg from my hip to my knee, the whole thigh is numb, like really numb. he said i would get back the feeling, well, i have not gotten it back. the problem is that the pain from my left leg is now in my right leg. no matter what one says some drs won't belive the pain you have. i know from personal experience.
    ow ow owwie
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    edited 09/05/2012 - 9:08 AM
    Its good that you used a point of reference to describe your pain ... (sorry about your procedure)(I have the numbness on both my anterior (front) of thighs also)...

    The kidney stone is a good reference point for pain ... I have had the pleasure of passing 2 and can relate that to a 9 or ten - screaming- passing out-dry heaving- get me into the ER NOW and medicate! kinda pain.

    Ladies that have had both natural childbirth, and a kidney stone put those two events at near par. (When the stone is passing from kidney to bladder ... not bladder to strainer).

    Pain is subjective. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/subjective

    Or the smileyface on the wall chart will do in a crunch.

    Again - sorry about your recent procedure and hope for healing rapidly.

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    the least bit of good. Then mission accomplished. Giving back is about the one major reason I've stayed on this forum for so many years. And one of the few reasons I continue to hang on! I just don't have very much left to feel good about myself. And everyone needs some kind of purpose in they're life. So if I helped out just one person. Then that day was worth living.(of course having a pair of ruby red slippers is also a big help!)
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Gotta love those ruby reds! And they look so GOOD on you...

    I do think this thread is helpful, mostly to those that are new to all this. But it's very good to hear others thoughts and experience with doctors. I wish everyone a great doctor/surgeon who truly understands and looks outside the box if necessary.

    Thanks for starting it. Now, click those heels three times and send the shoes if it takes to where you used to be pre-spiney. However, it would have to last forever because I prefer to live and deal with my new normal than start back at the beginning again.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    There is no place like home ... but the poppies were located around the land of OZ.

    Intentional reference?

    Sometimes I think I think too much...

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I have anxiety problems and they used to sell poppy seed pills that really helped. Of course, it's no longer available for obvious reasons, but I sure loved them while they were there. They were herbal, so ok, right?
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    From bad better better days D. If that can make any sense. But you hit the nail on the head!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Reading through the string really puts things in perspective. I reflect on the times when my pain has been near 10 (being in an ER waiting room and telling the triage nurse I was going to lie down on the floor in front of her if I didn't see someone immediately, and soon thereafter being rushed to the OR for emergency surgery). The surgeon had told me I must have a high pain tolerance. I thank God for whatever tolerance I have and can apply that to this spine journey. Jim, thanks again for opening this up.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    edited 09/05/2012 - 7:03 PM
    here. We've been through the ups and downs of chronic pain, we have see how easily the beast can just come in do just about anything it wants to give us hell.

    But we rebound. I know just by reading so many of your posts over the years, you have bounced back so many times. You never give up, sure at times it may be harder and harder to do that. And we both experienced the lose of a parent, so we can understand that type of pain.

    Still, one thing will always stick out in my mind about you. It was the incident where you helped pick up a bike after there was some kind of accident. Your 'golden' heart at the time, I know was appreciated by all that gained by your kindness, but that good deed, did really put you down for a while.

    After all, you are Jim, the Mountain Man! Nothing will stop you.....

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    quite a bit. But I always come back. And the reason for that is the members like you! And like Tony and so many more to try and help the newer people and give back in some way. all the others that aren't named, you know who you are !
    So a big thank you, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • A couple of years ago I commented on a thread that my Dr's question is the the worst pain have ever been in, and someone told me that was incorrect and it should be the worst pain imaginable. I don't know if this is the way he asks all patients (he is a GP). Or if he asks it this way because of my history, when I was in labour with my first son I had never had Demerol, that was the med given and I had an allergic reaction which caused an unusual contraction on one side of my uterus, which wrapped the cord around his neck, I was slightly under 9cm dilated and they pulled him out. I was begging them to give me something and they couldn't because of the allergic reaction. That was the only 10 I experienced.

    Anyways, my point is, if this isn't my Dr phrasing the question this way because of my past, butbecause this is just the the way he rates pain, it is possible that other Dr's do as well and some people maybe describing their pain don't realize that the pain scale that is used on here is different. I'm not saying that overstating isn't happening, but that when people state their level that they may be using a different rating system then what a lot of people on here are used to.
  • I totally understand. Perhaps it's because we grew up in the (no pun intended) This is Spinal Tap era. We all think our amps go to 11. I have experienced pain at level 10 outside of the hospital or the ER. It was probably only about a 6 -- bad enough that I called for an emergency appointment at my physical therapist. I made it there, made it into the therapy room, lowered myself to the table, and all heck broke loose. By the time my therapist came in, I was in severe spasms, crying, and unable to stop flopping about like a fish out of water. I think that may have been a 10, or at least a 9.5. Definitely not an 11.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • thepretendertthepretender Posts: 36
    edited 09/06/2012 - 8:10 PM
    Honestly I hate the pain scale while I understand it. It's not the best way to evaluate because there are so many different types and levels of pain. Like you could be feeling a 5 in your back and a 7 in your legs with sciatic pain say. My first back surgery I always undermined my pain level and my surgeon instructed staff that I was really 2 numbers above where I said I was based off his analysis of me. I wanted to feel tougher than I was I guess. But then that means that he had an idea in his head of what a pain level looked like that conflicted with the pain level I was saying. So really, the whole scale is subjective.

    That said, I wouldn't question someone who says that they are on a 10 or deliberate it much like many of you are because what is a 5 for you could be a 10 for someone else. Everyone has different tolerance levels. Everyone is different. If nothing else, haven't we all learned that no two people are the same? The real problem is how to help people who are in pain, not question how much pain they're in. My new pain specialist changed my pain meds last week and I brought the others with me in case he wanted to count them to prove I wasn't lying about what I take like someone else told me their Dr. instructed them to do. He told me a comforting thing, that he knows his patients aren't there to abuse medications. It was the first time I felt I didn't have to sell my situation to my doctor or a surgeon like I'm doing a song and dance to prove hey, I'm in pain!

    Anyway, point is. Just like my Dr. says, no one here would be here if they weren't in pain. Since it's such a sensitive and close subject to all of us, I just feel it's a little off base to debate the pain scale too much. Every number is different for every person. Sure some of us are tougher than others, and can tolerate more pain than others, but does that make their situation any less important to manage if it's unmanageable to them? The whole point of seeing a Dr. to begin with is to evaluate and manage your pain levels based off the individual.
  • i had to re evaluate my pain scales after my last operation .when i woke {about 1 min after being wheeled out of the theater} the pain i was in was off the known scale .i wanted them to kill me .and at that time i was not kidding ..many people say things like .;;;god i wish i was dead///or kill me now and crap like that !] but i was in so much pain i wanted to pass out .i told them to sort me out and it was about 6 hours before they could get the pain down to a 9.9999 from a 10.so what i thought was a 10 i now class as a 7 .my daily pain score is a 5 peeking to a 7/8 ..the oxycontin take the pain down from the 9.9999 to a bearable 8/7 if i am lucky ..i always say ...when people ask ....if you were to be woken up in as much pain as me you would be scared and call for medical assistants {that's for a {{normal }}}person with no pain
    i think that over the years we ..tend to re adjust out lives and abilities more than we think other wise we could not cope
    good topic!
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Hello all, pain itself is very subjective, no two people ever feel it the same that any scale would attempt to homogenise, the pain scale is only a guide of how each patient feels it is for them, part of that is a higher number may indicate how internalized any coping mechanism is working or evident, a higher number may point to the omission of any coping strategy and we all need experience with time to build a mandatory toolkit.

    What is very interesting, is that even if the numbers decrease that actual pain itself may be the same only our perception and concept changes, it is natural and with some expectation that the patient perceives the recipient or health professional to expect a larger number, a good practitioner as Howie said, would never use these numbers in isolation, much research has been produced on this scale and its innate fallibility.

    Kamgram told us experience that pain levels are also based on historic events and past experiences or childhood knowledge of pain is a valid measure in developing our concepts and as Cath mentions, the longer we have endured chronic pain the less those number may be than in its infancy, even though the pain level may be consistent or even more over time. Once higher numbers on any scale mean intervention it is weighted towards that conclusion, even if the pain scale went up to 100 it would be proportionate of our existing 1-10. Our senior role is to impart knowledge and understanding and give everyone a voice in helping them help themselves.

    Many experienced CP individuals have given evidence and testimony of how they cope, we are a collective of embracing others with pain, for many arriving here they have had no acknowledgement or understanding of this traumatic condition, as this eventful journey begins.

    Take care, bad flare weeks so no numbers for me. John Uk.
  • Way of using the pain scale. The first time I was asked the question I had no idea how to answer. Over the past year in dealing with PM I figured out that 1-5 is my base pain scale. Over 5 I would be in bed most of the day, nearing 10 in the ER. Honestly I think 1-10 is too many choices and causes confusion for anyone new to pain. My choice would be 1-5 scale with 5 being extreme. Just my humble opinion and what has worked for me.
  • alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
    edited 09/20/2012 - 6:02 PM
    Low , Medium, high , extreme ! This is all thats needed to measure pain as who in the hell while walking barely in to pain dr,s office with a flare up of nerve pain is going to play number games, Who is realy in the right frame of mind when visiting dr office in extreme pain?

    Or even at high level of pain who can play the number game, Ok its an 8 no wait maybe a 7 no no no 9 or is it a 6 ,!
    Hell i cant decide what number and stress is killing me now dr now its a 10 so shoot me up already before its an 11"

    Sorry but i dont think i agree with anyone here lol !

    Does anybody realy know the difference from level 4 from 5 ? Or from 6 or 7 or even from pain level 2 and 3 ?
    Well if you do good for you because i dont have a scale to measure pain in such ways !

    Either i hurt a litle or a lot or i am in extreme pain seeking help asking for injection because meds are not cuting it,
    And you can call extreme pain 9 or 10 or 11 makes no diference as it simply describes you are there because pain is out of control and you are there to get help to avoid er, Been there done that !

    The extreme pain level will usualy show blood pressure being higher then normal when nurse checks you in and you can be near passing out from the nerve pain and this numbers from 1 to 10 means nothing ,

    So if a person dont pass out does that mean no way they have such level of pain they can call 10 ? I think not,
    Ok maybe they lied must of been a 9 only because they still breathing. Lol
    Toss his ass out he lied and said 10 when it was a 9 that drug seeking freak !

    Get out and dont come back untill you learn the scale and your level is down to 2 or 3 you bastard !
    What do you think we are runing here a pain clinic for level 7 to 10 pain patients sheesh !
    Come back when you learn how to count !

    Come back in a body bag when you have 0 pain fool !

    Point being is if you can actualy be in extreme pain and your brain can still tell the difference between 8 9 or even 10 at times maybe you are not in that much pain in my opinion ! When you hurt bad enough they cant expect a person to put a direct number on it with brain fog consumed in pain, Thats not realistic !
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Alex, that's an interesting way to put it, never thought of that. I also agree that they can kind of tell by looking at you if your in pain. At my last appointment my NP said she could see that my neck was in a spasm but my back wasn't at that moment and it was true my neck was hurting me more than my back was at the time. Then again, for me personally, when either one acts up or is in a "flair" i tend not to notice the other one quite as much. Luckily, its not often that they both flair up at the same time.

    As for feeling a 10, i honestly don't think that i have. My childbirth was by C-section so it wasn't that bad, I had my gall bladder removed and i was back to work a day and a half later. Its like some things are more tolerable than others depending on where in the body the pain is at.
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