Pain isn’t a competition

You’re probably familiar with this phrase : “Rate your pain between a 0 and ten”.

And I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong. I know I was.

Look, here’s a couple of statements to describe pain levels. Guess which one goes to which number, with 10 being the worst pain.

A) I cannot do some of the activities I need to do each day because of the pain.

B) I am always aware of my pain, but can mostly function.

C) My pain is constantly on my mind. I give up many things because of the pain.

It probably isn’t hard to put them in order, even with swapping a synonym or two out.

But what you may not have guessed is that the lowest of those three is only a pain rating of 4.

The highest example above is only a rating of 6.

Basically, anything where you can ignore your pain most of the time is a 3 or below.

Which means that I’m at least at a four during the day, going rapidly up the scale in the evening. Even with medications, I hit a six on the pain scale pretty much every single night.

Bad nights, like the Monday night just past, are in the 7-9 range.

I had been underestimating my pain by two to three points for decades.

It’s bad enough that we sometimes have to “perform our pain” to be taken seriously.

We don’t need to be underestimating our own pain.

Featured photo from Unsplash