Monday, January 17, 2005

Mayo Clinic Comparative Pain Scale

Thought I'd post the pain scale, in case anyone who reads this, wants to know what I mean when I say "level 5 mig" or "I'm at a level 8", etc.

0= No pain. Feeling perfectly normal. (I never have this. Wonder what it's like? Must be nice)

1(very mild)= Very light barely noticable pain, like a mosquito bite or a poison ivy itch. Most of the time you never think about the pain. ( I don't get this one either. I pretty much skip steps 1-3 usually)

2(discomforting)= Minor pain, like lightly pinching the fold of skin between the thumb and first finger with the other hand, using the fingernailes. (Note that people react differently to this self-test)

3(tolerable)=Very noticable pain, like an accidental cut, a blow to the nose causing a bloody nose, or a doctor giving you a shot. The pain isn't so strong that you can't get used to it. Eventually, most of the time you don't notice the pain. You've adapted to it.

4(distressing)= Strong, deep pain, like an average toothache, the inital pain from a bee sting, or minor trauma like stubbing your toe real hard. So strong that you notice the pain all the time and can't completely adapt. This level of pain can be simulated by pinching the fold of skin between the thumb and first finger with the other hand, using the fingernails and squeezing really hard. Not how the similated pain is initially piercing but becomes dull after that.

5(very distressing)= Strong, deep, piercing pain, such as a sprained ankle when you stand on it wrong, or mild back pain. Not only do you notice the pain all the time, you are now so preoccupied with managing it that your normal lifestyle is curtailed. Temporary personality disorders (crabbiness or irritability {I added this}) are frequent.

6(intense)= Strong, deep, peircing pain, so strong that it seems to partially dominate your senses, causing you to think somewhat unclearly. At this point you begin to have trouble holding a job or maintaining normal social relationships. Comparable to a bad non-migraine headache combined with several bee stings or a bad back pain. (according to my migraine diary, this is my average pain level on any given day) [This is the level that my doctor would like me to come to her office for narc shots or to ER at]

7(very intense)= Same as 6 except that the pain completely dominates your senses causing you to think unclearly about half the time. at this point you're effectively disabled and frequently can't live alone. Comparable to an average migraine headache.

8(utterly horrible)= Pain so intense that you can no longer think clearly at all, and have often undergone severe personality change if the pain has been present for a long time. Suicide is frequently contemplated and sometimes tried. Comparable to childbirth or a real bad migraine. [This is the level that I tend to contemplate going through the humiliation of er. Read my post"Frustrated with the Medical Field", to understand what I mean by this]

9(excruciating unbearable)= Pain so intense that you can't tolerate it and demand pain killers or surgery, no matter what the side effects or risk. If this doesn't work, suicide is frequent since there is no more joy in life whatsoever. Comparable to throat cancer. [This is when I head for help at doc or er. I'm stubborn, ain't I?]

10(unimaginable unspeakable)= Pain so intense that you will go unconscious shortly. Most people have never experienced this level of pain. Those who have suffered a severe accident, such as a crushed hand, and lost consciousness as a result of the pain rather than the blood loss, have experienced level 10. (I've experienced this level 5 times since the mig started)

Right now I'm at a level 5, and can only think about taking some meds to calm it down.


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