And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rate Your Pain

I hate it when doctors ask that question. I mean, what am I supposed to say? It hurts more than a hangnail, and less than childbirth. Is that "moderate"?

I went to the doc today for a UTI that I have been fighting for *cough* way too long. I am pretty sure it has worked it's way up into the kidneys because of all the back pain, side pain, fever and nausea. It sucks.

But I can still drag my butt to work every day, so it must not be that bad, huh?

So there I was, sitting in the little exam room, and the doc asked the dreaded question...."Can you rate your pain for me on a scale of one to ten?" I almost told him no.

I remember when I was in labor with Little Sprout. I had back labor, and very little was showing on the contraction monitor thingy. The nurse came in and asked me to rate my pain, and then scoffed at me when I said 4. She didn't believe me.


I just wanna know what number to say for a certain amount of pain. I mean, what number is "I hurt bad enough to wanna crawl into bed and suck my thumb, but not bad enough to actually do it"? I think that rates about a 5.5 or a 6, with a 7.5 being "curled up in bed whimpering" and 10 being "screaming and writhing, wishing you could just die to avoid the pain". But what if the doc thinks that a 6 is broken bone pain? Or worse, what if the doc thinks that 6 is a bee sting? There is a lot of room for interpretation there.

I think they should just assume you hurt the worst and treat you accordingly. I tend to not want to go into the doc howling in pain. After all, there are lots of folks who could be in way more pain than me that are NOT crying and screeching about it. How would I know? Besides, I have both given birth and had gallbladder attacks. Truthfully, the gallbladder issues were more painful than the childbirth. Everything in relation to that is pretty easy to deal with.



DirkStar said...

I once answered a doctor who asked me that question with, "Yes I can. It is the breaking of the shell that encloses my understanding that something is wrong with my physical being."

He stared at me as if I'd lost my mind...

barefoot gardener said...

LOL...I am gonna commit that one to memory and use it next time!

Kati said...

They asked me that freaking question at the ER when I went in for that neck pain a couple of weeks back. The fact that I said the pain was about a 9 out of 10, that I'd HONESTLY feel better if they just took my head off at the shoulders, really scared them. *wry smile* The funny part is when somebody says something like "oh, it won't hurt as bad as childbirth". I usually respond with "childbirth didn't suck, it was the 6 tries with the IV needle that sucked. I could handle the LABOR part of it another 3 or 4 times if I didn't have to deal with everything else." (Including, but not limited to, the adolescent angst that Tay is dealing with now, and enjoys passing off on Scott and myself.)