Well, according to this pain scale I exist at a pain level of 7 and 8 all the time when it comes to migraines. But I suppose on average that is right even though I might rate them differently because I use a different pain scale… that chronic pain pain scale that is totally skewed by having chronic pain. And I tend to rate an average migraine as a 6 and when it begins to get nasty a 7 and when I’m really disabled by it a 8 and when I’m completely crippled by it and immobilized and cannot even think past the pain, have had it straight for days and days a 9. And the occasional 4 and 5 being half treated migraines or migraines I didn’t need to treat and was able to ‘function’ or think through the pain. A migraine diary would be really repetitive if it was all 7,7,7,7,8,8,7,7,7,7,8,7. Even though on average, yeah, I exist on 7 and play around on 8 way too often.
I suppose with FM pain it fluctuated between a 3 ad a 7 which is what I would actually use in what I calculate. I suppose my baseline pain is a 5 although I don’t find it ‘very distressing’ it just is what it is… and your ‘normal lifestyle is curtailed’ because you have to work around it in various different ways, but it is a baseline pain so it is normal.
And what sucks about having more than one chronic pain condition is that it is hard to answer this question isn’t it? What is your pain level? Well, where? My neck is a 6. My migraine a 7. My legs a 5. My back a 4. Lets just draw a body and I’ll post numbers on it. I don’t think in pain levels generally. I track the migraine pain levels for neuros who don’t give a crap. But I don’t generally go ‘well how badly do my legs hurt today?’ I just think ‘how much can I do today and how can I do it?’
But this is a good chart to have for doctors. I mean the other ones or even the questions they ask simply do not work for chronic pain. ‘on a scale to 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt what is your pain level?‘ Well, I can tell you right now that what I would say a 10 is, is vastly different than the average person. I vividly recall what I would call a 10 and it is pain that is beyond the ability to move, beyond the ability to speak, just existing within it by the longest second ever known, being trapped within the infinity of it, repeating some mantra like ‘please god let it end’ even when I don’t believe in god. That is my 10. And maybe it is for some other people too, but I expect it isn’t for most. And people with chronic pain… our notion of what warrants a 7 or an 8 or a 9 or a 10 becomes vastly skewed by having to endure it day after day and forced to function with it. If I say ‘this is a migraine I can function with’ this statement might be beyond comprehension to someone who rarely gets migraines and never has to function with them. So not only am I going to rate my pain lower, just from my subjective experience of pain, but I might also be very ‘stoic’ and not exhibiting and pain behaviors… both these things are things that are less likely to get me any real treatment from a doctor.
Just saying for example ‘I have a status migraine that has persisted for five days and is very acute’ isn’t going to get me actual treatment for a status migraine, oddly enough, because apparently I’m too stupid to know what it is and therefore will get treated like it is just a migraine and be sent on my way… I suppose I should scream, and wail, and freak out next time. Fact is, there won’t be a next time. You would have to drag me there screaming and wailing. It doesn’t help to use the numbers you think you should use either if you are too stoic… they just expect people in that much pain to act a certain way, even if most of us… contain it tightly. Anyway, this would be why I didn’t go to the ER when I got that mysterious persistent numbness in my hand from a status migraine, because they never treat the migraines right to actual abort them… so yeah I got nerve damage from that experience but the fact remains I would have anyway because isn’t numbness normal for a migraine and wasn’t I all stoic and how would I know how dangerous a status migraine is? And now I can say the nerve pain in my hand currently feels like a 3 and the frustration I feel with inept doctors feels like an 8. https://w.atcontent.com/-/3MaF3U-eG9W/nikki.albert/0aOvRWSB1A7.text/Panel/Autocheck