When they ask:” any pain today? On a scale... with 10 being the worst

Posted by stuckonu @stuckonu, Sep 23, 2019

Does anyone else find this method of recording your pain strangely and potentially misleading?

Last week after I signed out but still needed to wait for my number to be called for blood draw and urine deposit I said to the girl who was taking my blood and one of 3 people at the VA clinic who alternate between checking us in and checking us out. So I comment: “ if the women who checked me in asked now what my pain level was my answer would be way different “ “ which arm do you prefer ?” It occurred to me that these 3 women had jobs and the knew the routine. That said this blood taker was not interested in what I just said. Thinking about these women, the VA, the world of medicine it troubled me that I can honestly say that I’m not sure if anyone knew why I was there or how complicated my pain level is to describe let alone put a number on it.
In Feb when hospitalized my nurse informed me that I should comment when asked about my pain level to inform the person asking that I have chronic pain and acute pain and they are not the same.
So the first time I did that the person asking left the room and came back saying “ just pick a number “ other times I said that I also received strange reactions
So if this proves anything to me it’s that the process is broken and no one knows who to go to to fix the problem.
I also think that this is a great example of how the whole system is in need of review but who will bring it up and to whom?
Is it even possible that we the patients can start the discussion and process?

Any suggestions or ideas?


That is pretty funny @fourof5zs! Although, I have to say, I think I'd put mauled by a bear at 10 if it were me.

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Ever wonder what number having a baby is?
I had a male doctor once told me that a man can get an idea of what it’s like: he told me to pinch my bottom like and squeeze it as light as I can, ask me if it hurt then said squeeze harder and told me that a few time and finally after asking if it hurt a lot he instructed me to pull my lip over my head. What is your number of pain?


Yes, exactly. I have finally learned to be honest ad clear. My best days now are pain levels of 3-4, "flare-up" days 5-7, needing more serious intervention, 8-10. I have not had an 8-10 day for at least a year, probably since I added Cymbalta and CBD gels to my pill regimen. I probably have a DP on my pain clinic file, as none of their costly interventions ever helped at all. Glad to be past the pain clinic days! Lots of them here in the land where folks come to die–Arizona!–and the pain clinics guys are doing very well.(Tongue in cheek, but true to my experience for the most part!)

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TY for sharing your picture. This is the first thread that >I< have seen the attachment function used at first I wondered if you were showing us the face you make when asked what you number is… obviously I have an imagination and I’m sure I have lots of DPs on my chart. Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode when Elain got a DP?


@JustinMcClanahan .. sometimes I think we need to draw up our own pain chart. Everyone's pain is different. Some people can tolerate more pain than others and use different words to describe their pains.

On most days my pain is like knives not bees. A level 5-6. Pain med will sometimes take it to a 4. If I am active like today it is off the scale. Doing laundry and cleaning bathroom is active. I and my husband take care of my 91 year old mom who has dementia. That is quite active … some days more than others.

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Sometimes just listening to my mother is a 10 so holding the “ LUV “ makes the number off the chart.. if a person is a masochist is their pain level actually a pleasure level? Wondering minds want to know!


Yesterday I went for a massage and was in so much pain when I walked in I told my therapist that I might not have it in me to tolerate more pain so I might be capable of going the distance. But having a massage therapist who knows you and understand his craft he was amazingly sensitive to my yelps, sighs, and body reactions. At the end of two hours I felt way better than I did on all the pills I was taking. I slept better and today I have ultrasound and an X-ray at 10. The hardest part is nothing to eat or drink. That’s an 8.5

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