“On a scale of 1 to 10…”

SnakeMaster shows his form after his first Karate promotion -- Frankenboot in the background

SnakeMaster shows his form after his first Karate promotion —
Frankenboot in the background

My doctor prescribed daily massage for me.

That sounds much nicer than the reality.

My toe that underwent surgery in late November has been hurting more than it should be — to the point I was in tears with pain and frustration this morning.
My dh suggested I find out if I needed to see my Primary Care Manager or did I still have an approved visit to the podiatrist remaining. That was the point my emotions leaked out and SuperDad said “Oh, for pity’s sake!!” he would make the investigative calls. He also attended the hastily scheduled appointment this afternoon.

I really dislike having to answer questions about or describe my pain to someone. I can differentiate between stabbing pain and throbbing pain, but “On a scale of one to ten…” always baffles me. Does ten mean that I am dead? If I don’t know how bad the pain can get, how can I even begin to tell you where I fall on that scale?

The podiatrist prescribed daily 10-minute toe massages, so my dh now gets to massage my toe every day for the next month or so! Sadly, it isn’t an enjoyable experience (it hurts my toe to be touched) but the doctor says that will get the pain and swelling to go away.

Now if only he had prescribed a glass of bourbon to be taken 10 minutes prior to the daily massages…

17 thoughts on ““On a scale of 1 to 10…”

  1. Take the bourbon anyway!

    We hate that scale here. Ernest, last weekend, with the broken finger and bruised right side.. My husband, at christmas with a kidney stone. Me a few years ago with the worst headache I’ve ever had. I could compare my pain to CHILDBIRTH but they had nothing else to compare it to.

    When I worked at the school we had a very young student with some serious physical problems. She had a chart with faces on it. If she was hurting, she was supposed to point at the face she felt like. Like the MEH face, or the AAAARGH face.

  2. humm— soaking could help as well.
    I am so sorry because constant pain is hard on how you feel all the time. I hope it goes away soon.

  3. Oh, I’m so sorry. The massage will help, I promise. When I knee surgery, PT started 4 days later and one of the first things they did was massage my entire right leg (all of the muscles were locked up and rigid and the pain was tear-inducing). I was in PT 2x/week for two months and they started with massage during the first 4 sessions. It always hurt, but I did feel increasingly better after each one.

    The pain scale of 1 to 10 didn’t bother me. Once my doctor and I established a baseline of what *I* thought 1 and 10 were, we understood each other just fine. And my perspectives of 1 to 10 were based on my father’s experiences as a cancer patient, so I had a pretty good sense of what the doctor understood each number to be.

  4. Ugh. I hate that pain scale as well, and especially when the pain is associated with a movement. I can’t figure out if I’m supposed to average the pain of the movement with the non-painful resting times, of if I’m supposed to assign a number to just when the pain happens.

    I hope the massage will help. Nothing like going through the trouble of fixing something only to have it still be a problem.

  5. I’ve never been able to understand that pain scale. My joints hurt more or less all of the time and I never really think about it – until my knuckles swell up like they have now.
    Could I set a number on the pain? Probably – but since my threshold for pain is pretty high I think my 6 could be someone else’s 10 – just like suburbancorrespondent said.

  6. Good idea about the bourbon and I’m not even a drinker. Next time, go to an orthopedic surgeon. i know podiatrists are very good at what they do and are well trained but where surgery is concerned–that where orthopedic SURGEONS get their name.

  7. They used that pain scale for me when I had my gastro-intestinal adventure two years ago. Oddly that experience was not one of the experiences in my life I consider painful, nor is childbirth, either.

    The most painful experiences I’ve ever had in my life are: 1) abscessed tooth. 2) hemorrhoids with complications 3) inflamed bursitis.

    I’ve had dental abcesses many times due to my peculiar teeth. There have been times when I wanted to rip them out of my head with a pair of pliers.

    The H pain was horrible because it simply would not stop and there was nothing I could do that soothed it. Plus, my insurance provider made it extremely difficult and untimely to get treatment. I was in tears both over pain and frustration.

    The bursitis thing was very strange – a wee little scratch on my elbow became infected and somehow went into the bursa, and within twelve hours it was red and swollen and hot to the touch. Went to the Dr. and then it got scarey – turns out they were afraid it was one of those flesh-eating bacteria infections. I was in the hospital, and they opened it up and dug out some flesh, and then finally it responded to the antibiotics.

    Actually, the last was one of those marriage-testing moments for us For a week following, my DH had to cleanse my putrifying wound for me, because it’s impossible to tend to your own elbow. Try it and see.

  8. I’m pretty sure the bourbon was assumed. Kind of like, “Don’t forget to breathe.” Don’t forget to drink bourbon. Really good bourbon.

    Hope your lil’ piggy is feeling better soon!

  9. Ditto what everyone says about the bourbon – just have some. You’ve been in pain too long. I’m with you on that pain scale. It can be confusing, especially when you’re dealing with a kind of pain you’ve not had before. How can you know how bad it might get? Anyway, hope the massage helps!

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