My Personal Pain Scale


One of the things I hate about visiting the doctor is having to answer the question, “On a scale of 1-10, what is your pain level right now?”
If I am in pain, I’m trying to not think about how bad it is — I’m trying to ignore it so that it doesn’t feel worse!  The little smiley faces do nothing for me.  There are only two charts I have ever appreciated and neither of them are in use at any clinic or hospital I have visited: one was created by Allie Brosch of Hyperbole and a Half, and the other I found somewhere on the internet and downloaded for my own use:


With apologies to whomever created this chart — I can’t find the source now or I would give you full credit. 

However, since I don’t think the medical staff will, as a whole, embrace Allie Brosch’s chart and since I don’t have a great fear of bees, I find it necessary to create my own pain scale. This is much closer to what the doctor or nurse will observe when looking at and questioning me:

  1. I might need a band-aid.
  2. It’s annoying but I can live with it.
  3. It’s annoying and I’d like you to fix it.
  4. Please give me pain medication.
  5. Pain meds now, please!
  6. I am trying really hard to not cry or bite off your head. If I am not doing those two things right now, it’s only being accomplished by sheer will of pride.
  7. I’m not playing nice anymore. Take care of me! Can’t you see my ugly cry face?
  8. I can’t stop crying. Just fix me. Don’t ask me to make decisions.
  9. My needs are the only ones in the world.
  10. My pain level is equivalent to the very worst of labor and/or possibly death. I have experience with the former and I hope this isn’t the latter… or maybe it is and it’s all your fault!

4 thoughts on “My Personal Pain Scale

  1. Your pain scale is excellent. Not excellent that you have had to develop it, though.

    Whenever I go to the dr or p.t. and have to rate my pain I feel like a wimp saying it’s a 3. I’m only there to keep it from being a 7 later, and having to scream loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

    But I think medical people didn’t used to ask about pain level at all. So the question, even if accompanied by a smiley face chart (oy!) is better than not asking.

  2. Pingback: Three Months Post-Surgery | Spokalulu

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