I have always found the pain scale too vague.
0. no pain
1. a pain (tinge, ache) that is only noticeable if one mentally focuses on it
2. a pain that declares itself, but has no hold on you. Just passive attention on almost anything can win your attention from it.
3. a pain that draws your attention to it and requires some doing on your part, some purposeful focus on to something else (a mediocre t.v. show can be enough).
4. a pain that you struggle to find something sufficiently powerful to distract you from it (a lively conversation, a good book, a fun game, something that require your active engagement such as writing a post on this website ;) etc.).
5. akin to 4, but you'll have trouble keeping your focus consistently away from it and most of the time, it declares itself and competes against all else for your mental space.
6. Where the tide turns in favor of the pain and though you can still have your attention on other things, the pain has become your master.
7. You're overwhelmed by the pain and every other thought is swamped by its power.
8. akin to 7, but the pain breaks forth into shaking, convulsions, screams, or in other ways has taken your body not just your mind.
Using the above, most days, I wake up at 1-2. Within 30minutes -1hour, I'm at 3-4. On good days, it moves no farther. On typical days, up to 5 or 6. I'll have brief 7's some days, when I've done something I shouldn't have. 8 a few times a year (fortunately quelled after a few minutes lying down).
When I was about 12, during a hike one day, I tripped, put out my arms to break my fall, but my left hand went right through the spike-like stub of a broken branch coming out of a fallen tree. My hand was impaled through the branch, bones broken, and I pulled it free before screaming as blood was gushing. That was my 9.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray