Sometimes I feel like the standard scale of 1-10 pain
estimation isn’t the best for people with chronic pain. I find myself
exaggerating sometimes when I am asked to rate my pain.
For example, I am allergic to adhesives and have yet to find
a wafer (the part that sticks to your skin) for my ostomy that does not cause
irritation AND also sticks well and provides adequate odor blockage. There are
wafers for people w allergies, but all the ones I’ve tried were like buying
store brand macaroni and cheese. You really have to buy Kraft in that case. So,
I live w/o smelling like poo at the expense of my peristomal skin.
Normally, it’s not that bad- it can be irritated and angry
looking but doesn’t really hurt. However, about a week before my Simponi
injection is due, all bets are off. It gets red, uber irritated, weepy so
nothing sticks, and my Pyoderma Gangrenosum (PG) flares. PG is ridiculously
painful. It hurts to move, and breathe; it hurts to think when the PG is
flaring. But I’m moderately used to it. When something hurts all the time, you
get used to it. I know you guys know! So, what might be a 10 for someone who’s
never experienced PG’s is more like a 4-5 for me. But if I’m asked by a medical
professional and I say 4-5, it seems like it isn’t as bad as it is. So I say 9
because I want them to take me seriously. But then I don’t want it to seem like
I’m a drama queen. How many people tell them 10 out of 10 just to get some
attention? I can’t decide if I’m doing myself a disservice by exaggerating a
bit to compensate for having to deal with chronic pain, or the 1-10 scale is
doing chronic pain sufferers a disservice overall. That said, I have no clue
what might be a better way to gauge someone’s pain.
Am I nuts? Anyone else do this? Thoughts?