I've gotten really good at dealing with pain, but I need to be more realistic in how I talk about it. I almost always say that my pain is a 2 or a 3 according to the following pain scale:
So how does my pain scale work, anyway? I figure there are only 5 values on the scale: 0, 2, 3, 7, and 8. Zero includes minor ouchies, and 8 was only felt in the penultimate hour of labor with my first child. Most of my recent pain I've been calling a 2 or a 3, and periodically it jumps to a 7. Even during the spine biopsy I remember telling the nurse that my pain was a 3.
I'll be the first to admit that this is a terrible personalization of the accepted scale. First of all, when I complained to my mom that the nurse in the hospital didn't offer me any pain medicine she explained that nurses don't medicate pain that's a 2 or a 3. Pain has to be greater than 3 to get the good drugs. By constantly rating my pain at a 3, therefore, no one will ever know when I would like some help in treating the pain. For example, I would rate my pain today at a 3, but I also rated my pain on Saturday at a 3 and Saturday was a far more painful day than today has been so far. By recognizing this problem of mine I hope to change my ways and be a better patient in the future. Let's revise Saturday's pain to a 7 and today's pain to a 5. And please pass me the Tylenol.
In other news, these drainage tubes are driving me crazy. I called my surgeon's office and got the appointment changed from Friday to tomorrow (I had to move my radiation oncology appointment from tomorrow to Thursday). Hopefully tomorrow you will read a happy post about the separation of me from the tubes. And hopefully they are a large source of my discomfort, thereby relieving some pain with their removal.