I was recently reminded of something that has me perplexed. I was asked to rate my pain on a â€œpain threshold levelâ€ after my eye surgery. It brought back memories…
One thing that took me off-guard during my initial phases of tkr recuperation was the phase, â€œhow would you rate your pain?â€ WHAT!!?? Rate it? It hurts. â€œOn a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being excruciating…where is your pain level?â€ When I was first asked that question, I was totally dumbfounded. What was I comparing it to? What’s mild? A minor annoyance? Why talk about it? What’s excruciating? How can pain be excruciating if you’re able to calmly talk about it in the doctor’s office?
That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s so subjective, how can it possibly be used as a diagnostic tool? Us TKR people know that any beginning exercise can be extremely painful. It doesn’t last long, though. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Plus, it’s part of the rehab process. If the pain level has diminished (but definitely will return), if we rate it at 4 (for example), it makes the pain sound bearable. This is after a minute earlier, the pain was at the point of â€œOUCH!! I’M GONNA SMACK SOMEONE!!â€ We need to work through our pain, so how can we rate it?
If you are used to living with pain, it is difficult to rate it. It’s a part of life. That’s my opinion, anyways. If the pain is sporadic one minute, intense the next, alternating between throbbing and sharp the next … how do you rate that?
I don’t understand that diagnostic tool at all. If anyone can provide some insight, that would be great.
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