Poll

How painful is an ice cream headache on a scale of 0 to 10? There is no pain above 10 because you pass out.

0: no pain at all
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10: uncontrollably writhing in all-consuming agony

Author Topic: Pain Scales  (Read 914 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2019, 06:32:24 PM »
I'd like it more if it had evocative descriptions like the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. I can place ""Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three inch nail embedded in your heel" much better than a simple "8".

Sure. In this case I was looking for an intensity rating on a single, specific, commonly experienced pain.

I think the problem is that ice cream headaches come in different intensities.
Daniel
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2019, 06:38:20 PM »
Post-gout my pain scale is all fucked up.  I didn't know there was that much pain in the world.  A couple years ago when I was having (ultimately not serious) nutsack issues, I was flummoxed by the pain scale.  Pre-gout I probably would have categorized the nutsack pain as like 7 or 8, but post-gout it was maybe 4.

Let's see acupuncturists claim to treat gout.

May I ask what your solution for gout turned out to be? There are different approaches, just curious.

Allopurninol, colchicine, and eliminating fish from my diet, all for the rest of my life.

I got lucky, just need the colchicine prn and a dietary elimination which I dare not violate. Haven't had to take colchicine for a few years now. The pain in my big toe was incredible, wanted to shoot the toe clean off.

 I had what they call "polyarticulate" gout.  Bad like that in the one toe, but also bad (at a much lower level) at knuckles, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles.  I remember crying out from feeling the wind from my wife opening the door to the bedroom.

I get daily allopurinol, 1 per 3 days colchicine.  I hear colchicine is pricey in the USA.  It is also used in veterinary medicine, so my wife hears about the costs down there.  Something like $5 per pill.
Big Mike
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2019, 06:46:45 PM »
Quote from: amysrevenge
I had what they call "polyarticulate" gout.  Bad like that in the one toe, but also bad (at a much lower level) at knuckles, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles.  I remember crying out from feeling the wind from my wife opening the door to the bedroom.
I get daily allopurinol, 1 per 3 days colchicine.  I hear colchicine is pricey in the USA.  It is also used in veterinary medicine, so my wife hears about the costs down there.  Something like $5 per pill.

Glad you have that torture managed.

The price of colchicine was dirt cheap my first prescription. Then a turn of events gave a monopoly to one maker and the price shot up maliciously. Stupid USA.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2019, 07:56:52 PM »
Worst pain I've ever had was a perianal abscess.

At one point while I was waiting for surgery a nurse walked in, and we had this brief dialogue:

How's it going?

Hurts like hell.

Want some morphine?

...Yeah, okay.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2019, 06:07:45 AM »
. (This board needs more emojis. Please imagine I put an EEK! emoji here.)
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2019, 09:04:12 AM »
I'd like it more if it had evocative descriptions like the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. I can place ""Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three inch nail embedded in your heel" much better than a simple "8".

Sure. In this case I was looking for an intensity rating on a single, specific, commonly experienced pain.

I think the problem is that ice cream headaches come in different intensities.

Do they? In my experience they are very consistent, which is why I started with them.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2019, 09:11:35 AM »
My worst pain was having a trache tube replaced when my new blow hole was infected. 10/10 was all-consuming  writhing agony. There was nothing else: only pain. If I had the capacity to scream I would have been screaming. If it had been a little more intense I think I would have blacked out.

When doctors and nurses ask how bad the pain is, the scale is subjective. I thought if there is a pain that everyone experiences at a similar level, it might give us a way to compare my 6 to your 4.
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2019, 09:23:55 AM »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2019, 10:18:37 AM »
I'd like it more if it had evocative descriptions like the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. I can place ""Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three inch nail embedded in your heel" much better than a simple "8".

Sure. In this case I was looking for an intensity rating on a single, specific, commonly experienced pain.

I think the problem is that ice cream headaches come in different intensities.

Do they? In my experience they are very consistent, which is why I started with them.

I really think this only means that your ice cream headaches are consistent for you. And pain in general is very subjective. The same actual damage will cause different people to experience very different levels of pain. One person will keep on going through an injury that would cause another to collapse in agony. Whether this is a learned skill or the result of repeated injuries or genetic variation or a combination, I don't know. But it's clear that we experience pain differently.

The one-to-ten scale is just a way of gauging how close you are to finding your pain intolerable.
Daniel
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2019, 12:58:38 PM »
Yes, the fact that my ice-cream headaches have a consistent intensity for me was part of the inspiration for this poll. I thought that most individuals would rate their ICH with a consistent intensity - not a 3 this time but an 8 the other time, for example. I don't have that consistency with any other commonly experienced pain. Normal headaches, gas cramps, stubbed toes, whatever - they all have a wide range of intensity.

If my hypothesis was accurate, ICH could represent a standard candle to calibrate your pain against my pain. If I rated ICH at 4 and you rate it at 7, we can both have an intuitive, consistent, and useful understanding of how much pain you are in when you say "it's an 8" or "it's a 3". It would also give medical practitioners a sense of my pain tolerance - something that is not well expressed in the current scales.

If there is no 'standard candle' for pain, there is no standard candle for pain. Fair enough. It was worth a shot.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2019, 01:04:41 PM »
But even if your hypothesis about consistency were true, we would have no way of knowing that my subjective experience of the pain is the same as yours.  You may rate it a 4 and I might rate it a 7 for numerous reasons: perhaps I have less pain tolerance than you; perhaps I have never experienced worse pain and therefore have nothing to compare it to; perhaps my ice cream headaches, while consistent, are actually significantly more painful than yours; or perhaps I am more sensitive to the particular quality of pain created by an ice cream headache than you are. We have no way of knowing which of these or the numerous other causes one could think of it might be.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2019, 01:25:01 PM »
All true, but I think only one point is relevant to calibrating your pain against my pain. You're right though: if you and I compare ICH intensity to a bunch of other pains and you consistently rate ICH as much more painful than I do, it would not qualify as a useful standard candle. I don't thing the other specifics of the subjective experience are necessarily dealbreakers.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2019, 02:10:33 PM »
Your understanding (or perhaps your experience) of pain intensity is fundamentally different from mine.  I do not think that it is possible to separate intensity from quality, duration, individual sensitivity, past experience of pain, and numerous other factors. Indeed, I think that pain intensity is as fundamentally subjective as any other aspect of pain. You are insistent that you are able to separate pain intensity from other aspects of pain, and I have no reason to reject your claim; I request the same respect for my own insistence that I am not able to do so and that, for me, intensity of pain is, in fact, inextricably linked to its other characteristics. Your insistence that all other aspects of the pain are irrelevant to my rating of the pain is, therefore, unjustified and, in my opinion, offensive.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2019, 04:39:47 PM »
When my appendix went bad I went to sick call dressed for work. (At that time it was a suit with optional shoulder holster.) When the doc saw me he said "You know, when you feel this bad you could go straight to the ER." I replied, "I'm still standing, so I don't consider it an emergency."

It's the hard-headed Oirish in me.
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Pain Scales
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2019, 04:46:00 PM »
When my appendix went bad I went to sick call dressed for work. (At that time it was a suit with optional shoulder holster.) When the doc saw me he said "You know, when you feel this bad you could go straight to the ER." I replied, "I'm still standing, so I don't consider it an emergency."

It's the hard-headed Oirish in me.

You could have done your own surgery, tough guy.

 

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