Reply To: mumblings of a hermit

Home Page Forums General Discussions on Pain mumblings of a hermit Reply To: mumblings of a hermit


As I sit and contemplate (or more truthfully dance about with a level 8 pain) my next entry here I realize the different pain levels don’t define me. They just set the limits (agenda? tone?) for the day. My level never falls below a 5.5. The only difference between a day at 5 and one at a 10 is what my body can do. A day at level 10 frightens me no more than a day at 5. My brain knows what to do. The defense mechanisms are automatic. That is partly due to years of practice.
We all know the question “on a scale of 1<10 where is your pain?). We’ve also all heard a person in agony proclaim it to be a 12 or 13. Years ago I read the most amazing concept. Every-one’s idea of those numbers is different. Pain is a subjective concept. The idea was to write down what those numbers mean to us individually. To me what is the difference really between level 3 and 4 pains? Once it’s written down you can give it to your doctors as a way for them to understand you better.
I’ve found a second and more important use for my list. It forces me to realistically evaluate and understand my individual pain levels and tolerances. With that understanding some of the scariness goes away. You suddenly get hit with a level 8 pain. If you understand what that means and what to expect from your body, it’s easier to see your way through it; to know you WILL make it through.
So as an introduction to my world my list is (with the understanding that my overall level never goes below a 5.5 any pain below that just goes to overall pain levels without any real notice):
1 If I check then I realize it hurts. (At this point I don’t check anymore)
2 It hurts but like a paper cut doesn’t amount to anything
3 It hurts and like a throbbing toothache you know it
4 I’m actively dealing with the pain on a constant basis (there are lots of automatic “brain programs” I run to block the pain at this level)
5 Five is perhaps the most loosely defined. I’m actively dealing with the pain front and center. Mostly is the level just below a six
6 Six is easy it takes my breath away
7 This was always defined as a pain that would knock me to the ground but has more recently come to be known as the holy **** stage. Pain high enough that all I can do is move about saying holy **** in response to my pain
8 Eight is where my enfeebled adrenal gland spits forth one last bit of adrenaline in an attempt to fight or flee the pain. I’m getting better at recognizing this level. Often it looks like nesting, with cleaning taking a big part; as though to be ready for worse to come. When I see it I try and resist the urge. It’s better to save energy I may need later.
9 Again an easy to define level. I’m laying down (if I’m lucky it’s somewhere comfortable) hallucinating. Things get mixed at this stage because I rely heavily on deep meditation and bio-feedback. Later I’ll try to describe some of the places this level shows me.
10 Also easy to define the hallucinations are broken with periods of unconsciousness.
Writing and typing this list made me realize that my normal pain is a level 7 all to often. That’s fine. The amazing thing is that it could creep that high without my seeing it
Take care of each other and have a gentle day