This little episode of misery has decided to pull up a chair and sit a spell, so if you notice I’m not returning emails, phone calls or remembering appointments, birthdays or my own name, that’s my excuse. However, there is no excuse not to find the humor in the situation, and blog friend Katherine sent some along in the form of the ultimate pain chart. Thanks to permission from its creator, Allie, at http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/, you will hopefully find this as amusing as I did.
She starts with a traditional pain chart:
Then she shares her thoughts as to its helpfulness:
“You’ve probably seen some version of that chart before. You may also have noticed how inadequate it is at helping you. Based on the faces, this is my interpretation of the chart:
0: Haha! I’m not wearing any pants!
2: Awesome! Someone just offered me a free hot dog!
4: Huh. I never knew that about giraffes.
6: I’m sorry about your cat, but can we talk about something else now? I’m bored.
8: The ice cream I bought barely has any cookie dough chunks in it. This is not what I expected and I am disappointed.
10: You hurt my feelings and now I’m crying! ”
As Allie points out, “None of that is medically useful and it doesn’t even have all the numbers”. Her thoughts on the matter may have been similar to mine, which are that since, for the most part, physicians are helpless to address chronic pain in a meaningful way that does not include prescribing Hunter Thompson-esque amounts of dangerous drugs that can get them and/or the patient in a great deal of trouble, they offer up cute-faced charts in an attempt to trivialize the misery that the patient is experiencing. It’s much easier on their egos and helps maintain decorum in the office.
But it seems that Allie is someone who knows a thing or three about pain. She created her own much more effective and communicative chart:
0: Hi. I am not experiencing any pain at all. I don’t know why I’m even here.
1: I am completely unsure whether I am experiencing pain or itching or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth.
2: I probably just need a Band Aid.
3: This is distressing. I don’t want this to be happening to me at all.
4: My pain is not (expletive-ing) around.
5: Why is this happening to me??
6: Ow. Okay, my pain is super legit now.
7: I see Jesus coming for me and I’m scared.
8: I am experiencing a disturbing amount of pain. I might actually be dying. Please help.
9: I am almost definitely dying.
10: I am actively being mauled by a bear.
11: Blood is going to explode out of my face at any moment.
Maybe you have to be a chronic pain sufferer to truly see the humor in this but I hope that’s not the case. I actually LOL’d to the point of snorting water up my nose when I saw it, but then, maybe that just tells you how delirious I am at level 8 pain.
Have a pain-free day!