Saturday, February 16, 2013

A New (to me) Pain Scale

[Image Description: Title reads "The McGill Pain Index." The bottom reads "Rigorously tested scientific pain scale.  Overall score is determined by compiling various numerical and cross-referenced descriptive words, allowing direct comparison across conditions."  In the middle of the image, there is a vertical scale that goes from 0 (no pain) to 50.  It is color-coded and divided into 10s, so that the bottom 10 points are light yellow and the top 10 points are bright red.  Different medical conditions are placed next to their pain level on the scale.  For example, a sprain is located at about 15.  A toothache is at about 20.  Fibromyalgia is slightly below 30.  Childbirth (with training) is at about 35 and childbirth (with no training) is at 40.]
This is the newest (to me) pain scale that I have come across lately, and it really puts fibromyalgia pain into perspective for me.

On this scale, the following are considered LESS painful than fibromyalgia:

  • sprain
  • fracture
  • arthritis
  • toothache
  • after-shingles nerve pain
  • non-terminal cancer
  • phantom limb pain
  • chronic back pain
The following are considered MORE painful than fibromyalgia:
  • Childbirth (with training)
  • Amputation of finger/toe
  • Childbirth (with no training)
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
Of course, this scale doesn't include every medical condition ever created, but after being accused of lying or being flat-out ignored by doctors, even this small validation of the severity of fibromyalgia is worth something to me.

My pain is not all in my head.

My pain is real.

My pain is severe.

My pain is something I have to live with every day.

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