Monday, January 31, 2011

Okienurse's Fibromyalgia Blog: January 30, 2011 Pain scales

A friend told me that the pain scale that I had put down to document my pain was a little difficult to follow so here is a simple and easy way to rate it.

This pain scale was posted at a hospice site. Pretty visual and simple.

My pain rating scale is more object and breaks it down better for me:
1... will be just a nagging ache that is relieved by sitting down if I am standing, or standing if I am sitting etc. A change in position.
2... will be a nagging ache in multiple areas of my body.
3... will be a achiness that persists in multiple areas of my body regardless of change in position or activity. I have to take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help relieve it.
5... is when I have to repeat the OTC medication and end up having to go to bed or resort to taking a narcotic pain pill.
6... Add the atypical/focal migraine in and I am debilitated more than normal to the above symptoms.
7, 8, 9....just more of the same with repeats in drugs with decreasing efficiency.
10... will be when everything I do at home doesn't help and I have to call the doctor or go to the ER.

Whatever way you choose to rate your pain you need to make sure that you and your caregivers (family, doctor, nurses etc.) are all on the same page so there is no confusion as to your need for medication or treatment and what that medication or treatment should be. Don't be tough and think you can ignore the pain because chances are with Fibromyalgia the extra stress of trying to ride it out will only make it worse! Trust me I am an expert on that concept! For years I have put off accepting I have something wrong with me and being a nurse working in ER I thought every person that came in with FM was drug seeking but that just isn't true. That's not to say a percentage of people presenting to ER claiming to have FM pain either don't really have FM and are truly drug seeking. There are too many people who like the drugs for recreational purposes.

Most of the true FM people I know would rather cut off a hand then go to an ER for help. Most of us live in a world where no one believes we hurt THIS bad when in reality it is probably even a worse pain. As a nurse I had problems getting my brain wrapped around a normal person, looking pink and pretty, being in that much pain. I am a believer now!

My day today could be rated as a 3/75% of the day. The other 25% was about a 4 and I ended up taking an Ibuprofen 800mg twice today.


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