What number is your pain? (aka the most annoying question to be asked when you are in pain!!!!!!!!!!!!) The above drawing is the visual representation of this question, the Wong-Baker Faces Scale. When you are in pain, this ridiculous cartoon is insulting and absurd. I mean, seriously.
I was hospitalized in the beginning of March due to unbearable, excruciating levels of pain. Shallow, hyper breathing led to numb hands, and the pain in my stomach shoved vomit out of my mouth. By the time my husband got off the phone with the on-call doctor, I couldn't even stand up. If my stomach would have exploded, spraying my organs all over my living room, it wouldn't have been surprising. Getting into his car was inconceivable, so he called an ambulance.
As the paramedics were wheeling me out of my home, one of them asked me, "What number is your pain, on a scale from 1 to 10?" (Now I realize he was just following protocol, and they were all very kind to me, so don't get me wrong. However...) I wanted to screech, "What the hell do you think!?!! I am bawling, vomiting, and being carried on a stretcher (into the cold without my socks, shoes or jacket)!!!! Ummm if only I had a chart of cartoon faces for each number, I would be better equipped to answer this question. I'm at freakin' TENNNN!!!! Actually, I might as well be at a 10,000!!!!"
If you have ever been in the hospital in terrible pain, it probably won't surprise you that I endured being asked this damn question over & over during my three day stay. The nurses would bring the morphine & before they would administer it, they would ask for my number. Each time in my head, I rolled my eyes and flicked them off...but actually responded, I hate this question, followed by my number. (I know they're following protocol too. And I appreciate their work too). Meanwhile I thought...
I have not felt every possible pain, okay?! I'm sure if a rabid lion pounced and mauled me, I may experience a higher level of pain. If I was run over by a semi truck seven times and then trampled by wild boar, yeah that might hurt more than this does. But as you may have noticed, I am still crying, doubled over with pain, my white blood cell count is elevated. So right now, it seems this is maximum misery. Can't you just look at me and ascertain this obvious fact? I don't need a Comfort Scale (aka Wong-Baker Faces Scale); I don't even remember what comfort feels like. I need morphine!!
The question feels more like an interrogation. You might be an addict, you know. (But I'll talk more about my experiences with pain meds in a later post).
(Jenndo observes) Poor 8 really wants to cry, but she's too fatigued to hear another person tell her to toughen up. And she's gotten used to choking back her tears. Sometimes even 6 cries too. Because pain sucks. And what number is your pain is hard to answer in one syllable. Feel free to attach whatever number you see fit to the description above.