Job 36:15 - But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
Many of you may have already heard of the pain scale, because your doctor asked you to give him a number between zero and ten that tells him how badly you’re hurting. But have you heard of giving your loved ones or friends a number representing your pain level instead? You might say, “I’m really in a lot of pain right now so I can’t go with you and the kids to the park.”
The pain scale, on the other hand, gives loved ones a tangible way to communicate how much pain you’re in. In addition, take a look at the smiley faces above. These smiley faces can also help your family learn how to identify your pain at the different levels on the pain scale. Zero, or the first smiley face, means no pain, and ten, the last smiley face, is the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Let’s take a look at the rest of the numbers and what they can represent:
0. No pain
1. Getting quiet
2. Withdrawn – hurts a little bit
3. Holding body part that hurts
4. Frowning – hurts a little more
6. Grimacing – hurts even more
7. Getting irritable
8. Limping – hurts a whole lot
9. Moaning or groaning
10. Crying, yelling – worst imaginable pain
Now that we’ve gotten a handle on the pain scale, let’s try the above example, but use the pain scale as our guide. It might sound something like this:
“I’m at a seven right now. I need to go lay down for a bit so that the pain doesn’t go up to an eight or nine.” Or:
“I’m at a three right now. I’d be glad to join you on this activity.”
This transforms the conversation about your pain from the appearance of just complaining to communicating with your friends and loved ones in a way they can immediately grasp.
Another thing that also helps communicate your pain is to Google the pain scale on your computer, find it, print it out and place a copy on your refrigerator. That way it’s a visual reminder to your family.
God speaks to us in our affliction. He knows what we’re going through. He will give you the words you need to say to others while you walk through any dark valley of pain. And he will shine light upon it.
Have you ever used the pain scale or another method to help communicate your pain? To leave a comment just click on the blue "comments" below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.