Apr 12, 2022
4 mins read
Everyone has been asked by a physician, "What is your pain level on a scale from 1-10?". Suddenly, your mind is racing because you don't know what exactly to say. You don't want to say something too low because you fear they will be dismissive about your health concern; On the other hand, if you say something too extreme maybe they will think you're being dramatic. So we all end up saying a neutral 6-8. If you can resonate with this, please keep reading.
As a society it has been acknowledged that no one person has the same pain tolerance as another, hence the creation of the term "pain tolerance". If they (Doctors) know this, then why are they continuously asking you to transfer your pain as a scalable measurement? From my own experience, frankly, it is to determine how serious to take your health concern. 🤯Gasp! Why would I say such a thing? When you think about it if you were to say something low or moderate like a 0-5, they simply type it down and continue to ask further questions to figure out such as, " Well what brings you in today?" or "How can I help you today?". They know why you are there, it's one of the first questions you are asked when you make your appointment. IF YOU DON'T RATE YOUR PAIN AS A SERIOUS LEVEL 9-10, THEN YOU ARE NOT AS IN NEED OF HELP. This is what I hear when the physician's response is as passive as you stopping at a fast food restaurant drive through, "How can I help you today?".
No one wants to go through the trouble of canceling prior plans, taking off from their paying job, ensuring they have a babysitter or even transportation to go to the doctors office, only to leave the office with a visit summary and no resolution to their health concern. If the value of your concern is going to based off this theoretical scale of pain, then why not just jump straight to 10; ALWAYS RATE YOUR PAIN HIGH. Be fearless and bold, your pain level is a 10. Notice how the following actions and questions differ. Now the physician would like to know, "Have you taken any pain medication? Would you like some pain medication? Where do you feel the pain the most and is it constant?". Pause for a moment and reflect on your history with your physician visits 🤔……. True, right?
I'm not saying to lie but if your there, your there because you are highly concerned about something and you want it to be seriously investigated for an answer/resolution to your problem. Technically there is no real way to lie about something that is measured by someone's own personal opinion. I have literally had a radiologist tell me after a $60 copay and waiting 2hours past my appointment time, "Pain is not a reason to get a breast ultrasound, you don't have cancer so this service would be unnecessary". The last time I checked the only reason someone comes to a doctor besides a regular checkup, is because something is in pain; There's also the fact that you can't refer yourself to get an ultrasound, obviously my doctor had his reasons and cancer doesn't have to be the end all be all concern. I ended up having to file a complaint with that department and even worse the manager told me, "I understand being scared because your chest hurts and your so young, the same thing happened to me when I was diagnosed with fibroadenoma's in my breast but its a benign nodule".The Audacity. She did not just try to sympathize with me by assuming I was afraid or concerned about the same diagnose as when you had chest pain. This was an appalling example of how voicing your pain doesn't mean you really get the help you need; However, I learned more from that experience than I would have if I hadn't voiced the extreme of my pain. This is not the right facility or physicians for me to truly get help. If I wanted answers I was going to need to go to somewhere else and I was going to need to switch my insurance this upcoming season.
The Moral of this post is, YOUR PAIN IS ENOUGH, YOUR PAIN IS WORTH INVESTIGATING, YOUR PAIN BROUGHT YOU TO THE DOCTORS AND YOU ARE DESERVING OF AUTHENTIC ASSISTANCE IN FINDING OUT WHAT IS WRONG. Never let the dismissive ones keep you from finding answers. No one can feel what you feel in your own body, you know when something is off. That very same little pain a physician(s) dismissed could've been the start of something serious that you only end up with a diagnoses for once it has severely damaged your body. MY PAIN LEVEL IS A 10, YOUR PAIN LEVEL IS A 10, EVERY PATIENT IN HERE HAS PAIN LEVEL 10; NOW WHAT CAN YOU SUGGEST FOR MANAGEMENT OF IT, THERAPY, MEDICINE, PERHAPS A REFERRAL TO A SPECIALIST??? Be insistent upon getting the help you desire and deserve and if they cannot help you, perhaps it is time to look for a new physician or even invest in different health insurance.