I’ma kill me somebody here soon enough. I want to revamp the Pain Rating Scale. (“Seriously, Kim? Seriously? You’ve already bitched about this once. It was merely okay. Now we’d like some originality to make up for you being gone FOUR FUCKING DAYS! Come on! We have expectations!” Well I’m sorry. I’ve been busy. AND IN PAIN!)
Somewhere, in some hospital sub-basement, or that little alley the docs go to when they sneak the cigarettes they lambast their patients for smoking, or perhaps the morgue, SOMEwhere a bunch of medical professionals met and agreed how they were to respond to different numbers on this fucking scale. I WANNA KNOW WHAT THEY AGREED ON! Somebody so moved that Number Six was when you could be admitted into Urgent Care and Number, what, Eight was when they’d drug you? Ten? All the doctors I talk to ask me where I fit on the pain scale and I want to know what the right answer is. Because the scale makes zero sense to me, beyond a linear progression of a personal experience.
I don’t relate to their numbering system. I mean, that Number Two face still seems pretty happy. I am not happy at a number two. And the smile isn’t wiped off that little round face until Number Four. My own personal number four is distracted and starting to sweat. Sweat! Where’s the sweat? Body fluids don’t even come into play until Number Ten. Anybody besides me ever fucking puke from pain? Yeah. So I’m guessing Wong-Baker watched “This is Spinal Tap” one too many times, because they are apparently setting up the punchline, “These go to eleven.” I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If Number Ten is, “The Worst Pain Imaginable,” then I better damn well not be able to articulate the word, “ten”. I probably wouldn’t even comprehend the question. I mean, Mr.Ten up there on the chart looks like Mr.Yuck from the seventies after I considered drinking bleach. He’s sad. And uncomfortable. In my world, nine is puking, ten is unconscious. Or suicidal.
I have an alternate proposal. I’d like to suggest some catch phrases for the doctors to look for, so they can make their own decisions about my pain scale. Primarily because THEY FUCKING HAVE PHD’s! They won’t goddamn listen to me when I tell them I have a bladder infection, (“Well, we need to run a few tests. Pee into this cup and call us back if you haven’t heard from us in a week.”), but they expect me to clearly and cogently explain on a numerical scale how it feels to have my intestines glued to my abdominal wall and then tearing away suddenly? Okie fucking dokie. But to help, I’d like to offer these “cues”, so to speak. Some verbal triggers that can place me at a designated digit.
0 – “Dandy,” “Peachy,” “Awesome,” or, “Just getting Nutella, why, what are YOU doing at Albertson’s at this time of night?” (Because, see, if I’m NOT in pain, I’m probably not seeking a medical professional. What the hell is the point of that number even existing?)
2 – “Ooops,” “Yep, that’s it,” “Please don’t touch that,” or, “Holy moly! Sorry, that was loud. Did I scare your other patients? Sorry.”
4 – “Jesus Christ almighty this hurts!” “Ouch, I am in pain!” “Woah, Nelly!” or, “I will be right there as soon as I can stand up again. Hang on.” (Note the lack of swearing. Swearing is the Mason Dixon line between Four and Six, known as Five.)
6 – “Mother fucking cock sucking son of a bitch!” “Fuck me anally with a garden rake, this hurts!” “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” or, “If you ever do that again I will rip your nuts off and cauterize the veins with a blowtorch.”
8 – “OW OW OW (pant pant pant) OW OW OW (pant pant pant) FUCK ME OW (pant pant pant)”
10 – ……………………………
Or! Or, we could have some emotional equivalents. What about that? Let’s see…
0 – Like when a cup of coffee tastes like it smells. Or a light stays green even after the little blinking red hand has stopped blinking and I prepared to have to stop but I didn’t.
2 – Like when I’m running late and can’t find my car keys. Or my child wipes chocolate on my good shirt. Or I remembered the Visa bill three days after it was due.
5 – Like when the third loan modification is rejected. Like when I drive forward and the dude in front of me doesn’t. Like when I am told I’m “the wrong physical type,” for a role actually WRITTEN for me. (I made it Number Five instead of Number Four because, I must admit, I swore in all of those situations.)
6 – Like when my goddamn Dad and his goddamn alcoholism are finally at the point when I have to DO something. But I don’t have to. But I do. Like when I realize finally that letting him lie in the bed he made for himself is actually getting vengeance on the bastard for my perceived injuries. Like when I see that my part isn’t done, I have to step up, and I don’t know how. I don’t know what’s right. And the right decision at best will result in a comfortable end. The wrong decision could very well result in him killing someone. Possibly himself. Like knowing I will never ever ever ever ever be able to make my father understand my reality, and deciding whether or not I want to act anyway.
8 – Like knowing my mother won’t ever meet her grandchild
10 – ………………………………..
There. Now I’m going to print this out myself and tape it into my medical files. I think it will serve a useful purpose. If you would like to use it for yourself, feel free. I’m a giver.
Goddamit this fucking hurts.
Okay, a friend sent this to me, and I laughed until I cried.