Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Pain is relative. Some people would call level 5-6 pain a level 10, if they aren't used to pain. However, when you live with chronic pain, the scale adjusts so that a level 5-6 is actually a functional day. I wrote down one day a more extensive description of how my levels feel to me. Today, I have what I consider a 3-5 day, which is a good thing because I was able to go to lunch with a friend and actually run an errand. Twas a good day for me.


~ LEVEL 0 - Is there such a place?????

~ LEVEL 1-2 - These are the times when after a good 3-5 day, I take my nightly meds, go to sleep and get some actual rest. Then I awake briefly during the night with such a feeling of "painlessness" that I wonder if I have finally died in my sleep, peacefully, like I so often pray to escape my pain. I lay there with my eyes closed, afraid to make move a muscle and try to remember how each of my body parts are laying in case "position" has something to do with this level of comfort. I sigh and realize I am not dead, but also thank God I have this one night of soulful rest before I wake to what I know will be another day of pain... I don't have these moments anymore it seems.

~ LEVEL 3-5 - These are my"normal" days. Level 3 with me having a good ol' time and #5 with me getting some enjoyment from my day, although pain bears down on me at times.

~ LEVEL 6-7 - At these levels I can force a smile and make nice for only a very short while - maybe and hour or so. My focus is difficult and I definitely need to limit my activity.

~ LEVEL 8-10 - At this point I'm useless. I have trouble keeping a thought in my mind from one room to the next. I can't function. I HAVE to lay down in a dark, quiet room, curling up in a ball, and not moving, hoping the pain eases. Most often the pain at this point is deep burning pain covering the whole right side of my face, neck, shoulder, arm, and scapula. A pain which wraps around my rib cage, down my back, hip, and into my leg and foot. It even hurts to touch this side of my body. I lay there, trying not to go to the darkest place where I want to end it all. I will cry. Sometimes in desperation for relief from my pain, sometimes in anger for the senselessness of it all because right now there is no REAL diagnosis for my pain. After I cry for a while, my mind will go empty and quiet. Probably the endorphins from crying giving me the mild sedative I need to sleep fitfully. I dose through the night, praying my pain levels the next day when awake will be low enough so I won't have to spend most of the day in bed.

I have way too many LEVEL 8-10 days. As of October 3, I visited and began my pain mangement care with a new doctor. He prescribed a new pain medicine. It works for now. I have just had a "normal" day and am pleased. Tired because I did more than I'm used to, but also elated I had some time with an old friend and was able to laugh and think about other things for a few hours. I am going to go lay down now and I am confident I will at least sleep well tonight because I'm not carrying a LEVEL 6-7 to bed with me which will turn into a LEVEL 8-10 in the middle of the night.

Yes.... today was a good day.