Simply danLrene's Opinion

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How To Use A Pain Scale Chart

I first was given a pain scale chart about fifteen years ago. I thought if you didn’t put a high number it meant you had no pain. I didn’t know how to read a pain scale chart and believe me when I tell you, that if you don’t follow it like it is intended….doctors will think you are faking. If you tell them on a pain scale chart that is 1-10 that your pain is a 30….the doctors will start disbelieving you have any pain.

I was fortunate some years ago to have a pain management doctor who gave me a chart similar to this one. He explained step by step but the chart also described what is meant by each number. It made it so much easier to tell them my real pain once I learned this chart. He was the doctor that was helping me with my disability claim.

This chart comes from  http://www.tipna.org/info/documents/ComparativePainScale.htm  and is typical of most detailed pain charts you see. Mayo Clinic Chronic Pain lists their pain scale like this:

0-1 No pain
2-3 Mild pain
4-5 Discomforting – moderate pain
6-7 Distressing – severe pain
8-9 Intense – very severe pain
10 Unbearable pain

According to Jack Harich….”One complaint about this scale is “Patients tend to use the middle words and thus distort the assessment.”   So, they made a more comprehensive scale so that patients truly understood what the pain scale meant. This scale helped me give my doctors a better analysis of my pain. It also helped me with my disability claim for I could accurately tell them my pain scale. This is very important if you want help managing your pain.My pain management doctor told me the pain scales were created to get an accurate view of a patient’s pain so that it could be treated and helped.

Here is the detailed pain scale:

The Comparative Pain Scale

By Jack Harich – July 14, 2002

I had to laugh the first time I read a comprehensive pain scale for I realized that my idea that a pain level of 5 was nothing or just ‘normal” pain was so far from the truth it was laughable. A pain level of 5 is :

Strong, deep, piercing pain, such as a sprained ankle when you stand on it wrong, or mild back pain. Not only do you notice the pain all the time, you are now so preoccupied with managing it that you normal lifestyle is curtailed. Temporary personality disorders are frequent.

That doesn’t sound like nothing, does it. You are so preoccupied with curtailing this pain of level 5 that your normal lifestyle is curtailed. I realized then that a pain level of five was significant.

I remember thinking that if I did not put a high number…no one would listen to me and the truth of the matter was….they were not listening because I was not showing the signs of someone suffering with pain levels of 7 and 8 at that time.  It was not until I had kidney surgery about three years ago that I realized just how close this scale runs to the truth. I had a pain level of an honest 8 after kidney surgery …..and that was with pain meds. I was in so much pain I could not eat, I could not sleep, I could barely walk..with help to the bathroom, I could not fix my food, nothing….and because of this I lost around 36 pounds in 30 days. That is how drastically that pain level affected me.

Now, my reason for posting this. If you want doctors to believe you…..truly follow the pain scale. Don’t base it on how much pain you can endure…base it on what it does to you physically…how it limits you….for that is what the doctors look at.  It may seem like your pain is just going through the roof…but if it does not limit you, or does not affect you in the ways the chart says, then look at the different levels and see what does.

I have learned to judge my pain level well…after years of chronic pain that has debilitated me. But, the first few years, I went through hell because I did not know how to talk to the doctors and make them understand. I did not know how to use a pain scale accurately and have it show that I indeed was being affected by my pain. And I did not realize that a pain level of five and six are high pains and not anything to take lightly. Therefore, they were not treating my pain like they should.

It is all in knowing the way the scale works and realizing that what we view as distressing pain is a five or six…and that these numbers do show high pain. So, try looking at the chart and rating your pain sometime by the description. We don’t get points for being able to tolerate the pain unfortunately….it is all based on what it does to us. What debilitated me may not be what debilitated you and doctors look at that. And they are keenly observant and notice things that give signs of distress.

Don’t let your pain rule you. Learn how to talk about your pain and what to tell your doctor it is doing…not just a number…but the words…so that they hear you and believe you.

My Son’s book on alternative things to do for pain. I am so proud of him. He is my caretaker. He and Dr. Sherry E. Showalter joined forces to try to help those with pain. He writes under the name “John Argent” and is now working on a crime novel. The pain book is on Amazon.

pain book

http://www.amazon.com/CHRONIC-PAIN-Living-Chronic-Easier/dp/1478304596/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355098179&sr=1-10&keywords=Chronic+Pain%3A+Hand+in+Hand

 

December 16, 2011 Posted by | blog, Personal, thoughts | 31 Comments

Just What Is Trust?

I look over at Jack tonite and I see complete trust by the way he is laying. He is totally relaxed, spread out and has his head hanging out of his hut. He knows he is safe with me in this room. Relaxing like he does is a sign of trust just like it is with us. When we feel relaxed enough to just be ourselves and to talk freely…then the trust is there.

But, I learned that there is another sign of trust. When Jack is scared, this is where he comes. He was abused as a puppy and terrified of thunder and loud noises. So, when the storms happen, here is where he gets. 🙂 This is between my bed and my computer. See his head and he is part way under my bed.

That is trust too. He knows and trusts me enough that when he is scared, he comes to me or to son and will get up close to us. I think as people, we do that too. We know who we feel safe with and who we don’t and that inner voice tells us. As Gibbs says on NCIS…my gutt tells me. 🙂

My son tells me I have “lie-dar”.  I can spot quickly when someone is lying, whether it is to be deceptive or to avoid telling something. Honesty is a big thing for me. I remember watching this show about learning how to tell if someone was lying. Son and I watched it. It was about the FBI facial thing they do. If they raise this eyebrow it means this, or twitch their nose or whatever…LOL.  I would get so involved in watching all of that and not hear a thing they said. I just rely on my senses and what I see and hear.

Remember years and years ago, when people would say “my word is my bond” and that is how they did agreements. No big long legal documents, just your word. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take everyone’s word as the truth. Sadly, you can’t. And, while I have some people tell me they prefer to believe everyone, I believe that is a very troubling thing to do in this day and time when so much dishonesty, scams, games etc are played. We have to learn to look beyond the surface to see what is really going on. It is up to us to protect ourselves.

In order to protect yourself, it does not mean distrust everyone. It means paying attention to what they say and do for eventually someone who is weaving a web of deception will get caught in it. They will forget a lie and tell the wrong one.

Being disabled, I have learned that there are many people out there in this world who prey on the disabled. They find them easy targets. And because we depend on others for daily things, it means we have to be twice as alert to what is going on around us. I had a helper who was always trying to listen to my phone calls. My radar went up and I started paying more attention to this person. Soon, I realized that while I was sick back down that long hallway and could not get around much, she was sitting out in my kitchen and livingroom doing nothing and then leaving me with a dirty house and my things not taken care of. One lie can lead to another. We have to pay attention and be aware so that others don’t take advantage of us.

So, what is trust? I think it is feeling comfortable enough to let someone into your life in varying degrees. I might trust someone to come visit me but not trust them to take the keys to my car. I have learned how to see people over the years and my feelings about them were not always accurate.

I can remember a man from the flea market who came by one day when son was gone. He wanted to sell me some things. He is sitting in a wooden rocker in the living room talking to me and Jack keeps circling behind him and coming up and hitting him on the shoulder with his nose.  For the life of me, I could not figure out what was going on with Jack. And the guy just thought it was funny. That is until Jack suddenly took him by the pants leg and escorted him to the door and literally put him outside the door. I think I stood there with my jaw dropped. The man decided to go on and leave and later I found out he was a thief and he went around casing houses to break into. I guess cause I did the flea market and had my stock in my house, he thought it was a good one to case. So, it was a good thing Jack had better “lie-dar” than me that day.

That was when I decided I needed to become more alert and pay attention to the people who come around me. One day, I had a black lab named Thumper who was all wagging tail and no ferociousness at all about him. I had been out in the yard on my forearm crutches and saw this man down at the road. I went straight in the house cause I was the only one home.This man came to the door and knocked and luckily I had the screened door locked.  I stood right inside the door and could smell the alcohol a foot away. He kept wanting to come in and so I was holding Thumper’s collar with him pulled back from the door and saying  “Back Fang..back”  like Thumper was some ferocious dog. The whole time, Thumper’s tail was wagging behind the door. Thank goodness the man believed he was ferocious and left and went on to another house to try the same exploits.  I am sure I looked like an easy target being alone, female and disabled. And he was wrong. Cause I would have bonked him with one of these crutches if he had tried to come in. LOL

Trust is about trusting others but it is also about trusting yourself to handle the situation. And you can. :).

September 4, 2011 Posted by | family, Inspiration, LIfe, Personal, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Simple Things In Life

What joy it gives me to be able to do some of the most simple things. Today I made my grandmother’s rice pudding again. It is so easy and so many have asked me for the recipe, so I will put it under the picture. 🙂

Mimi’s Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked rice

1/2 stick butter or margarine

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

nutmeg

Grease casserole dish. In a large mixing bowl, melt your margarine/butter first. Then add sugar, milk vanilla and salt. Taste to see if sweet enough for you and if not add a little more sugar. Beat the 3 eggs in another bowl and then pour into the milk mixture and mix well. Add the rice and again mix well. Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle with nutmeg on top. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until the knife comes out smooth and clean.

Just be ready for the house to be filled with a wonderful aroma.

I woke up this morning and Jack and I did our morning walk in the back yard checking out the veggies. Jack cracks me up. He has to smell all the flowers. This picture he is smelling the butterfly bush.

I brought in yellow squash and tomatoes. Sure am enjoying the tomato sandwiches. While I was out there, I was taking pictures of the clouds again. That has become a project of mine now and I love it and I love the excitement you all seem to show over the pictures.

Then I worked on a sister blog for this one and am going to all the dream pictures on it and nothing but dream pictures. I will still put some on here but will have the link on this page so if anyone wants to see the other pictures.

I love this one. The person looks like they are sitting on a chair or stool. This was so far away that I did not see it until I zoomed in on the pictures checking each one.

I love this quote and this block means the world to me. Sometimes we hold back on our dreams because we figure they will not happen anyway, so why bother. Sometimes, we figure they will take too long and we are not willing to put in the effort. But, I look at it this way…I might stumble and I might fall and may end up with scabs on my knees but if I have to crawl on those knees to finish my dream I will.

I do believe in heaven. I do believe that our loved ones are right there with only a small distance separating us. And I do believe that when I see these shapes in the clouds, that heaven has opened just a tiny bit so that they can see us and know we are alright.

This one above is so awesome for I see two faces but the front one is the most distinct. The black is to the back of the person’s head and the other face is down lower and to the front of the profile. It is a profile picture.

Hope you enjoyed. I get so caught up with these clouds that I could spend hours going through them.

August 10, 2011 Posted by | family, Inspiration, LIfe, Personal, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rambling thoughts on Life

 

I love this poem. I have tried to live by this all my life even in the hard times.

“I expect to pass through this world but once;

any good thing therefore that I can do, or any

kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature,

let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it,

for I shall not pass this way again.”

Times are hard for most people and survival is what is key. Survival is one thing my sons and I all are good at. We learned how to survive when they were five and 8 and I was a single parent. We were like three kids raising each other.

We learned how to repair busted pipes under the house, how to fix the washer and dryer, how to live cheaply, etc…and all the things survival requires.

Son and I are doing that now with this house and with all the changes we have made. The economy is horrible, even though they tell us the recession was over three years ago. Someone forgot to tell us back then I think. LOL But, we set out several years ago to make our life less stressful, less burdened, to remove financial burdens and to fix a way to live even if the economy got worse. And let me tell you, all the “things” we accumulate in life are really like burdens around your neck. There is freedom in getting rid of many of these things and not having to worry about how we are going to pay the bills, etc.

Many might find our life too simple but for us, not having a mortgage hanging over our heads is such a blissful feeling that simplicity works for us. I personally love a simple life. I was never on for all the malls, parties, etc. I am just a plain old country girl who loves growing things and being in the open and fresh air and most of all my mountains.

Today, I watched just a little on Casey Anthony and it made me feel so sad. Our judicial system is no longer about the law but about playing games and covering for murderers and thieves, etc. I really did not even want to watch for it brought me down.

Sometimes, I think it is really better to not know these things for I can’t do anything about them and it affects my serenity. The only thing I have to say is that young lady will face the ultimate justice when she leave this world and she will not be smiling then.

Something I learned a long time ago. If I depend on others to make me happy, then I will never truly be happy. Happiness is inside me. Others may bring joy and laughter…but that is not happiness. Happiness lies inside and is a feeling that stays no matter what happens.

Ever seen people who have lost everything and yet they can still smile and go on with their lives? That is happiness. The things we buy, the people we pull into our lives..they are like accessories to a wonderful outfit…but they are not the outfit.

If we depend on people to make us happy, then what happens when they let us down or they are gone? What then for happiness?  I have learned to enjoy people when they are here but when they are not, I just go along my happy way doing things I love to do, like my plants, or reading, painting, etc.

I think one reason I am the way I am is that I love people “in spite of” how they are and not “because of” how they are. In other words, I do not expect people to be perfect or never make mistakes. When I am someone’s friend…I am their friend forever even if they quit being a friend. I don’t turn off friendship just because they do something I don’t like or say something I don’t like. I don’t quit caring because someone gets mad at me or says something ugly.

My friendship is just that..a real tangible thing that I choose to keep regardless. I have friends I have not seen in years..but I am still their friend. To me, a real friend is someone who if I called and said “I need help”, they would find a way to get to me and help me. Because that is what I would do.

And now my rambling is over and I hope to sleep tonite. I am going to put on J and J and take it past the half way mark and see if I can see it to the end.

July 9, 2011 Posted by | family, LIfe, Personal, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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