One of my favorite moments from the sitcom Scrubs was their discussion of this concept
The problem with this type of subjective scale is that unless you've actually experienced ALL of the stages it's hard to estimate where you're at. During a recent hospital stay I usually went with what would elicit the correct response ie. painkillers. Being fairly stoic, I was laughed at when I gave what I thought was a reasonable estimate by my personal standards.I mean, I can handle pain, but I'd rather not.
Particularly relevant here: childbirth. Way higher than whatever pain ceiling you previously had, unless you have had a really, really unlucky life.
Possibly relevant - Overheard an emergency room conversation that went "I see you have a minor cut, might need 3 stitches, how would you describe your level of pain from 1 - 10?" "13" "Oh. So we will need to run a lot more tests." - nurse walks away rolling eyes.
For me the definitive pain scale comes from Allie Brosch on Hyperbole and a Half.
It is much better as it ends at it hurts too much too express, not at a mere I am still capable of yelling.
Nothing compared to:
I used her pain scale when my daughter was hospitalized recently. Lying in bed, angry, in pain, it jumped into my head. A few clicks on the ol' smartphone later and she was laughing.
No other painscale is valid after that, imo.
Observation from this image: the darker your skin tone, the more pain you feel.
Did I miss the part about this being a commentary on race in America?
I had a friend make this for me.
Randall Munroe's take on the pain scale:
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