Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Those of us who regularly ask people to rank their pain severity understand the limitations of the 1 - 10 pain scale.  A lot of people just don't get it.  I hear daily, "It's more than a ten."  "It's a one hundred."  Clearly, if ten represents "the worst pain imaginable," there cannot be a higher number.  Three or less is pain you can live with without difficulty.  Four to seven interfere with daily activities in a significant way.  Eight to ten puts you down.  There's no functioning with a ten.

I looked throught Babygirl's headache diary calendar this morning, full of the big black "X" marks that signify headaches greater than five on the one-to-ten pain scale.  We started keeping track in November.

In November, she had five days that did not have X's.  In December, six. January was better, with eleven days without five-plus headaches.  That's headaches 82% of the time for two months, and "only" 66% in the "good" month.  Of course, if she had 11 days headache-free in November and December, and 11 in January alone, one could argue that this represents a 100% improvement.  Or not.

Please keep in mind that on the vast majority of the unmarked days, she rated her headache at four or less.  Literally translated, that means that almost NONE of the days were truly headache-free.  She had more than one stretch of five-plus headaches that ran for twelve days in a row.  Twelve.  Days.  And remember, she's got a REAL pain scale.  She truly 'gets' what the numbers mean in terms of both intensity and function.  Most of her headaches are in the 6 - 8 range. 

February is looking about 50/50 so far.  School Monday, home yesterday and today.  It's not good, but it's better. 

It still doesn't seem like it should be this hard.


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