My pain comes from multiple sources; Interstitial Cystitis, osteoarthritis, headaches/migraines/sinuses, fibromyalgia, and sometimes IBS. I have kept a pain diary to track my symptoms and draw correlations between food, activities, weather, and the like, to my pain. Correlation does not equal causation, but it’s a place to start. Especially with diseases that are not well understood.
The favored approach to asking about pain is to measure it on a scale of 1 to 10, this tool isn’t the best because it assumes the person only has a single type of pain at any given time. For those of us who suffer from multiple pain conditions, this query seems like a trick question. I’ve started focusing on each individually if I’m in for a specific thing I stick to that.
A snapshot of this moment:
1 = No pain, 10 = Worst pain imaginable
Right now my overall pain is 5, there are no days when I’m pain-free. Most days I’m between 3 and 6.
My IC is currently a 3, it’s there, but I can ignore it.
Fibro is at 5 to 6, I’m aching quite a bit today, and I’m not able to ignore it.
Arthritis is 2, it’s not really bothering me much today, so that’s a win.
Headaches/Migraines/Sinuses are at a 3 today. No migraine, but my sinuses are a little inflamed and causing some pain.
IBS is not currently bothering me, so I put it at 1.
2 thoughts on “30 Things, Pain Level”
Sometimes when we focus on our pain throughout the day and even keep a pain diary, it seems the attention we give to pain empowers it somehow. Ignoring pain doesn’t make it go away, but it will not bother you as much when you distract yourself from focusing on it. Life is more than pain and suffering.
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I can see that being an issue for folks. I try to practice mindfulness with my health by checking in with myself throughout the day, or if I have a symptom that seems different than usual. I try to find a balance between proactively keeping up on my health, and not letting it overwhelm me. Like, “Okay, feeling a bit queasy. What did I eat? Have I had food or water in the past hour? Am I having a migraine?” then I address whatever I think needs to be done. It’s easy for brain fog to make me forget to do something.
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