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Phooey with the Pain Scale!

Posted Sep 12 2008 8:51am
Migraine Chick had a great post about how her migraines make her feel. Unless you suffer from chronic headaches/migraines, it's really hard to understand that all pain is not equal. I think most people who have the ocassional headache and those who think the headache commercials are the "cure-all" just don't *get it*. I'm not saying they don't hurt, but I get the feeling that when people learn I've had CDH for almost 3 years, they are thinking "What's the big deal? Take an asprin and get over it." Or that just because I can function one day with a headache, doesn't mean I can function with another type of headche.

When I go to the neurologist, I'm given one of those "Pain scales"--as in, how is your pain on a scale of 0-10, zero being no pain, 10 being "Shoot me now, please." Or they give you these descriptions to choose from to describe your pain, like "burning, stabbing, etc." I think Migraine Chick's list is far superior than anything a doctor can come up with--and much easier to relate to than some arbitrary number.

MC's list is sad and funny at the same time, because I've encountered the same feelings--and it's awful that she is in pain, but her descriptions also made me giggle. She also encouraged us to come up with our own lists. Last night, I was hit with a headache that progressed into an all-day migraine today. I couldn't sleep, so I started my list in my head to amuse myself. Sometimes you have to laugh or you'll cry. I really wanted to come out and blog, but headache of that nature + computer screen does not make a Headache Slayer happy.

  • The Mosquito --one of those pesky little headaches that really don't warrant medication, and are more annoying than painful, but annoy you all the same. All. Day. Long.
  • Girl Fight --the kind that makes my scalp hurt, and ironically, feels a little better if I pull my hair (a trick I learned in PT)
  • Sleeping Beauty --the migraine I had today, where I pretty much sleep all day because either it's easier to deal with the pain, any kind of movement or sound makes the pain worse, or the pain meds make me sleepy.
  • Head Banger's Ball --when the pain is so bad, I want to hit my head against the wall. Somehow that makes sense when your head hurts that bad.
  • Acid Trip --my head feels like it is filled with hot, burning acid.
  • Hey, *I'm* the Slayer!--I feel like someone is shoving a pointy stake into my skull.
  • Don't Bite!--a quick, electric zap that usually causes me to gasp, grab my head and/or eye. Yes, this is a Buffy reference.
  • Swing, Batter Batter --someone used my head by mistake instead of a baseball. Also called The Sledgehammer. My head will literally feel bruised.
  • Princess & the Pea, uh, Cement Block --someone replaced my pillow with a brick, I know it. Lying down is too painful, even air can make my head hurt.
  • Silence is Golden --accompanies many of my headaches, when I can't stand any sounds at all because sounds make my head hurt worse. Also one of the irritating side effects of Vicodin, as sounds annoy me.
  • Ice, Ice Baby --I'd like to be able to detach my head and put it next to the Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. Instead, I put ice packs on my head.
  • Voodoo Doll --will someone get these freakin needles out of my head?
  • The Whiplash --headache with a side dish of neck pain
  • Beautiful Headaches, courtesy of Sean Kingston --They'll have me suicidal, suicidal til the pain is over. (Yeah now that song is stuck in your head, isn't it?)
  • Mad Pharmacist --when I try to figure out which meds to throw at my headache to make it go away. Sometimes it is hit & miss.
  • Give me a Hand --usually a TMJ headache/migraine in which I have GM rub the acupressure points in my hand. Those points hurt like a bee sting, but usually it takes the edge off the headache.
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go --usually combined with a Beautiful Headache, in which I contemplate whether to stay home or go to the ER.
  • Look at the Pretty Colors --migraine with aura, I don't have many of these. AKA Out, Out, Damn Spots!
  • You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!--Or at least that's what I want to do when the pain is in my eyes. This one is particularly worrisome, because I don't know if it's a flareup of my iritis instead.
  • Persistance is not a Virtue --when, no matter what I do, the headache will not go away. Usually they last for 2-3 days and then burn out.
  • The Casserole --when 2 or more of these headaches decide to get together and party.

Today was a Casserole of Sleeping Beauty, Ice, Cement Block, Hey Batter, & Persistance, and I feel Give Me a Hand trying to join in.

Ice pack, anyone?

Labels: Headache Types, Headaches, humor

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