Tuesday, February 09, 2010

On A Scale of 1 to 10

7,412. That's how sick I am of having to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being I find it fascinating and 10 being I'm so tired of it that I could conceivably invent a new system of counting that obliterate the numbers 1 through 10.

I'm always having to rate my headache pain, like it's a movie. Of course the plot is completely unoriginal, and all the sequels are the same movie. Is the narrator trustworthy? Is the main character likeable? Did the pacing keep you riveted? I give it a thumbs down. "Trite." "Predictable." "Unresolved ending."

It sounds funny, and I need that, for it to be funny, because it gets damn tiring. But I'm starting to understand how people can get addicted to painkillers. Here is my theory: they get tired of constantly rating the pain, deciding if it's bad enough to take something to help. I go through this every week. I can only take painkillers 3 days a week. I have headaches pretty much 7 days a week, and most of them right now get up to a 7 out of 10. So here's what I go through each day, in my beleagured brain:

ow. that hurts. but does it hurt that much? might the pain be worse tomorrow? i only have two days left this week when i can take pain pills. should i use the get-out-of-jail-on-electronic-anklet card [it's never a get-out-jail-free card, there's always a cost] today or try to wait until tomorrow? what do i have to do today? can i get through it without any help?

See how fun that is? And whenever I decide to take the pain pills, I feel like a failure, that I've had to give in and get help. And why would I think it's bad to get help? Well, hmm, in this case, I need help with the pain, I ask for it, and I'm told no, it's bad for you to have too much. You're asking for too much help. You need to just get through it by yourself.

See how that messes with your head?

So I'm convinced that some people just get exhausted from constantly evaluating how weak they are while trying to keep their chins up at the same time. So they just start taking painkillers all the time, because it's so much easier to just get relief.

Am I whinging? I hope not. I'm just trying to get through this the best way I know how, which involves trying to understand what is going on as well as trying to honor all my feelings about it, most of which right now are grumpy. Sigh.


Chris said...

I'm on your side.
I am hoping every day that you feel better than the day before.

Sharon P said...

Boy, I can't help but think that, if you didn't have a headache to begin with, having to think through all that every time would give you one. OK, that didn't really make sense. Anyway, my sympathies are with you, for what it's worth!