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Andrea Mankoski

OK, this may go to nowhere seeing as it's been so long since you wrote this, but I just wanted to say how happy I am my pain scale made a difference in your life. I really feel like I've done something worthwhile with my own chronic pain experience, knowing I've helped other people. I hope you're feeling better now.

Andrea

badgerbag

Hey, wow. Hi Andrea! I was in a lot of chronic pain around 10-15 years ago. Now my health & my life are way, way better. But every once in a while (as in this group of blog entries) something goes awry and I get scared that my life will go back to how it used to be.

Your pain reporting scale was extremely useful then as a communication tool between me and other people (doctors for instance) but also for my own understanding of progress. When I started thinking of what I was experiencing on a clear spectrum of meaning, categorizing the level of pain, then I was able to think more clearly about how to adapt and respond. In other words how to change my behavior. And what to expect for my own functioning and how to pace my day.

It also functions to give people permission to think about the pain and validation of it as real. When I am in chronic pain I adapt by trying to block out awareness of it. This can result in continuing some behavior that makes the pain worse! Like sitting badly, or continuing to walk on a messed-up knee. It is a good survival strategy to "not think about the pain" or ignore your body as much as possible, but it can also be very destructive. So the pain scale was a good framework for thinking about it.

Writing down the pain level also gave me hope, since I could see that over time, my levels of pain were improving.

So, thanks very much for the useful tool! I know to some people this will sound overblown, but it was very important to my recovery from prolonged disability.

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