Re: JCAHO Sets New Standards for the Assessment and Management

From: Mary Wade (
Fri Feb 9 16:56:06 2001

Do any of you feel that the 1 to 10 scale for rating adhesion related pain falls short of what we need to describe how we feel? Over the years, I had been asked often by docs to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I always asked them to tell me what 10 was. "well..that's the worst pain you've ever had" "OK...I thought...that was labor." So compared to that..I always said that my adhesion pain was from 4-6...sometimes even 7. It seemed to me that those 4-6 numbers were not ever very alarming numbers to the docs. Those numbers never seemed to move them to take my pain too seriously. I tried to explain that it was not so much the INTENSITY of the pain that was crazy-making...but the CHARACTER of the pain. It's one of those pains that makes your body say, "Get rid of this...get it OUT." There was always an urgency to my pain. It was not a passive ache or pain. I told others when I was trying to explain what it was like...that it was like walking around with your shoes full of rocks and not being able to take the shoes off...ever. Does this relate to what some of the rest of you have experienced? Or are we all different? Just curious! Mary

At 05:18 PM 2/9/01 -0600, you wrote: >On 9 Feb 2001, at 11:38, Helen Dynda wrote:
>> "Research clearly shows that unrelieved pain can slow recovery, create
>> burdens for patients and their families, and increase costs to the health
>> care system."
>When I was in the hospital there were posters up for "Pain -- the
>other vital sign." There is a great deal of activity in hospitals and
>nursing practice around assessing pain just as temperature, pulse,
>and blood pressure are taken.
>Last winter I attended a conference for people working with cancer
>patients and heard an excellent discussion of pain by an ER
>physician and a anesthesiologist. Both were adamant that the
>patient's perception of pain was the only way to assess it.
>Anesthesiologists have become central in developing pain control
>As I read the messages on this list each day, I become more and
>more convinced that the first step to managing pain is simply to
>have it acknowledged. When we perceive that our doctors don't
>believe we have pain, we are frightened, discouraged, and hopeless.
>I usually assess my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 where ten is
>unbearable. It really helps to realize that the pain does vary with
>what I eat and how tired I am.
>Kate Murphy

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