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Pain Perception

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Ariel, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Ariel

    Ariel junior member
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    "Can you tell me how much it hurts between 1 and 10?", I find this question to be both perplexing and ridiculous. Fortunately I was not asked about pain in this form by the surgeon who has just agreed to work on me as I would refuse to answer. Pain is such an abstract and subjective thing and defies a simple numeric value, I do not know what is a four or a ten and even if I did my seven is not your seven. If I were forced to rate degenerative hip pain I would put it at about three but this would be in comparison to compounded rib fractures at about six after a big motorcycle incident a few years back. Other people may rate hip pain far higher and their judgement is equally valid but also equally meaningless. I am by trade an engineer and subsequently a teacher and I am able to put values on temperature, voltage, force, resistance, speed etc but pain is not measurable by any defined scale or metric. If it hurts it hurts, please debate.
     
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  2. RPP

    RPP new member

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    I too hate that question however I think the first time you subjectively answer it can be the baseline. Then as you go forward and are asked the question again days after, your current answer can be compared to it and if the number goes up then the question is what is happening that is making it worse and if the number goes down, what was done that is making it better. Just a guess.

    But mostly in regards to my hip problem, ask me how it has impacted my life and activities and that explains a lot.
     
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  3. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi,
    Looks like you're heading for round two. I wish you all the best for surgery and recovery.
    I'm not interested in debating but It seems you're overthinking rating pain.
    You must have communicated your pain level somehow when you had your right hip replaced...

    0 No pain
    1-2-3 Mild
    4-5-6 Moderate
    7-8-9-10 Severe

    Use tears, grunts, groans, clenched teeth, fist pounding, whatever you choose but you're going to need to communicate it somehow so it's managed properly and you can rest comfortably after your next surgery.

    Wishing you comfort as you await your Left THR.
    @Ariel

    Please provide the exact date of your Right THR so it can be applied as your signature.
    Thanks in advance. A great evening to you!
     
  4. Carriemay60

    Carriemay60 post-grad

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    THE question!!! I guessed in the first 3 sentences you are an engineer because I am married to one and well, you just have a way about you :egypdance:

    I answered this question after my last surgery with the response: "I have had 2 slipped discs, 2 back surgeries, broken my leg, fractured my hip and I have had 3 children, one of which I had the ring of fire due to a rapid delivery; which do you want me to compare it to"? That nurse never asked again but increased my morphine pump.
     
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  5. dlp

    dlp senior

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    Engineers always find a way to overthink things :) But that's OK, I'm a nerd, so I feel you.

    The point is that they want *your* number, not anyone elses. My wife is less tolerant of pain than I am, so if she says a 6, I might say 3 for the same thing. The idea being that it gives them an idea of how to best address it and make you comfortable.

    Think of it more in scientific terms rather than as some nebulous idea. Since you've dealt with the rib fractures, you have an idea of how bad that hurt. Take that and then extrapolate how much more pain you think you could take before you think you might want to die, and give that a 10. Roll back to the rib pain, and make a rough estimate as to what number that would get in comparison - et viola, you have some numbers to compare with.

    Good luck with the hip!
     
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  6. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Very true. It isn't a fixed value..it is a measure of how the pain affects you.
    I think this chart offers a good explanation infographic-pain-scale~2.png
     
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  7. Ariel

    Ariel junior member
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    Thank you all and especially Mojo 333, if they handed you that chart before asking the question it would make a lot more sense.
     
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  8. dlp

    dlp senior

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    Yeah, that's a pretty cool chart!
     
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  9. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I never liked giving a number either.
    There were times I could say...well, is a 6 but treat it like its a nine.
    Let's get this hip rodeo on the road.:yes:
     
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  10. Eman85

    Eman85 post-grad

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    I have been asked this many times and have had the same opinion of it. The chart that Mojo333 posted makes more sense. I was asked one time when I was in the ER, I just told them I can take more, but I really don't want to.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  11. Going4fun

    Going4fun senior

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    I agree with others here ... other people's pain is insignificant to determining your own pain.

    The question the doctor is asking is how much discomfort YOU are in. I take pain meds when I feel distracting ongoing pain ... I'm not concerned about whether others would be bothered by the pain ... and the jury is out on all of that ... some people apparently have more sensitive pain receptors ... or less-sensitive pain receptors ...

    My mother had hip problems ... She always had a limp--I can't remember a time when she didn't have a limp. And the doctors diagnosed severe arthritis/loss of cartilage ... but she claimed that she wasn't in much pain ... I don't remember her complaining about pain ... or hiding pain (I was good at reading when she wasn't feeling well and hiding it.) She had a hip replacement only when the doctors ordered her to do so ... because they thought her hip was about to fall apart and she would fall ... and disaster would ensue.

    I had nothing like the limp my mother had ... or the severity (by X-rays) of the arthritis my mother had ... and yet ... there were days when after mild exercising ... my hip would ache and throb all night ... and disturb my sleep and dampen my mood and my concentration the next day. I have no idea what my mother's subjective pain was like ... and it's irrelevant to me. I got the surgery because I was in pain ... and because the X-rays showed bone on bone ...

    By the way, I've had multiple friends and family members who saved their lives because "subjectively" they felt sick and in pain in ways that were strange and "different" ... These folks simply had the feeling of "something is wrong"--not as in got-a-cold wrong ... but way beyond that ... And they are live today because they got themselves to the ER. One had a serious infection.
     
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  12. LdnFizz

    LdnFizz junior member

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    I think mostly when you're asked the question- the questioner is most interested in whether you are generally assessing yourself to be in a low level, moderate and probably bearable or absolutely unbearable.. I'd work on the basis that if someone was in a position to debate the niceties of the scale- or refuse to answer- their pain levels were bearable! I say that as someone who does enjoy exploring a debate on occasion.
     
  13. Orome

    Orome new member

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    This is a problem for people that are more stoic. They can be in severe pain but not show it outwardly. My father and I were both this way. My father used to pass kidney stones all the time, large ones that would sometimes get stuck. The only way I knew he was passing one is if he was throwing up from the pain, otherwise I would just think he seemed a little grumpy for no reason only to find he was in the middle of passing a stone.

    Pain management has only gotten worse with this whole war on opioids. I had a urologist tell me I didn't need anything other than Tylenol for a good sized kidney stone.
     
  14. Layla

    Layla FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    That's very sad.
    Personally, I'm not a grunter, groaner, fist pounding type either.
    Silent tears, maybe, if I'm feeling overwhelmed.
    I guess we each have to figure out our own way to communicate our pain if we want / need help managing it. I wouldn't have difficulty using a number, but that's just me, we're all different.
    A great week to you! @Orome
     
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  15. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    There have been some great explanations here to underscore that the 1-10 pain levels are a relative thing and unique to each individual's pain. The most important thing when you're in the hospital is to never try and "be tough" when pain is involved. If you're uncomfortable at all, the discomfort will worsen with some more time. It's important to stay ahead of your pain because it takes a lot more of your pain medication to bring you back in range if it gets up to higher levels. It's not the time to be a martyr. Usually if you tell the nurses you have pain in the 3-5 levels, they'll just smile and walk away thinking you're fine. If you are in that "discomfort" or higher level, tell them your pain is 6-8 and you will likely receive a little something to keep the pain under control. It's all about comfort and reducing inflammation, which causes pain.
     
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