This is a standard question asked by doctors when assessing patients. Most patients. But not when it came to Allie Brosh, of Hyperbole & a Half fame, whose boyfriend was asked this question after she took him to the hospital.
Allie created a new interpretation for the standard pain scale (the one above), one where 4 on the above scale represents “Huh. I never knew that about giraffes” and 8 means “The ice cream I bought barely has any cookie dough chunks in it. This is not what I expected and I am disappointed.”
The laughs don’t stop there however as she went on to create an entirely new scale, complete with new drawings & new interpretations. That’s it below.
On this scale 1 means “I am completely unsure whether I am experiencing pain or itching or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth” & 7 means “I see Jesus coming for me and I’m scared.”
It’s a fabulous example of trying to put yourself in another’s shoe. Of trying to relate. Of attempting to communicate a difficult concept. Of sharing a unique perspective.
It’s a great lens.
What’s your pain scale?
My #1 would be something like “there’s an annoying little feather tickling my inner ear” & 6 would be “now I understand that screaming sound from behind closed doors in the waxing department of the spa.”