Friday, April 26, 2013

How Do You Feel Remix


When typing the title, I totally heard it in my head as the computer in Star Trek IV when it asked the same question to Spock, who didn't quite understand (at around 30 seconds in the video):



Perhaps it's coincidence, but sometimes my first thought when I hear the question, "How do you feel?" or "How are you?" is that I do not understand the question. Are you asking how I'm feeling in reference to how I normally feel living with psoriatic arthritis, amongst other maladies? Or are you asking in comparison to "normal" people? Do you really want to know how I feel, or do you just want me to say something like, "fine, thank you" and move on?

If you are really interested in how I feel, but are talking about how I feel in relation to healthy people, we need to go with the Wong-Baker pain scale:


My pain on my worst days would be a ... ummm.... wait - where's the want-to-rip-off-my-own-leg-and-beat-myself-into-unconsciousness face?  This pain scale must be defective. Is 10 really what the worst pain you've experienced looks like? I make a worse face than that when I stub my toe. Ten looks more like my hamster died than I'm in excruciating pain. 

Let's move on to the most awesomest pain scale designed by Hyperbole and a Half genius Allie Brosh (I highly recommend you check out her blog, especially: this). She knows that of which she draws. It is my opinion that all rheumatologist's offices should have this pain scale in every exam room:


This part of the pain scale pretty much goes along with the Wong-Baker scale, but definitely leaves room for improvement. I think the hands help a lot in communicating the level of pain. The addition of color is a nice touch as well. 

But wait - there's more!


Now isn't that better? As you can see - this accurately depicts greater levels of pain. Levels of which Wong and Baker never dreamed. Levels of pain to which people with autoimmune diseases and other chronic illnesses can relate. 

Still, I never know how to answer that question. What do you say? What do people really want to hear? My usual response is, "relatively good." Relative to how I usually feel, I'm feeling good. Relative to how you usually feel, you'd think I'd be rushing to the ER so they could show me the Wong-Baker scale and I could give them an inaccurate perception of my pain level. That is, unless you live with a friend such as Sporadic Artie and understand what pain is. Should I make a pocket-sized Brosh Scale of Pain and whip it out whenever someone asks me that question? Perhaps not, as I may scare away the well-meaning if my pain is over a six. 

How do I feel? I do not understand the question. 

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