One of the questions that gets asked a lot on calls and at hospitals is, “How bad is your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst?” I don’t really like using it unless we’re talking about legitimate chest pain or discomfort because upwards of 95% of the time, the answer is “10.” OK, so your cut finger is a 10? So what is it when I chop your hand off?
I see the value of this rating in situations that involve comparisons, such as administration of pain medication. Number gets lower, pain medication works. Otherwise I don’t see much use in it.
Now, in response to this question, a lot of people say “11.” And I just look at them and wonder how early in life they failed out of 1st-grade math class. Sometimes, they say “20.” In any event, the ones who give me these numbers are usually the ones who are the biggest pussies.
The other day, this lady screaming with back pain gave us “100.” I have to admit that I’ve never heard 100 as an answer, which made me laugh, even though I believed that she was genuinely in pain.