I find the numerical pain scale limiting. I don’t like numbers much anyways and I am an artist, so my pain scale is a rainbow.
Blue is very little to no pain, when I am blue I know I can go on a short hike, I can plan something for around dinner time and I might not have to cancel before then, I can even get in the car and go visit a friend an hour away.
Green is constant discomfort, with all shades of green I can smile, and focus on the positive, and ignore the pain,
Yellow can be bordering on physically miserable, but still perfectly functional, if I am yellow I will keep dinner plans, I can have coffee on impulse with a friend, I can sell ice cream at my son’s school, I can cover a class for a coworker in need.
Any color of orange set off alarms, if I am orange I know I can still get through work, but it won’t be fun so I make sure to take my meds and get as much rest before hand as possible. Orange means I will not do any unnecessary driving. Orange means someone else takes care of dinner. I am learning to ask for help when I hit orange, I am learning its perfectly ok to veg in front of the tv or computer or lay down for hours on end when I am orange. My mind goes a bit wonky when I am orange. I might ask someone to please get me my purse from the fridge, or I might forget I am suppose to be someplace, so I try to write every thing down ahead of time. Sometimes I am quiet or withdrawn.
Red. Red is rare. I try never to claim red unless I am fire engine red. Burnt orange or even flame red don’t count. When I am solid Red I can’t really function. I can’t hold a conversation. If you talk to me I won’t remember what we spoke about. When I am red I might blindly watch toddler tv, or sometimes just lay there and whimper. Red doesn’t ever feel like living.
There are whole spectrums of colors between…sage green and maybe I would love to go camping, tangerine and I will cancel any unnecessary meetings, and even mixes such as today I am ocean blue with spikes of tangerine. I couldn’t answer what number my pain was..it just didn’t make sense to me. But I can always tell you what color I am.