We have all been asked to rate our pain. Most of us are familiar wiyth the following rating scales.
They make sense if you are a 'regular' person experiencing acute pain. For some with chronic pain it may be appropriate, but I think for many of us it is close to useless.
I say this not because our pain is so different then that of a sprained ankle or a broken arm. Our pain tends to be different because although it is chronic and sometimes constant it is also variable.
When I go to the pain management doctor's office I am immediately given a form to fill out. There is a diagram of a body, front and back, left side, right side. I put a circle around the left eye where the pain now resides. How bad is the pain, rate it from 1 - 10 is the other question on the page.
I cannot answer that question, not with a 1, or 5 or even 10. Right now, at this moment, I have not used my eyes to read or for any extended usage, having driven for a while to get there and then doing nothing, right now it is a 0 or a 1. If I read a short article before they call my name, it may be a 3, if I was at home and did not heed the pain's call; continuing to use my eye to read or bake, or talk with a few people at once, causing me to move the eye a lot, it would be an 8, sometimes a 9 (I call nothing but the trigeminal neuralgia lightning strikes a 10.)
Hopefully our docs understand that saying it is only a 3 right now, uncomfortable, twinging, hurts a little more then someone else's (one of the most odd scales to my mind) that this is how it feels for this snapshot in time - but the overall picture and words cover a much larger range.
I am not sure how you would draw a scale for us: maybe there needs to be two - one for acute pain and one for those in chronic intractable pain. And even then maybe there needs to be two, for the pain right at this moment and for the pain overall.