I had to go to the dentist recently with a toothache. I was asked “on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?” My only reply was, “It’s uncomfortable. Please fix it.” How exactly am I supposed to know where on a scale pain resides?
Let’s look at the scale. One is, allegedly, no pain. I’m familiar with this end of the spectrum. Not as familiar as I used to be but who is these days? It’s the other end of the scale that is in question. Ten? What is a ten? I’m told from numerous sources that the worst pain anyone could feel is childbirth. I went through that once and have no memory of it. Yes, I was the kid that came out. I have a penis so I’m not going to know what that’s like from the other end of that particular experience. Kidney stones? Couldn’t’ tell you. Sounds painful but I have no first hand experience with them. Someone mentioned “bone surgery.” Not had that either and have no interest in it. Although, technically, teeth are bones and I have a toothache so would it be equivalent? I’m guessing no.
That’s not the only problem with this scale. Different people experience pain differently. My wife went through childbirth with no drugs. She didn’t like it but she did that voluntarily. Very proud of her. I want to take something just thinking about the concept. You’ve probably heard me mention pro-wrestling at some point. Those guys really do get hurt regularly and on purpose. I have no interest in doing that but they seem to like it. There’s always that character in a movie who doesn’t want the anesthetic before surgery. Screw that. Dope my ass up first, please.
What about emotional pain? Would that be allowed on the scale? Let’s say you were with a spouse for a number of years and you come home one day to find your spouse in bed with your best friend. Now, you might have one of those relationships where you just join in and there is no pain involved. You might not and would feel hurt and betrayed, right? That’s painful. Where does it go in regards to child birth?
The point I’m trying to make in my rather circuitous manner is, that scale is rather pointless. Let’s stick with, “does it hurt?” “where is it?” and “let’s see what we can do to fix it.” Not a hard concept, eh? One might even call it painless, or, if you need the scale, a one.