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I’m a Perfect 10. Wait, that’s bad? No, no, I’m 4.

Between my girlfriend’s cancer treatments and my own litany of orthopedic doctor appointments this year, I’ve heard the question, “On a scale of one to ten how much pain are you in right now?” about 100 times. On a scale of 1 to 10? I’m an analytical dork, so being ask to quantify a feeling makes small parts of my brain explode. Give me heart rate files, VO2 test output, wind tunnel results. But put a number on a feeling? Impossible.

Apparently I’m not the only one with this issue, as they’ve further simplified the process by adding the following chart to most hospitals and doctors offices.

While this is kind of handy, allowing me to point to the picture of my pain face like a drunk college kid pointing to the menu at Denny’s at 3 a.m., it still doesn’t work for me. I think it might be that the experience of pain is so personal and subjective that I struggle to put a number on it. If I say the bone spur in my toe is 7, can the woman down the hall who just gave birth openly mock me? This is troubling.

So, I made a couple quick additions to update the Pain Scale to be specific to my multi-sport lifestyle. I hope you can relate.

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