I was reading your post under the "pain diary" post and you wrote: "Rating pain is difficult, and varies with each patient. I have one retired Green Beret who says a 5 is having to sew up his own machete cut without anesthesia. For me, real pain is 98 degrees, 98% humidity, 98 pounds on my back and 9.8 miles of a hike left to do before I can rest." This really made me think. Personally, I think I have a high tolerance for pain. I've been through endometriosis and all that goes with that, suffered from migraines for over 20 years, had 2 ruptured disks, 6 surgeries in a 10 year period, so many other things, I can't name them. And now the dx of FMS and CFS. I honestly believe that the pain I rate at a "4" would be considered much more severe by a "normal" person, if you get my meaning. So my concern is this: When patients are asked to rate their pain, they are telling the medical professional what THEY consider it to be. Who's to say that the medical professional won't perceive a pain rating very differently from the person who is IN pain? Am I making any sense here? In other words, people who don't regularly have pain, who suddenly have, say, an injury like a broken bone that is causing them a lot of pain, would probably rate the pain at a 9 or 10. Okay, those of us who have been in pain daily for months or years "get used" to feeling the pain, and IMO, the rating they give their daily pain is probably less than the average person would. So, having said that, isn't it very possible that there's a lot of room for misunderstanding the severity of someone's pain? I've had doctors who have told me "oh, well you've had endometriosis and been through childbirth, you can live with THIS pain". How callous! My neurosurgeon once told me "you know what the ruptured disk feels like, so anything you feel now is nothing compared to that so you can handle it". I went to the ER a year ago after accidentally slicing the tip off my index finger with a sharp knife. It hurt, obviously. The person who was taking down my info told me to rate my pain. Then she sarcastically said "I just know you're going to tell me it's a 10, right?" I think I shocked her with my response, which was "I KNOW what a 10 feels like and this isn't a 10, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt a lot". With so many opinions/perceptions/ideas of exactly how severe pain is to each individual and what it "should" feel like at a 4, 6, 8 or 10, even with the rating, how can you be assured of conveying the severity of your pain? Did I totally lose you on this one, or is this making any sense to you?? I really would appreciate answers, from you or anyone else here.