TRYING to Quit Smoking (again)

Yes, once again I am going to attempt to quit smoking. I have done it before and managed not to smoke for two years, before I caved under the stress of chronic illness and pain. Given my current level (off the charts) of pain, stress, anxiety, and depression, this is far from an ideal time to quit but my reasoning is financial rather than health related so I have to give it my best shot.

I happened to run across some deeply discounted nicotine patches at a local outlet store. They are expired and “step 3” which has the lowest level of nicotine available in the patch form, but they were only $3.99, so considering the normal price of patches ($30-$50), this deal was too good to pass up.  Continue reading

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Pain Scale

Everyone has likely been exposed to the pain scale at some point in their life.  You know, the scale from one to ten, that you are supposed to use to explain your pain level to medical professionals.

For those who live with chronic pain, we quickly become VERY familiar with this scale.  We see it in hospitals, in doctor’s offices, and those in pain management see and use it on a very regular basis.

The pain scale is important because it is how we explain the severity of our pain to doctors and nurses and hopefully, if used correctly, it helps to guide them in determining appropriate treatment options.

The problem with the pain scale is that there are many different versions and the scale in and of itself is very subjective.  What one patient might rate as a 6, another might rate as a 3.  That is because most people don’t really have a good understanding of what each level means.  Continue reading