Pain scale0: No pain.
1 or 2: Noticeable pain. Not enough to be bothersome, but enough to be aware that some part of my body is unhappy.
3 or 4: Distracting pain. It draws attention away from normal tasks and causes discomfort. It is not unbearable, but I would prefer to treat it if possible.
5 or 6: Constant pain. I am continually aware of the pain and unable to concentrate on anything else without great effort.
7 or 8: Writhing pain. Pain that makes me moan, yelp, grimace, and contort.
9 or 10: Blinding pain. Unendurable pain, greater than what I could imagine under normal circumstances.
During most of my treatment the pain has fortunately been in the 0 to 2 range. I have had frequent excursions into the 3 or 4 range with problems such as proctitis or healing after surgeries. When the source of that pain is unknown it can be useful for finding a new problem, but if the source is known then I prefer to medicate to a level where I can function normally.
The tumor that broke my pelvis caused pain in the 5 to 6 range. The radiation to treat it caused rectal pain shooting as high as 8, which made me wonder whether the cure was worse than the disease. After a few months it improved into the range of 1 to 4 which I medicated when necessary.
I am not conscious of experiencing a 9 or 10, but I think I did in the hours and days following major surgeries. Strong drugs or trauma have erased those memories.