How to rank for pain when tracking ulcers

I’ve been preaching this since the beginning of this website: if you want to know what works and what doesn’t, you HAVE to keep track of it.  It’s boring, it’s weird, people will laugh at you, but once you find an answer that works, you’ll never have to do it again, and you know what else you’ll never have to do again?

Be in pain.

So yeah, I think it’s worth it.

But speaking of pain, how exactly do you measure it when tracking?  Everything else is pretty straight forward – the date, the location, the size, these are all pretty solid things to measure.  But pain is fuzzy.  It’s all subjective, and ulcers also hurt at different times during the day, so how do you know what to put?

I’ve worked out a scale over time to know exactly what to record.  On my scale of 1-10…

1 = I can barely feel it.  In fact, I might not even know it’s there unless I run my tongue or teeth over it.

2-4 = I can feel it when I eat only.  The bottom end if it’s only a mild annoyance, the upper end if it significantly hurts, but not enough to actually put pain-numbing medicine on it.

5-7 = I can feel it whether I’m eating or not, and need to put pain medicine on when eating.

7-9 = Significant pain all the time, constantly putting pain-numbing medicine on it, and it interferes with my ability to eat and speak.

10 = Pain so bad it prevents sleep or even work and takes all the willpower I own to keep from grabbing a knife and cutting it out.

Ben Stiller scream

You don’t need a zipper for that kind of pain.

What you’ll find as you go along is that size doesn’t always equate to pain.  Ulcers on certain parts of the tongue can hurt way more than other parts of the mouth, simply because they become more aggravated due to where they are.  More irritation equals more inflammation which equals more pain.

When I first started keeping track of ulcers, I often found myself pausing and considering way longer than I wanted to on how to rank the pain, which is just one more little thing that can keep you from sticking to your tracking.  But since I came up with this handy guide, it’s made tracking them quicker and easier, which helps keep me on it.

I hope it’ll help you, too.


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