I Don't Use The Kip Scale Personally
Its not because I don't find it adequate mind you... its mainly because I had developed my own scale many years before hearing about the kip scale and everything in my long record is based on my own measurement. (I had clusters long before the magic of the interweb!) Converting now I'm afraid would cause more disassociation with that old pain and cause me to forget what I had really experienced. a level 3 should always be a level 3 in my mind. It will "drift" and you can't stop that with ANY pain rating system but I think changing my point of reference mid stream would be really bad for me.
My apologies if this causes confusion for any readers.
Having said all that I do like mine better because it doesn't spend as much time on the low end. It starts were I precive a bad tention headache peaks in pain and thats what I call a "one". This makes it easy for me to explain the pain to others. I have little doubt that my worst attacks have qualified as being described as 9-10 times more painful than a tension headache.
So on my scale, I tend to be conservative with assigning high ratings. Many times I have marched in circles around my downstairs at 3am repeating a mantra and beating myself in the base of the skull with a heavy object only to rate that a level 6-7. I think I have only given my self 9's a few times and I may have only used 10 once.
On my scale, 10 represents almost a mythic level of pain... believe me I know most of us have peaked into that pit. I just don't want to be casual about it... when it really happens, I want to document it. I want to have a rating that stands out and screams "that night was pure horror." So I kind of keep 10 in reserve.
I think If I was using The kip scale I would be tempted to grant myself 10s more often.
Here is what the KIP scale looks like.
KIP PAIN SCALE
Pain level 0: No pain
Pain level 1: Very minor, shadow's come and go
Pain level 2: More persitent shadow's
Pain level 3: Shadow's are getting constant but can deal with it
Pain level 4: Starting to get bad, want to be left alone
Pain level 5: Still not a "pacer" (needing to walk back and forth) but need space
Pain level 6: Wake up grumbling, curse a bit, but can get back to sleep with out "dancing“
Pain level 7: Wake up, sleep not an option, take the beast for a walk and finally fall into bed exhausted
Pain level 8: Time to scream, yell, curse, head bang, rock, whatever work's
Pain level 9: The "Why me?" syndrome starts to set in
Pain level 10: Major pain, screaming, head banging, ER trip. depressed. suicidal.
Note: Between Pain level 6 and 7, the eye on the hit side starts to tear and nose starts running.
My scale looks more like this
Doc's PAIN SCALE
Pain level 0: No sensation at all (like that ever happens. I get migraines now as well so I usually got some pain in the noggin)
"Aura" Dull non painful sensation behind eye and "stupid feeling" mild confusion( "shadows?" )
Aura w/pain I will sometimes refer to these as a .5 (yes, I know that if I used KIP I wouldn't have to do that.)
Pain level 1: Approximately the pain level of a tension headache
Pain level 2: I am able to mask this level of pain and function, but it is twice what I used to consider a "normal" bad headache
Pain level 3: 3x Even though I am very well practiced, at this level I start losing the ability to "act normal"
Pain level 4: About the level of bad migraines I have experienced, urge to pace and beat self in the head starts.
Pain level 5: Pacing starts, talking to self can begin... this is when fear of a really bad attack sets in
Pain level 6: Marching, try a hot bath (placebo effect imo), full blown mantra by this point. Cursing.
Pain level 7: Trying to keep it together, marching louder mantra, screams of anger common, constant beating self in head.
Pain level 8: Nearing the breaking point, often abandon pacing and retreat to hot bath, question fairness of life.
Pain level 9: Breakdown, too much pain to take. Even a seasoned cluster veteran loses it
Pain level 10: Reserved for events to nightmarish to describe with words.
So as you can see its really similar, just a different "curve" it starts quicker and is more stingy with the ratings as they go up. I may have to go back through my blog and do a "KIP" conversion for each time I rate a cluster. (that would be a pain)
One useful tool I have found for describing clusters to people is telling them to think about an Ice cream headache. Then tell them to imagine that lasting for 45 to 90 minutes! I let them chew on that for a bit... then I drop the bomb that I would consider that about a level 2-3 at most. Of course this assumes everyone experiences those little intense throbs the same... maybe they just always hurt me more than other people... well, people seem dutifully horrified. hehe Pain will never be an easy thing to discuss.
I feel like I bought a set of wrenches and found out I needed metric. : )