I'm in triage the other night when a nice younger gal checks in for some kind of strep/allergy/viral illness hybrid- not life threatening but definitely super unpleasant. I get her vitals and history and ask her the dreaded pain scale questions.
She thinks for a while, then rates her throat pain a 9 and her headache a 7. Then, she stops herself, thinks for another little while, and says,"wait, I guess like, people who get shot come here, and probably their pain really is a ten. So I guess mine isn't anything like that, so that number should be like, way lower. Sorry."
I could have hugged her. Instead I just smiled and told her I always thought that scale was really stupid anyway, and walked her back to a room in fast track. At this point in my ER journey, this sort of perspective is almost just as refreshing as taking care of someone with an actual emergency.