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The pain scale has been invented to tell doctors in how much pain you are, without them having to hear the suffering of the patient in detail (Trifan, 2019). The truth is, numbers simply can’t describe pain to the full extend, as it is a feeling unique for everyone (Biss, 2007). What happens when a similar scale is created that monitors the degree of burning up? The burn scale could, in theory, help to show suffering in future works. But putting my feelings into numbers is an impossible task. So, in that sense my scale relates to the pain scale essay of Eula Biss (2007).



The number chosen for my project. zero is a fixed point once decided as the base of our scale. zero is nothing, but if we count it as one there would be eleven numbers on the scale. Does that mean I can burn up even more than I thought?



In most exams you can’t even get a zero as a grade, there is a correction that would at least give you a 0.5. is there a correction scale for my burning? Perhaps the correction in burning up is a -0.5, as I diminish my own suffering.



One in pain is like an itch, the least amount of pain, although, put your arm in a cast for a couple of weeks and we could argue about what hurt you most, the pain or the itch. If I come from an eight and go back to a one, would it feel like a never-ending itch? Like something broke and I just can’t seem to reach?  



Two is how I wake up every day, one from the day before, one for the day ahead. Please give me a three so I can get out of bed.



Three gives me the spirit, a holy three to write essays. If I think and wait long enough, I find the spirit, it gives the flow I need to work. On a scale from 0 to 10, three gives me the power to burn, to live, and to create.



There are four vital signs to determine the health of a person, they are all measurable. But suffering, from my experience also a sign of life, is not always visible. Candles start melting around 40 degrees. Can I bring my candles to a doctor as a sign of life, as a sign of suffering?



Is five where I should be? Living on 50% stress and 50% happiness? But I am not happy, and a five will never get me across the finish line.



Six is for losers. I should burn more; this only hurts without giving good results. Six is what I apply as a standard for others. But it is a standard based on mine. Do I push you too hard?



Is what I tell the doctors when I dislocate my shoulder. So that they take me seriously. But I am used to the pain, I no longer feel the seven. Am I numb to the seven in my head? To the warning signs that I went too far?   



The eternal loop I keep myself in, like a minimum grade I deserve for burning up. I worked so hard on burning myself that the eight is a present for my hard work, please grade my suffering at least an eight.



Would you go to the doctor with a nine or are you too exhausted to do so?

Exhaustion, one of the characteristics of a burn out (Maslach & Leiter, 2021). Congratulations, you fit in the box! But don’t be too cynical as it is another characteristic that would make you a prime burned-out case.



“Did you know that dying is like a burn out? a moment of stillness after a long period of stress.


Biss, E. (2007). The Pain Scale. In Creative nonfiction Foundation (Red.), The best creative nonfiction: Vol. Vol 1. (32ste editie, pp. 65–84). Creative nonfiction Foundation.


Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2021, 27 augustus). How to Measure Burnout Accurately and Ethically. Harvard Business Review. Geraadpleegd op 9 december 2021, van


Brockhus, M (2021) Nederland: een teleurstellend kutland in Europa, Buitenplaats Brienenoord Rotterdam.


Trifan, M. F. T. I. (2019, 24 juli). The pain scale: Why it matters to your doctor, and why it doesn’t. Https://Www.Inquirer.Com. Geraadpleegd op 9 december 2021, van

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