Masakit, Makirot, and Pain

Oftentimes, we physicians ask patients where it hurts and how painful it is.

After an operation, we surgeons ask patients whether it still hurts and how severe it is.

In Tagalog dialect, we ask “masakit ho ba ang operasyon ninyo?  Masakit ho ba ang sugat ninyo?” (Is your operation painful? Is your wound painful?)

Depending on the situation, a Filipino patient who speaks Tagalog can or usually answers in the following way,  “hindi na ho masakit” (not painful anymore) or “masakit pa ho” (still painful).   In practice, I often hear another Tagalog term associated with pain -“kirot or makirot.”

I don’t know the exact difference between “masakit” and “kirot” that I have to ask the patient and clarify what he / she means by “kirot.”   Oftentimes, I would discover (by asking the patients who said “makirot”) that “kirot” is milder or lesser than “masakit.”   If  both “masakit” and “kirot” means pain or painful, “kirot” connotes milder pain.

Whatever be the connotations of the Tagalog terms on pain given to me by my patients (“masakit” or makirot”),  to have an accurate assessment of the pain status, I usually revert back to the word “masakit.”   I would say, if there is still pain, “masakit,” from 1 to 10, how do you score it.  If the score is 1 to 3, I regard it as mild pain, “kaunting sakit.” If the score is 4 to 6, I regard it as moderate pain, “medyo masakit.”  If the score is 7 to 10, I regard it as severe pain “masakit na masakit.”  Usually, I would find “makirot” to mean mild pain or “kaunting sakit.”


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