How can the ability scale help me?
Often when we’re at the doctor’s office or other important (like really important!) medical appointments, the overwhelming feelings of travelling, noise, lights, the exhaustion, the anxiety can all become too much, and if you’re like me, then your brain might just completely implode at that moment and you’re completely unable to express how your illness is affecting YOU.
This is part 1 in a series of 3 in how you can explain your illness to your doctor by using an ability scale.
Part 1. Physical ability scale
The HFME 3 Part M.E. ability & severity scale:
PART 1 – PHYSICAL ABILITY SCALE
Copyright Jodi Bassett 2005 to 2010. Taken from www.hfme.org
|100%||A pre-illness level of physical activity is possible.|
|90%||A high level of physical capabilities (around 90%): full-time study or work without difficulty is achievable in addition to a full and active social life.|
|80%||A high level of physical activity is possible (around 80%) with minimal restrictions involving exertion. Patient is capable of working full time in jobs not requiring exertion.|
|70%||Physical activity is at/or around 70%. A daily activity limit is clearly noted. Incapable of full-time work in jobs requiring physical exertion, but able to work full-time in lighter activities if hours are flexible. Social life is restricted to non-exertive activities.|
|60%||Physical activity is at/or around 60%: strenuous activities are difficult, but light activities and desk work are achievable as long as the total time worked is 5 – 7 hours a day and regular rest periods are taken. Physical abilities degenerate significantly with sustained exertion.|
|50%||Physical activity is at/or around 50%: part-time work, light activities or desk work are acceptable for up to 4 – 5 hours a day as long as requirements for quiet and rest are met. Physically undemanding social activities are possible. Physical abilities degenerate significantly with sustained exertion. Unable to perform strenuous tasks.|
|MODERATELY TO SEVERELY AFFECTED|
|30%||Overall activity level reduced to at/or around 30 – 40%. May be unable to walk without support much beyond 100/200 metres; a walking stick or wheelchair may be used to travel longer distances. Several hours of desk work may be possible each day if requirements for quiet and resting are met. Physically undemanding social activities are possible.|
|20%||Overall physical activity level reduced to around 20%. Not confined to the house but may be unable to walk without support much beyond 50/100 metres; a wheelchair may be used to travel longer distances. Requires 3 or 4 regular rest periods during the day; only one ‘large’ activity possible per day usually requiring a day or more of rest. (A large activity is individual; it could be cleaning cupboards or having visitors; it is any activity that the patient finds difficult and so no longer considers ‘usual.’)|
|10%||Overall physical activity level reduced to around 10%. Confined to the house but may occasionally (and with a significant recovery period) be able to take a short wheelchair ride or walk, or be taken to see a doctor. Most of the day needs to be spent resting except for a period of several hours interspersed throughout the day when small tasks may be completed (or one larger one). Activity is mostly restricted to managing the tasks of daily living where some assistance is needed and modification of tasks may be required.|
|5%||Overall physical activity level reduced to around 5%. Usually confined to the house but may very occasionally (with a recovery period of a week or more) be able to take a short wheelchair ride or walk, or be taken to see a doctor. Bed-bound or couch-bound for 21+ hours a day. Activity is restricted almost exclusively to managing the tasks of daily living where some assistance with modification of tasks is necessary.|
|VERY SEVERELY AFFECTED|
|3%||Overall physical activity level severely reduced to around 3%. No travel outside the house is possible. Bed-bound the majority of the day (22+ hours) but may (with difficulty and an exacerbation of symptoms) be able to sit up, walk or be pushed in a wheelchair for very short trips within the home. Nearly all tasks of daily living need to be performed and/or heavily modified by others. Due to problems with swallowing, eating may be very difficult.|
|1%||Overall physical activity level very severely reduced to around 1%. No travel outside the house is possible. Close to completely bed-bound (lying flat in bed 23.5+ hours a day). May sometimes (with difficulty and with an exacerbation of symptoms) be able to sit up, walk or be pushed in a wheelchair within the home. All tasks of daily living need to be performed and/or very heavily modified by others. Eating and drinking may be very difficult.|
PROFOUNDLY SEVERELY AFFECTED
|0.5%||Completely bed-bound and may be unable to turn or move at all. Eating is extremely difficult and liquid food may be necessary (little and often). When swallowing becomes difficult, nasal feeding tubes may be required. Unable to care for ones self at all; bed baths and other personal care that are undertaken by a care-giver may cause a severe relapse in symptoms and/or disease progression and so should not automatically be attempted every day.|