This functionality test was developed by Dr. David Bell. He is the first doctor to confirm for me that I had M.E.
I’m curious – what is your normal function? And if you are not an M.E. patient, think about the last virus you caught (whether it was a bad cold or the flu) and tell me your “normal” function percent and your “sickest day” function percent. How long did the “sickest day(s)” last? How long did it take you to get back up to your pre-sick function?
100: No symptoms with exercise. Normal overall activity. Able to work or do house/home work full time with no difficulty.
90: No symptoms at rest. Mild symptoms with physical activity. Normal overall activity level. Able to work full time without difficulty.
80: Mild symptoms at rest. Symptoms worsened by exertion. Minimal activity restriction needed for activities requiring exertion only. Able to work full time with difficulty in jobs requiring exertion.
70: Mild symptoms at rest. Some daily activity limitation clearly noted. Overall functioning close to 90% of expected except for activities requiring exertion. Able to work/do housework full time with difficulty. Needs to rest in day.
60: Mild to moderate symptoms at rest. Daily activity limitation clearly noted. Overall functioning 70% to 90%. Unable to work full time in jobs requiring physical labour (including just standing), but able to work full time in light activity (sitting) if hours are flexible.
50: Moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to severe symptoms with exercise or activity; overall activity level reduced to 70% of expected. Unable to perform strenuous duties, but able to perform light duty or deskwork 4 – 5 hours a day, but requires rest periods. Has to rest/sleep 1-2 hours daily.
40: Moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to severe symptoms with exercise or activity. Overall activity level reduced to 50-70% of expected. Able to go out once or twice a week. Unable to perform strenuous duties. Able to work sitting down at home 3-4 hours a day, but requires rest periods.
30: Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Severe symptoms with any exercise. Overall activity level reduced to 50% of expected. Usually confined to house. Unable to perform any strenuous tasks. Able to perform deskwork 2-3 hours a day, but requires rest periods.
20: Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Unable to perform strenuous activity. Overall activity 30-50% of expected. Unable to leave house except rarely. Confined to bed most of day. Unable to concentrate for more than 1 hour a day.
10: Severe symptoms at rest. Bed ridden the majority of the time. No travel outside of the house. Marked cognitive symptoms preventing concentration.
0: Severe symptoms on a continuous basis. Bed ridden constantly, unable to care for self.
For me, my normal hovers between the 20 and 30 percent.
I am not bed ridden, but my house quite small. It’s 20 steps from my bed to the bathroom. It’s 15 steps from the bathroom to my recliner. First thing in the morning, I go from bed, to bathroom to recliner and my husband brings me tea. I sit in the recliner all morning, getting up once to go back to the bathroom and make fresh tea.
It’s 15 steps from my recliner or couch to get to the kitchen. I spend my early afternoon prepping some dinner with many breaks in between to rest on the couch. Sometimes I can go into my spare bedroom to paint (10 steps from the couch). The hard part about painting is sitting upright… and the concentration. Most days, I can make a simple dinner for hubby and me. But he usually has to clean the kitchen. And some days, I just can’t and when he gets home from work, he has to make us dinner.
I usually get to leave the house once a week, though there have been periods of longer than 2 weeks when I haven’t left the house once. I always pay a price with sicker days after an outing. I am never without symptoms – even at rest. But I would not say they are always severe.
I am able to be on my computer for 2-3 hours a day with rest breaks, but I am not sitting upright. I am on the couch or in the recliner. And some days, I can’t concentrate enough to read more than a paragraph and I can’t write. Other days, I can write and read better.
So, I think hovering between 20-30% is a good estimation of my “normal”.
I’m looking forward to your responses. I hope many of you will answer the questions above, both my friends with M.E. and my friends without!