The Numbered Scales I Created to Help Track and Explain My Chronic Illnesses


I use numbered scales to describe how I am feeling on a daily basis in regard to my bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia for several reasons. I find it much easier to tell my support system how I am feeling: they have copies of my scales and I am able to just give them two numbers, so they know how I’m doing each day. This makes things easier for them to understand and makes it easier for me to tell them. Sometimes it’s hard to explain using words what I am going through. It can even make me feel worse at times to have to go into detail. The scales simplify things a great deal.

the author's scales she uses to track how her bipolar disorder and her fibromyalgia

I also use these scales to keep track of my mood for my doctors and psychiatrists, so that they can see the pattern of my illnesses easily and simply, and hopefully treat me more effectively.

Lastly, I use the scales for myself, so I am more self-aware. Looking at them quickly each day and setting myself a rating helps me to be aware of what I am going through, so I can see clearly if things are slipping and ask for help when I need it. This is particularly useful in regard to my mental health.

I found examples of scales online and used the basis of them to write my own, as everyone’s individual symptoms are different. I made mine as accurate as possible for me.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Illness

illustration of doctor talking to a patient in a hospital bed

5 Ways to Advocate for Yourself at the Doctor's Office

While a lot of health issues can be fixed with a quick visit to a family doctor, several conditions may require several additional tests, procedures and referrals before symptoms can be properly addressed. Unfortunately, some of us need to work extra hard to ensure that our concerns are being taken seriously. Men in pain may [...]
illustration of multiple hands all connected

Developing Your Care Team When You Live With Chronic Illness

A “Care Team” is a group of diverse care providers that gather around a client or patient to ensure their holistic needs are met. This can include family, friends, doctors, therapists and homeopathy. For some, it may also include a faith leader. I like to include my dogs as they are a source of tremendous [...]
two businesswomen talking in an office

5 Ways GDPR Reminded Me About Our Choices as Chronic Warrior Workers

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. A random topic for inspiration about chronic illness, I know, but as a consumer seeing all these emails about consent flood my inbox and as a business owner with chronic illness going about making my business compliant with the new regulations, I [...]
woman jumping off a cliff into the ocean

What I Wish I Knew After the Accident That Changed My Life

I want you to take a minute to imagine something. Imagine this. You’re 18, you’re traveling the world, living life to the fullest, adventuring with your friends. You go cliff jumping into a river, an activity you’ve done countless times in your life – off so many cliffs, into so many rivers. You’re in one [...]