MS complicates labeling because physical and cognitive symptoms progress differently in each person. Yet a numerical level of disability and ability is needed and used for communication within the medical profession.
Neurologists often use the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) specifically for MS. Overall “level of disability” is scored on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least. Patti’s disability scores in the upper levels at 8.25.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) - bathing/grooming, dressing, eating, bladder/bowel, and mobility/transferring are commonly evaluated on the Modified Barthel Index of ADL on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being “independent”. Patti’s abilities score in the lowest percentiles at 10.
Not everyone with MS may have this same level of disability. However, "Everyone will one day know or love someone who can no longer take care of themselves." (Maggie Strong)