This is a metaphor that I used to explain to a friend how chronic illness effects my energy levels.
Everyone is a car, most are cars with 10 gallon tanks. Some have more…some are monster trucks. Those who are chronically ill have smaller tanks. Maybe we can fit in 8 gallons, or maybe only three. But the main problem isn’t how much we start out with, its that our tanks leak gasoline. If we stay parked they leak much slower, but even staying parked the tank is getting emptier and emptier. If we drive we not only use gas to keep the engine running but we leak gas too, and the faster we drive, the quicker it leaks. That all sounds annoying but it gets worse.
The gas guage doesn’t work, so we can think we have two gallons left, and all of a sudden we are on empty without warning. Then we just stop, and there isn’t really anything you can do, except fill up again. But the gas stations are closed. Maybe for a night, maybe for a few days. Maybe a tow truck can deliver a gallon of gas, but it cost a fortune. So we always need to be very careful to not run out of gas, it effects every choice we make.
If that is isn’t bad enough there is something wrong with the engine and we don’t know what it is, but sometimes even with a full tank of gas the car doesn’t run right or at all.
So my energy/exhaustion scale is 0-10, Zero being no gas, 10 being a full tank. I really don’t want to talk about “How much gas do you have now” so I will just leave it a scale of 1-10.