I've been playing the Sims again recently. For those of you who haven't played the Sims, the basic goal is to keep your Sims (people) happy. There are 8 bars that affect their happiness meter: hunger, energy, comfort, hygience, social, fun, bladder, and room (how much they like their surroundings). If any of these bars is too low, your Sim won't be happy.
One of the reasons I like this game is how easy it is to keep these people happy, compared to how complicated keeping me happy and healthy is. And then I came up with the idea, what would the Sims look like if the Sim had a chronic disease, like Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or fibromyalgia?
Well, first, two bars would need to be added: pain and fatigue. If the pain bar was high, the fun bar, comfort, and social bar would be unable to go up and would slowly go down. If the fatigue bar was high, the Sim would be unable to do anything that involved standing up for long periods of time. And, here's the fun part: if the fatigue level is high and the energy bar is high, the Sim will be unable to sleep. And if the energy level is low, but the pain level is high, the Sim will also be unable to sleep.
Next, some new actions would need to be added: "take daily medications", "take pain medications", "take sleeping pills", "get a massage", "see a chiropractor", "get acupuncture/acupressure". If you don't take your daily medications, your pain and fatigue bar automatically starts half-full. And, here's the fun part: taking your daily medication can randomly cause side effects, like lowering your hunger bar (for stomach ache), lowering your energy level, and, say, death (I'm not kidding). But if you don't take these, your Sim can barely function all day, and each consecutive day will be worse and worse. To lower your pain and fatigue bars, you can do any of the new actions, but each of them has consequences. For example, take pain medication reduces your energy bar and you can develop tolerance and addiction if over-used. Getting a massage, seeing a chiropractor, and get acupuncture/pressure will be ridiculously expensive (if a pizza in the game costs $40, it's safe to assume that a massage would cost at least $240).
And making it to work and getting promoted? Good luck with that. And doing any sort of physical activity (dancing, cleaning, showering, cooking, having someone come over) will raise both your pain and fatigue bars.
This is what my life is actually like. This is what, in general, people with chronic health problems have to deal with daily.
Copyright Tatiana Harrison, 2008. You are welcome to share this as long as you credit me and link back to this site.
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