No…I don’t mean National Spoon Day…or anything like that. Nothing crazy. Just me sitting around doing as little as possible. Often napping. Sometimes reading or writing or binge watching or napping. Always a struggle.
A while ago, I ran across The Spoon Theory. It’s not surprising actually…that I ran across it. Anyone struggling with any kind of chronic (often invisible) illness, and who is researching all over the internet (which 99.99999% of us do in order to find some kind of help/relief), will eventually run into The Spoon Theory. Usually sooner rather then later. The Spoon Theory has become one of the quickest, simplest, and easier ways to explain chronic illness to those around us who have a hard time understanding the struggle we face just trying to live “in their world” of normal. Envisioned, in a swift moment by Christine Miserandino, while out to eat with a friend, this theory has helped a lot of us. Take a minute, if you haven’t already, and go read The Spoon Theory story. Just click on her name above. Go on. It’s really kind of cool. I’ll wait. Just come back…and don’t leave me hanging. 🙂
So. Spoon Theory now makes sense, right?
Is it a perfect analogy? Of course not. But I think it’s a good one…and one that can be adapted and worked with. Just keep in mind that this is a “working” theory…that shouldn’t ever be “set in stone”. All of us in the “spoonie world” are so very different. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second…is going to be different. That’s part of the struggle we face. And please don’t ever assume that all we need is just rest (before or after) in order to be able to do XYZ. It’s not that easy. If it were, ongoing explanations wouldn’t be necessary.
What I need my family and friends to understand, is that I’m trying. Some days I wake with a full “drawer of spoons”. Sometimes I even have extra. But most days I wake with a lot less then full. Some days, taking a shower and getting dressed takes only one or two spoons. Some days…just taking a shower will take most of them. I also never know how many spoons will be needed in order to cope with the constant pain. I can’t always give a consistent table of detailed numbers of spoons per activity each day. Judging my spoon levels is getting a little easier, but I doubt I’ll ever really be good at it. But this Spoon Theory has helped me a lot to communicate my needs to myself and my family. When I say I don’t have enough spoons for XYZ…they get it. If we’re doing XYZ, and I suddenly realize that my spoons have disappeared…all I need do is say so and we all know that it’s better not to push it…or I’ll pay for it over the next few days. I also know that sometimes doing XYZ is very important to one of us…and that’s when I have control and can borrow spoons. Not my favorite thing to do. But…life it. Then I get to say I need a Spoon Day…a day (or 2 or 3) to rest, restore, and recover. Sorta.
Days like today. I actually woke pretty early this morning feeling really good…a full drawer day. It’s been a very very long time…and I credit that to our recent efforts to heal mind and body. But by 10ish, most of my spoons were gone.
- Waking early to LittleStinker sick and throwing up. (He’s completely fine now. No worries.)
- The simple fact that I forgot that the last 2 days were Cleanse days that I’m still learning to cope and adjust to.
- The incredible stress and worry about moving. Stress does that to me every time.
But the biggest spoon zap today? Don’t laugh…because this sounds so silly…but I dropped my iPad on my little toe. 😦 Didn’t break it, thankfully. Don’t even see a bruise…yet. But it hurt like crazy! Still hurts some now. But that’s it. That is my biggest spoon eater. Pain. Especially unexpected pain. Lovely Mast Cell Disorder…
So. Today is now a Spoon Day. I’m resting…to try to restore and recover those missing spoons. Sorta. It stinks, but sometimes resting just isn’t enough. It can take days to recover…and often “recover” is a relative term. That’s why the “just rest” and “get more sleep” advice doesn’t help. So be kind…and know that we are trying.
And my fellow Spoonies…remember that Everything Counts! Even on a Spoon Day.