The spoon theory is a great way to explain chronic illness/chronic pain to someone that has never experienced it.
A woman named Christine Miserandino made up this theory while dining with a friend to explain the limited energy most people with chronic illnesses have.
Miserandino suffers from Lupus and while each condition is different, the spoons each activity take are universally the same/similar (for the most part).
She explains that at the start of each day a “spoonie” gets a certain amount of spoons to start with. We don’t get to choose, it depends on a number of factors. Let’s say we start with 12. Did I do a lot yesterday? Minus 2 spoons. Did I sleep enough last night? No, minus 3 spoons. I am starting with 7 from the beginning of the day. I shower, minus 1, I do my hair, makeup and take my morning medicine, minus 2 (2 because I am a lefty and my left arm is impossible right now). Catch up on email, my blog, social media etc for an hour, 1 spoon gone. It’s 10 am and I have 3 spoons left for the day and plans tonight. I have to rest the remainder of the day to save my 3 spoons to go out later. Add in Doctors appointments or tests or something unscheduled coming up and my spoons are all gone, or I might start borrowing from tomorrow.
This makes me be very creative with my days and my energy. I try to schedule no more than one main activity a day, but sometimes that is impossible. Today for example I have two appointments and plans for dinner tonight and I woke up with a terrible headache.
I already cancelled my first appointment. It was physical therapy, but is near impossible with a headache. I might have to wait a few weeks to start back up, currently it seems to be making me feel worse. I can’t even imagine letting my physical therapist touch me, let alone massage me right now!! That saves a few spoons for later. My life is constantly trying to save energy for something, or resting for an appointment. Showering has become a real energy sucker for me lately. I’m usually in a robe trying to get dressed for an hour after I shower. I like hot showers as it helps relax my muscles, but the hot water makes my blood pressure go higher so sometimes I get lightheaded and need to lie down afterwards. Hot showers cost 3 spoons, warm showers cost 1. Mostly I choose warm now 🙁 Recovering after the hot shower is another spoon.
Hopefully this helps make sense of my limited energy, and what “spoonie” is, or why you might see this term on my profile or comments 🙂
The song is “Spoonman,” by Soundgarden. There aren’t many songs about 🥄 spoons, but 90’s rock/grunge is my jam 😂.
RIP Chris Cornell. A beautiful voice taken much too soon ❤️