the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 49 The Spoon Theory

Posted by themirrenlee on 18/02/2012

The Spoon Theory.

Healthy people understanding The Spoon Theory helps chronic sufferers emotionally as much as medication helps physically.

This has been around for years, I know, and many people with chronic conditions have heard of it, read it, and/or visited the website of the person who wrote it. Her name is Christine Miserandino and she has a website called “but you don’t look sick”, which right there hooks in the chronic sufferer!

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/category/the-spoon-theory/

It made me cry when I first read it, as it has done for many sufferers of any condition. Finally, a way to explain, in creative shorthand no less, why we often can’t do the simplest things that other people take for granted.

Christine has Lupus, but the experiences of all chronic sufferers have many similarities, the greatest one being that healthy people really can’t understand on an emotional level what it’s like to live a condition that affects you every single day of your life.

Even more than that, however, most people can’t understand conditions where the sufferer “doesn’t look sick”. Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions. There are no outward signs of deterioration, and on good days the sufferer looks perfectly fine. On bad days, they simply look like they might have the flu. There’s no outward indication that every single day is a struggle battling pain and fatigue, plus a range of other symptoms.

The Spoon Theory is so wonderful because it explains how limited the energy levels of chronic sufferers are, and how even just getting dressed can be an exhausting event. It also explains how everything must be thought about, planned for and strategized so that we have enough energy to get us through the whole day. It also made it easier for me to explain why I am very cautious about planning events in advance; I’m not sure how I’m going to feel and I hate letting people down. What I’ve learned to do is to allow for the event and save up my “Spoons” in advance.

I hope you’ll read The Spoon Theory if you haven’t done so before. If you’re a sufferer, it will help you feel better. If you know a sufferer, you can share it with them so they feel better.

That’s what happened to me last night. I couldn’t blog because I’d run out of spoons. It won’t be the last time it’ll happen, but at least now I don’t feel guilty about it (thank you, wonderful counsellors!). I’m determined not to miss a day of Posts this year, though, so when it happens I’ll just show up and say I’m out of spoons. From now on, I’ll also put a link to Christine’s website for those new readers who will wonder if I’ve lost my mind!

I’m just sittin’ with my spoons …

2 Responses to “Day 49 The Spoon Theory”

  1. Wow, what a powerful post! Thank you so much for sharing Christine’s spoon theory and for sharing your pain as well. I plan to give Christine’s missive to my husband, who has recently joined the ranks of the chronically ill and has not yet learned how to deal well with his limitations. I hope you have a spoon filled and happy weekend.

    • Thanks for letting me know it was useful. I wasn’t sure how many people already knew about it, and since I haven’t started pushing my blog out there yet, because the whole website isn’t ready yet, it’s nice to get some feedback in the meantime. I loved your posts on your husband’s new sleep apnea machine – very funny. 🙂

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