Today, I am all out of spoons. And it is only 1:30pm.
Christine Miserandino, a woman living with Lupus, came up with The Spoon Theory. In an effort to explain to a friend of hers what it is like to live with a chronic and invisible illness, she used a handful of spoons to represent all the units of energy she has to use each day. She gives her friend a handful of spoons and explains that a typical healthy person wakes up with unlimited spoons for the day to do all the daily activities he or she pleases. A healthy person doesn’t have to think about his/her spoons. A person who suffers from chronic illness? They do not wake up with unlimited spoons.
So she has her friend start to tell her all the little things she does from the time she wakes up in the morning (opening your eyes, turning an alarm off, getting up out of bed, going to the bathroom), and as her friend explains each step, she takes away one of her spoons. Soon, her friend is left with only a couple spoons, and she had barely gotten through a simple morning routine! You see, those with chronic illness wake up with only so many spoons, and they need to be careful not to use all their spoons up too quickly, because once you are out of spoons, you don’t have any left.
In many ways, I think most everyone can relate to The Spoon Theory once in a while. Think about when you have the flu. And you have to pee, AND you are hungry. And you lay there thinking, “If I get up to pee, will I have the energy to make myself a sandwich?”
But for those with chronic illness, they wake up with limited spoons EVERY DAY, not just when they have the flu. Many of my fellow Juvenile Arthritis Mamas share this Spoon Theory with others to explain how life can be for our kids. (more…)