Broken Spoons: Silent Illness

I give up, trying to figure out the direction of this blog is. *I* don’t fit into one mold easily, so it should be no real surprise that my blog doesn’t either.

Here’s the thing…with an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, one’s ability to focus on one thing for long…well let’s just say the ability is a very weak muscle. So most of the time, while the topics make perfect sense to me, it may not to those who are outside my head. 😉

autoimmune silent disease spoons living

Today I was realizing that I love The Spoon Theory. It makes it easier to tell others how most days are for me. Let me tell you, while I’m really want to talk about it, I hesitate, because well…I don’t want to be narcissistic. I really hate that, and when I hear myself talking about how I feel, I cringe.

Here’s an excerpt of The Spoon Theory:

“At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.”

*There’s a lot more to the story*

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

– See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.fAwj1n4A.dpuf

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

– See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.fAwj1n4A.dpuf

What do you do though, when faced with only having 3 spoons left and it’s still 6 hours left until bed time, and the kids need to eat. *YOU* should eat, but that requires more spoons than you have…

  • What do you do, when suddenly it feels like Scotty beamed up all of the energy you had, and then some?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you describe how you’re doing, when it’s almost certain, people won’t completely understand, or think it’s all in my head? (or your head).

And sometimes, I think..what right do I have to complain, I have friends that have a silent disease that is much worse than what I deal with. My symptoms and life are no where near what there’s is like.

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6 comments

  1. This is so good! I always want to eat like “normal” people but cant. Id love to have a whole apple without peanut butter or cheese to blunt the spike of bg. Id love to havea ruben sandwich. Or a slice of cake or..or.. you do have the idea I know you do. 🙂 what a fantastic way to look at it . Some people have all the spoons they want some people have fewer and some few. Live with the spoons given. And Karen quit searching for a way to get more spoons. Thanks Peggy…now to remember!

  2. True, you don’t want to complain all the time, I get that, I also don’t find that you do. But you must also refuse to belittle your problems because others also have problems. I know this, I have belittled my own things for so long, because others have it worse. That isn’t healthy. You must own your life, and that means also owning the things that are not pleasant about it and talk about them. Don’t always complain, but also don’t feel like you need to pretend that things are great when they are not. Be honest, and I find you will find more people understand than you might think.

    In fact, I bet plenty of people would want to here more about how to cope, when the spoons are limited, or when you have run out completely and there is still a lot of day left, and little help to be had.

    • Thank you for that Deanna. I think my tendency to not speak up, comes from having a grandmother who used her headaches (and anything else she could think of) as an excuse for everything. Not going out, not reading/watching that or this, you get the idea.

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