A few posts back I wrote about the fact that I am a chronic migraine sufferer and, in aid of invisible illness week, I contributed my answers to a standard set of questions being circulated at the time.

I received today a link to this YouTube video.  It is a short talk given by Christine Miserandino who suffers with Lupus.  She outlines her excellent approach to explaining to others how life is for her – using what she calls ‘the spoon theory’.  It centres around the idea that people with an illness or disability have to manage their lives carefully, with thought and always with advance planning. They have only a certain number of ‘spoons’ with which to go through each day, compared with healthy people who have unlimited supplies of spoons.  The person with an illness might need to use up one spoon getting dressed; one eating breakfast; one getting to work; etc etc.  Overall, detailed choices have to be made about what can and can’t be done in any given day because that person cannot do everything all the time.

It is a very interesting way of communicating something which can be difficult to express. I also really like the way in which Christine gives it a positive spin – she talks about how it is a blessing to be able to say that she has chosen to use up spoons spending time with someone else, or doing a particular thing.

I can say the same about the last few days, during which my sister came to stay with us.  I was last with her in October and although we regularly FaceTime, it is clearly not the same as being properly together.  We had a really fun time, all giggles and madness.  I think Mr Tracks just about managed to cope with the two of us!

It was an enormous pleasure to be well enough to devote precious spoon resource to her.  Thanks for a great couple of days, sis! 🙂


11 thoughts on “Spoonin’ with me sister

  1. I am glad you had a great time and more so that it could help distract you from your migraine misery, which I hope has receded more since you wrote this. Thanks for the video, it helps people to understand how people suffer and that we should be more sensitive to the needs of others.

  2. Brilliant analogy – one that I think that we all should embrace in our lives. It would change the way we engage within the world around us. I believe that we chose our destiny, one decision at a time. May we chose wisely! Hugs.

  3. I love the spoon analogy, so clever! My neurologist (I have epilepsy, I can’t remember if I’ve told you that before) uses the analogy of money in a wallet. He says to think of my energy like bills in my wallet: it’s good to keep some in the wallet for future spending and not to spend it all at once as soon as I get a lot of cash/energy.

    1. Oh, that is another fantastic analogy, isn’t it. It is so helpful to have these visual aids to help us avoid getting carried away during the positive times in our lives when it can be hard to remember what it is like to be ill.

  4. I’m also a member of the “Spoonie” club! It puts things into perspective for other’s that can’t really understand how much it takes out of us for every little thing we do, such as showering takes 2-3 spoons from me. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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