Using the Spoon Theory as a Patient with a Chronic Illness
Original publication site and photo can be found here.
Many of us living with a chronic illness have heard of the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, as a means of explaining the reduced amount of energy available for our daily activities. “Spoons” are used to visually represent how much energy a patient has throughout each day, slowly reducing the total amount as each activity uses 1 (or more) “spoons”, depending on the exertion or intensity of energy required. To read more about the spoon theory, including a visual of how this works and why it is beneficial when trying to quantify the amount of energy available you have as a patient with a chronic illness, click here.
Today I was having a discussion with a friend about a difficult situation within my family that I’ve been navigating. Her response to my sentiment “I just feel completely out of spoons!” (referencing my fatigue) made it blatantly obvious that she had never heard of the Spoon Theory. I reference this all the time among my friends with a chronic illness, or “spoonies” as we sometimes refer to ourselves, however, I had forgotten that this is likely not a common topic among those who are healthy. I find it such a great way to help others understand that different activities (even though required daily) take up different amounts of energy for me, and when you only have so much in a day; other things have to be put aside or changed/cancelled. It is an easy way for me to quantify my energy, since sometimes I may not look sick but I can’t keep up to other colleagues, friends or young adults my age.
As a result of how helpful the Spoon Theory has been for me, I often share it with other communities or groups of people living with a chronic illness. I thought it might help some of you on this forum as well.
Had/have you ever heard of the Spoon Theory?
Has it been beneficial for you (or do you think it could be) when explaining your limited amount of energy in a day while living with IPF/PF?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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