Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Spoon Theory...

Many years ago, I heard about "The Spoon Theory". At first, it didn't make a lot of sense to me. I was new to my diagnosis and was basically flying by the seat of my pants. I didn't know a lot about gastroparesis and how the gastroparesis would effect my day to day living. The Spoon Theory was created by Christine Miserandino who suffers from Lupus.

To the average healthy person, whenever they wake up in the morning, the day is theirs. They can do daily mundane tasks such as showering, getting ready for the day or doing a load of laundry without experiencing the physical effects. Whenever they become tired, they can just recharge by resting or sleeping. If needed, they can even continue with their day pushing through the fatigue and tiredness.

To the chronically ill or disabled person, a lot of the times, they make wake up with decreased energy due to their health condition. They have to loosely plan their day in hopes to conserve and use their energy in the most proficient way. A way of measuring how much energy one has is where "The Spoon Theory" comes from.  Patients sometimes refer to themselves as a "Spoonie". A spoon is a way of measuring a patient's energy. Depending on the patient's health and medical condition determines how many spoons that person is allotted per day. Whenever the patient runs out of spoons, they have to stop and recharge. They simply can not push through. It varies with each patient but recharging may take a  few hours to days. Each patient is different. Once their body recharges and recovers, then they can resume their daily tasks.

In the beginning, I was horrible with conserving and using my energy in the most proficient way. Whenever I worked, I would wake up early since I had to commute to work. Some mornings by the time I was ready to leave home or got to work, I would be dragging. Some mornings, I would actually have to come in late or simply miss that day of work. I would be up all hours of the night from my gastroparesis and cleaning out so I woke up exhausted and weak. My diet was awful. My food absorption was bad. I was continually bouncing from liquid to solid diets.

It took a long time but I finally learned how to manage my energy and spoons better. Now I have a daily routine that I go by. I do the things that are most important and the rest can wait. Over time, I will try get those things accomplished and it not, it's no big deal. Since becoming a parent, I have been exceptionally careful with my energy. I don't over exert or push myself like I once did. I always make sure that I have enough energy (spoons) left for my daughter. She is my number one priority. If I don't get the laundry folded, oh well. I'd rather give her that energy.


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