Monday, May 14, 2012

An expanded Spoon Theory

Expanded Spoon Theory

Many of you know the Spoon Theory.  (If you are not familiar with it, please read The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino  at  It is well worth the read)  A friend of mine really liked it but felt it needed to be expanded, just a little.

Now, I hate to put a mustache on the Mona Lisa, but my friends thoughts make sense, so as best I can, I shall elaborate here.

Spoons, as we all know (yes, you have to read the Spoon Theory to understand), represent energy.  Those of us with Fibro Myalgia (FM) or Chronic Fatigue (CF)  know that this does not mean being merely tired.  It goes far beyond that.  I don’t even think the word “Exhaustion” comes close.  There are times when I have been too tired to chew.  If someone fed me soup, I might well be too tired to swallow.  These days are very real for me and millions of others.  Fortunately for me, it is not my entire life – although I do tend to be in bed for at least 22 hours a day.
But Energy is not the only issue.  There are two other things I need to deal with as well.  Besides Energy, there is clarity of mind.  One of the major problems with FM is something called FibroFog.  It is when your brain is simply not working right.  You feel as if you are in a fog (hence the name) and it is difficult to sort things out or to think clearly.  I think of this as the knife, because without one, I am not sharp.
Now I can have enough spoons to do a task, but without the Knife, it may not be a good idea.  For instance, I should never drive a car or operate electric saws if my Knife is dull.
The third issue is pain.  I call that the Fork  (because I use a fork to test if something is ‘tender’).  Pain can be deep muscle pain, that makes it impossible to stand still for more than 2-3 seconds at a time (I cannot stand at the sink while the dog’s water bowl is filled – I have to pace).  And that pain is with me almost all the time.   There is also pain that feels like arthritis pain, bone pain that makes it difficult (or impossible) to walk.   But then there are times when the skin is tender and even the touch of my cotton shirt hurts.  Woe be to anyone who tries to hug me, I’ll scream in pain.  Even lying in bed hurts the skin, because the bed itself hurts to touch (can you see a problem here?).  And then there are the sharp, sudden pains that occur anywhere at any time, without warning.  Those are pantloads of fun.
So, in order to get anything done, I need the full set of Knife, Fork and Spoons.  Since they all seem to be on separate (and unpredictable) cycles, it is fairly rare that it happens.

I hope I have not desecrated the Spoon Theory.  It certainly was not my intent (I think it was Brilliant).  I just hope this adds to our vocabulary for understanding.

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