It only matters what works for you.

Archive for May, 2014

Spoon theory

I haven’t been posting as often as I used to. I’m hoping that will change as I continue to feel better. I have discovered it’s hard to post about health when you feel you’ve been going backwards.

In October the OTC supplement I’d been taking for adrenal support was very suddenly taken off the market. My first attempt at a replacement was a Horrible Mistake and made me much worse and my health crashed. I don’t understand why, and I’m not even sure I understand completely what happened, but I was a mess. My body hurt terribly, I retained water like a camel, and my muscles were terribly weak. I gained on the order of 40 lbs in 3 weeks.

And my western medicine doctor wasn’t much help. So I just had to try to figure it out myself. I’ve slowly, slowly been getting better. But I still didn’t feel like I had anything to say here. Until I found a fantastic article that explained my life. The article is The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. Her site is But You Don’t Look Sick and it’s an amazing perspective about living with health problems that don’t show on the outside.

Spoon theory is simple. When you are healthy and strong, you assume you have an unlimited number of spoons. That is, you assume that you are physically capable of any normal activity you choose to do. Get dressed, hang out with friends, go for a walk, what ever you need or want to accomplish on any given day is possible. Unlimited spoons.

When you have a debilitating condition, you have a limited number of spoons. You always have to think about what needs to be done and figure out how much you can accomplish on any given day. Once you’re out of spoons, that’s it, and how many you have depends on what your condition is.

Having been fat all my life I’ve usually had a limit on my spoon count, but I’d lived with it so long I didn’t really give it much thought. I just couldn’t quite manage to do everything that other people could do, but I didn’t expect to, so I didn’t worry about it. Then there were the years when I was working out regularly and not sick a lot because I’d sorted out my food allergies and my spoon count went up dramatically, and I really enjoyed that. I still couldn’t do as much as most people, but I could do more than I ever had before.

Then we moved and I was sedentary and depressed and my spoon count was dropping, but I could still manage what I needed to, so I ignored it.

When I crashed in October, I realized what I’d had, and how incredibly valuable it was. Why do we not value things properly until we lose them?

So I’m not quite back to where I was in October, and I’m still surprised by some things that have changed, but I’m actually finding make the right choices much easier now.

I want my freaking spoons back.