Posts tagged ‘energy’

April 9, 2018

What Happened When I Became a Spoonie


If you spend any time on-line reading about the effects of what it means to have rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll likely come across the term “spoonie,” which refers to people who use “The Spoon Theory.”

In a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue is significant. The pain and suffering caused by doing something most people take for granted, such as getting dressed, can be exhausting when you are gripped in a flare.

Christine Miserandino came up with The Spoon Theory to explain to a friend how her chronic illness impacted her energy levels. Imagine that you are allotted a finite number of spoons in a day, and each action (showering, dressing, making breakfast, etc.)  subtracts a spoon. You could conceivably have no spoons left by early afternoon, dependent upon your disease activity.

Last August, I ruminated about all the times I was so exhausted that I had nothing left for those I cared about. I often dragged myself into school, teaching a full-day, going home to prepare a meal, eat, do some prep work, then into bed by 9 pm. Only to repeat it all over again. There are those times when I did more than I should do. I grew up on a farm, after all: make hay while the sun shines, dontchaknow! My philosophy was that if I felt good, I should do things. Lots of things. Only that would often backfire, leaving me exhausted and sore the next day.  I am much better at managing my energy, now. Yes, there’s wisdom in aging!

Anyway, back to August, when I began to think like a spoonie. I am a spoonie. Spoonies have finite energy. And so on and on it went, thinking about what it felt like to be a spoonie. Until I realized that the more I took on this identity, the more tired I became. By identifying with it, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I began to believe it. The more I believed it, the more true it became.

Without any disrespect to Christine and the other spoonies, this is one word that I will not claim for myself. Instead, I will continue to do what I need to do to be as well as possible. When I’m exhausted, I’m exhausted. Period. I don’t need an additional label to box me in, especially one that ends up making me feel worse.

A chronic illness is challenging. That’s why I am diligent about employing a number of strategies to help me move through life. “Spoonieism” just won’t be one of them.

January 17, 2018

#546 – When Your Doctor Tells You There’s No More Time


Image courtesy of everydayplus |

You have a chronic illness. You go to the doctor with your list of symptoms, but you’re told that there is no more time, then asked to book another appointment.

Your energy is already depleted and you you don’t know how you’re going to drag yourself to another appointment.


The solution

Book a double appointment in order to max out on your time and energy and ensure that you are respecting the doctor’s time and that of the other patients, as well. It’s a lot less stressful for all concerned.


September 16, 2013

#481 – Window of Time

Image courtesy of Chris Worfolk.

Image courtesy of Chris Worfolk.

Energy. Inflammation. Pain. You have a window of time when your condition may have improved to the point where you can get out and do some of the things you need to do, or that you’d like to do – errands, shopping, visiting friends, getting out for a hike, etc.

For example, first thing in the morning, you may be extremely stiff. This might be a great time to do some breathing and gentle movement exercises. Once you start to limber up, you are ready to get out and do some of the things on that list, be it a fun list, a work list or a life list.

Become aware of your window and schedule your activities to make the best use of your time and energy. Share this strategy with your family and friends so that they understand, and hopefully, be willing to accommodate you in your mission to get out, to do and to see.

February 23, 2013

#408 – Year-Round Gift Shopping

Image courtesy of Kym McLeod.

Image courtesy of Kym McLeod.

Years ago, I learned that last-minute gift shopping and rheumatoid arthritis do not go well together. The crowds, the lack of selection, the heat of the stores, the weather – all those things serve to drain my energy.

I have a solution, though. I shop for the people on my gift list throughout the year. Whenever I see something I think someone would like, all the better when it is on sale :), I buy it, bring it home, and it goes into the Rubbermaid Gift Box

Around the beginning of December, I pull out the box and do an inventory to see what I have. Often, most of my shopping is complete. I love that! It’s the stress-free way to shop.

So, even if you’re not fond of my most recent giveaway for a leather wristlet from Danier, perhaps there’s someone on your gift list who might appreciate it. It’s never too early to start your shopping! 🙂

Please check out my

You might wish to check out Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Who Have Arthritis.

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