Y’all know what I’m referring to when I talk about using my spoons, right? This is an important concept for anyone living with a chronic illness to know about. It’s especially important to use to explain to someone who does not live with chronic illness. In the case that you didn’t know about it, Christine Miserandino developed The Spoon Theory.
So, on Sunday, I had a lot planned. That was my first mistake. I knew I had to leave the house at quarter to four to pick someone up to go to a late afternoon concert. Before that, I wanted to fold my clean laundry that hadn’t been folded yet, do the laundry that had piled up from last week, clean the kitchen and living room, shower, and get ready for the concert. That’s a lot of spoons, people! Yet somehow my fibro addled brain thought I could get it all done.
HA! That morning, I woke up with my alarm. And, while I got a decent night’s sleep, my only focus was to figure out when I could get back into bed. I try not to make a habit of napping daily but there are just some days where whether or not you do nap, you aren’t going to get as much done because you’ll be thinking about how sleepy you are, how much you need that nap, and your productivity level will drop. So, I decided to not do the laundry. I still had clothes I could wear - plus, it was SO cold outside, I couldn’t imagine getting out of my snuggie unless it was into a warm bed.
Change of plans - no laundry but nap was needed. So, I ate a hearty and healthy breakfast (I think, as I don’t really remember) and crawled back under the warm covers. I napped for an hour and a half (or so), and got up. I chose to start with the least difficult of the tasks and tackled my living room. It took a short time, just picking some things up to throw away and do a quick vacuum and swiffer. Easy enough, right? NOPE. I think I woke up with some of my daily allotted spoons already missing and after this “simple” task? Boom - spoons gone! I still had to shower and get ready for the concert. All other plans were pushed to the curb. I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes showers invigorate me and sometimes they exhausted me. On Sunday, it was the latter.
After showering, getting dressed, doing my hair and makeup, I was done for the day. But, the day wasn’t done. I had been counting down the days for this concert and despite my exhaustion and pain creeping up, I was NOT going to miss it. So, I went to pick up my friend, waited in line to get our seats and sat down. As soon as I sat down, I felt my body just go slack. I had pushed it too far. Thankfully, this wasn’t a concert where there is a lot of standing up, sitting down and dancing, so I could sit quietly and enjoy the show. I was just worried that not only had I used up my spoons for Sunday, but for Monday as well. And, while most hate ending their weekend, Monday is one of my favorite days as I get to spend a couple of hours with some super cute babies. By the time the concert was over (which was amazing by the way - I sang every song along with them), all I wanted to do was to go home and crawl into my pajamas and get ready for bed. But, I had to drop my friend off, come home and make some semblance of dinner, and then get ready for bed at my regularly scheduled time. As the night wore on, I started to notice even more so that my body and mind were deteriorating with all I expected myself to do - and I hadn’t even done half of it.
I’m not berating myself at all, but I knew my list of things to do was too much for this fibro body to handle. My coach, and friend, once said to me, “somethings are flare worthy,” meaning that sometimes you have to be prepared for whatever may come to you fibro wise in order to do something you really want to do. She’s right. The concert was flare worthy. But, I am blessed to have a flexible schedule so that if I am in a flare, I always have the option to move things around. My time with the babies is voluntary so I canceled that, and took the time on Monday to be kind to my body.
My fibro diagnosis is about five years old now, although my symptoms have been present for much longer. That may not seem a lot to many, but I’ve learned more about what my body can and cannot handle in these five years than all of the rest of the years put together. I’m not perfect, as sometimes I forget and push myself to that flare point (worthy or not). But, with my training as a coach, coaching others, and just learning about myself, I think I have become pretty good at keeping many of the more common fibro symptoms at bay.
Is this something you are struggling with? Would you like some guidance in how to plan for busy days, how to use your spoons effectively, and how to treat your fibro body kindly? Drop me a line and let’s set up a time to chat. You can do that here. I’m looking forward to hearing from you! =)
I’m Kate Straus and I’m a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor. I help Jewish women feel confident in their ability to practice their faith while navigating the ups and downs of fibromyalgia. I’m using the disease that at one time knocked me down, to help support others live life to their fullest.