Story by Naomi Chainey in Daily Life.
To casual observers, the schedules of chronically ill people appear erratic. We are active today, housebound tomorrow, and the next day is anyone’s guess. We require flexibility from others, but rarely provide it in return. As many of us present a deceptive picture of health, resentment can build over the inconvenience of our behaviour. Accusations of being lazy, inconsistent or bludgers follow us everywhere, and can be more demoralising than the symptoms which limit our activity in the first place.
One of the more effective ways we’ve found to gain support for our baffling time management strategies is Christine Miserandino’s ‘Spoon Theory’.
How do spoons relate to chronic illness? Technically, they don’t. But Miserandino was in a diner when asked to share her experience of Lupus with a friend, and she used spoons as a visual aid. She explained that healthy people have unlimited “spoons” (potential activities) and freedom to use them at will. A “spoonie” (chronically ill person) has limited spoons, and must manage carefully.
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