Back in December I started writing a post about what chronic illness sufferers refer to as 'spoons'. If you were to assume that you have a certain number of 'spoonfuls' of energy every day and different tasks require the use of one or more of your spoons, chronic illness sufferers will quickly find themselves in a deficit.
Embarrassingly, I set the draft (and the publish date) and promptly ran out of spoons. That meant that the post looked like this:
Spoons. Spoons! Oh the irony.
Anyhoo, I spent December through February with minus spoons.
Briefly, 'Spoon Theory' states that people with chronic illness have around 12 spoons per day. Tasks range from 1-4 spoons: one spoon being such things as simply getting out of bed, getting dressed, taking medication and watching TV; two spoons will be bathing, styling hair/ makeup, screen time or reading/ studying; three spoons is making and eating a meal, making plans or socialising (what is this again?), housework or driving and four spoons is going to work/ school, shopping, going to the doctor and exercise. Obviously this isn't every task that we do every day, but you get the general picture.
The thing that amazed me the most with chronic illness was just how tired I now was all the time. My head hurts, so why do I feel like I've been awake for a month? Fatigue and chronic illness go together like jelly and ice cream. Only it's gone off jelly and ice cream made from fish guts.
It's also the area where I have perceived the most criticism from other people. My anxiety tells me that people are angry about my missing events. I'm angry at myself for missing this, why wouldn't you be?
But here's the kicker. You might have noticed I said up top that I spent December-February in a spoon deficit. But things CAN get better. In general I have more spoons to spend now. I would love to tell you what the secret is but I am slowly getting my life back and as hard as it is, recovery is beautiful. I don't take things for granted as much as I used to (pre-spoons). A day that I wake up migraine free is a day that I celebrate and a day that I can now utilise. I used to be so fearful of 'jinxing' my migraine free day that I'd stay at home, safe and sound where I could 'consolidate' my migraine free-ness. But that didn't always work. In fact, it rarely did. Chances are that the next day I would be in pain again and the process would start again.
I'm still careful, for sure. I don't get to bed too late. I drink plenty of water and next to no alcohol or caffeine. I can exercise again, and I mean REAL exercise! Blood pumping, pulse racing, muscles aching for days (gods I'd forgotten how good that ache feels). I'm getting better and I'm feeling really positive about what my future looks like now. I can't wait to share it with you.