Fibromyalgia and the Spoon Analogy…

I like the analogy reference with Fibromyalgia. Where you use spoons to represent your energy/task doing levels. Say you started the day out with six spoons and each one was related to getting something done or even just taking a shower. Depending on your pain levels and your level of exhaustion, it may take one spoon to take a shower or it could require three spoons. I think this is a very good reference, to how someone that lives with chronic pain, can not only explain it to others, but plan their own day by listing what you want to accomplish and how many spoons you feel that task will require.

For instance, today I felt I had six spoons, so I had to decide what I was going to accomplish with what I had available to me. When I walked out the back door, I noticed my covered back porch was very wet with way too many leaves 🍂, that were being tracked into the house, along with muddy shoe and paw prints 🐾. It had rained ☔️ for the last two days and I can’t even remember when I last saw the sun ☀️. I felt, the best choice for me, was to tackle blowing off the porch and walkways so it would cut down on the leaves and mud that was being brought into the house. I figured that task would require three spoons. But first, I threw in a load of laundry and applied one spoon to that. Though I forgot how much it takes out of me just to do one load of laundry when you have a three year old bouncing around yelling, “I want to help!” Which he did help me and that required a much longer time frame to complete that task, along with the spazziness (is that even a word?) of him bouncing around and throwing pieces of clothing toward the washer. 😒 So in hind sight, I should of allotted two spoons to that task. I then set out on my way to blowing off the back porch and walkways leading up to the back porch. I still had four spoons so I assumed I would complete this task and still have one spoon left for something else. First I had to dig out the extension cord and it was in a container with two other extension cords that seemed to have knotted themselves together. How does that even happen? You place three cords in a container and they magically awaken and dance together? 🙀 Ugh, so there went another spoon! I finally unknotted the cords and plugged in the blower 🔌. For some reason I had a very difficult time turning it on, though I finally made it to that step. Then I proceeded to blow off the back covered porch and when I came to the area just off the porch, there was a mountain of leaves, debris and mud wrapping itself around the air conditioning unit . Since the weather was so nice in the 70’s and I knew from checking the weather channel that the next two days were going to be in the 80’s, I felt I needed to make sure that area was free from debris just in case I needed to turn the air conditioner on again. 😳 Can you say, “OMG!?!” This proved to be a chore in of itself. I spent a solid 20 minutes just trying to blow all of this mess away from the unit. There goes another spoon right there! 😨 So now I am already at four spoons, which leaves me with two spoons left. Ugh! I then, proceed to blow of the walkway from the porch toward the side gate. Feeling completely exhausted at this time, I made myself take a break. 🙍 I drank a bottle of filtered water from my Brita container and sat for several minutes. Now, I know from past experiences, that if I sit to long I will not finish the task at hand. So, I got up and pushed onward and blow the driveway area on the other side of the porch to the gate. The amount of leaves was just insane! 😖 When I finally finished, my pain was through the roof and I could barely walk. Now I have no spoons left, because that task took everything I had and then some. I want to go to bed and I may very well have to do that. I took my medication as scheduled plus a muscle relaxer, Aleve Liquid gels and an Ativan. My nerves are frazzled to say the least. 😰 Well, that chore is done and there will NoT be anything else I could possibly do today. Forget a shower 🚿, because that normally takes a spoon and now it would require two spoons, but I do not have any spoons left! 😿

It’s kind of funny, not really, how we assume that a task will take one spoon, but then during the task we realize it took more than we anticipated. Every single thing that happens, causes us to use up another spoon. Some things you have no control over and no way of knowing that it will occur. There is a pile of dishes stacked on to the kitchen counter, because my son just cannot seem to clean up the kitchen, but thinks he does when he stacks all the plates, bowls and cups! I can say how much it annoys me to see that mess, but I can also say that I know there is, no way possible, I can tackle that task today. So, they will sit there until tomorrow, like they have sat there since yesterday. Clutter drives me nuts. My kitchen is small so any amount of dishes looks and feels like a giant chaotic mess to me. Though now, living with this severely disabling chronic pain, I know that there are things I just cannot do. Especially when I have already used all my spoons for the day. Unfortunately, as I know from past experiences, I will most likely not have another six spoons tomorrow. After a day like today, I will have two or quite possibly none! It’s the price I pay when I go too far on a task…

3 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia and the Spoon Analogy…

  1. jenusingword says:

    I totally understand! I for the longest time have felt terrible about not doing things like take a shower, thinking what’s wrong with me?! It’s a shower! Everyone takes a shower and cleans up yet I feel so spent and bad and don’t do it. It’s comforting to know its not just me or that I’m just lazy like I’ve thought in the past. I hate others deal with this stuff like me but it at least makes me feel a bit better knowing it’s not just me.

Any possitive comments are welcome.

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