I learned about The Spoon Theory shortly my COPD diagnosis

It was one of the things I learned in Respiratory Rehab and it was a immediate hit with all attendee’s. Originally created by Christine Miserandino who had Lupus,  it has been adopted by almost everyone with every form of Chronic Illness.

Almost every Resp Rehab uses it to explain pacing and it is a great fit for those of us with COPD and Heart Disease.

A special way to explain to those able body people what it is like to suffer from a chronic illness and how we survive every day.

Our first order of business

Was putting The Spoon Theory into practice but how could that be accomplished?  It meant changing our entire life style, cutting back on tasks and chores that were so easy just a short time ago.

It is another way of looking at METS or metabolic equivalents that are often talked about more from a heart disease aspect, that measuring of how much energy we have and how much energy we use completing certain tasks.

I get out of bed in the morning asking myself how much I feel I can carry out today. Most days I know I may be limited by what has to be done and I also know that I can only do so much. Accepting this is and knowing my limitations is my best ally.

Morning Journal

My mornings consist of gathering information for my health tracker journal. Weighing myself, taking measurements of girth and ankles, then taking stock of how I feel.

Do I need a rescue inhaler to begin my day? I ask myself, was it an easy wake up or was I breathing badly? Did I sleep well or fitfully?

Then it is on to a priority list of tasks and jobs that need to be completed today. This is the list that gives my life purpose. I have to keep busy. I also must fit my exercise schedule into the mix.

My Spoons

Then I remember my spoons as I try to push myself every day to do what seemed impossible yesterday.  Remembering that The Spoons are a way to make me think of the energy that I am exerting and to slow down and rest when necessary and to relax if I need to. There is a limit to my energy now that I have never experienced before.

No matter how much we want to accomplish today, we only have so many reserves. The chart on The Spoon Theory or METS gives examples of how much energy you will use per task.But that depends on what chronic illness you have.

Each illness has its own limitations, it’s up to you to decide yours.

It takes less energy for me to make a meal than it does to shower, but this difficult task can be made easier if I ask my husband to wash my hair. The very action of putting both hands over your head is an extra workload on the heart, so, no wonder it is tiring and requires a rest period after.

So, if it takes you more spoons to carry out a task, it is your job to be OK with it.

Difficult tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks to be accomplished, taking more time is OK.

You have to really give yourself permission to take the time you need to complete the task, otherwise you will get so hung up on failure that it will become you.

Is it not better to say. “Yes, I did it. Not for as long as I wanted or as fast as I would have liked. But, I did it.”









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