I was once called on Twitter a #spoonie and I must admit I had no idea what it was back then. After consulting my big sister Google, I discovered the meaning of this term.
A spoonie is a "person living with a chronic illness, that identifies with Christine Miserandino's Spoon Theory." Read her theory here
In short, when you are a spoonie you daily wake with a limited amount of spoons and each task for that day is measured in spoons. Healthy people have an abundance of spoons, we don't. Some days we have slightly more and other days less. We manage our day by the spoons.
I loved this theory as it was so simple to understand. It did not need a Degree in Anatomy and even children could identify with it as everyone knows what a spoon is. It is a quirky explanation for low stamina conditions.
Finally, I had a way to explain to my sons exactly how I felt like without the dramatic "been hit by a hammer and my nerves grated on a glass and I just feel so tired hunny" I know it is hard to understand as sometimes I am fine. A few weeks back I had my biggest fibro flare (A Fibro Flare is an increase in symptoms above what is normal for you) and felt so ill it was hard to know that the feeling would pass and I would be my "normal" self again. Thankfully I am back to being my version of me. Every day it is there and I am fully aware of my fibromyalgia, but I am able to manage my energy and pain and above all smile and laugh my way through my day. I am still managing my spoons and conscious I don't run out of spoons but if you did not know I had Fibro you could not tell. During a flare, it is so obvious to anyone that I am unwell. (I had no spoons at all)
Being a mum of sons, you need to be well adapted to banter. Men don't talk they just pi** take. My men are no exception and have a great sense of humor.
"Bloody hell don't give me Mum that job she has no spoons!"
"Go on Mum, I am worth a spoon"
"Lazy cow has used all her spoons"
"Bet that job cost you a few spoons"
I am the butt of most spoon jokes in our house, some are really funny. They are well used to me and my crazy take on life as I am a hippy, Buddhist, tattooed mum so the spoon theory is another skit. BUT.... they now understand how I feel. They know that certain jobs cost me more energy on certain days. They fully identify with Fibromyalgia now as for months it was just a name that they often got wrong.
Mum is not well as she has fibrocystic myalgia!
Even the little ones want to understand so they can join in the jokes and one-liner. I love it as life is way too short to take seriously and I am not about to allow fibro to take away our laughter. So thank you Christine Miserandino for allowing me to show in a language they understand how it feels like, even if they find it funny using something so simplistic as spoons.
So when you see in my writings or Instagram images #spoonie, it is simply a way to communicate with other people like me. There is comfort in knowing someone else feels the same way as you do and understands you. I have a great little network of people who I chat to, most are Americans as they are far more knowledgeable of Fibromyalgia than we are, they have taught me so much and I am eternally grateful for all the connections I have made. England is still very slow in the uptake and knowledge of fibro and invisible illness.
We need to talk more about how we feel and not sit in the fibro closet drinking tea.