How do you plan your day and conserve energy? Are you a Spoonie?

Posted by Becky, Volunteer Mentor @becsbuddy, Feb 2 7:34pm

Are you like me, and run out of energy after doing only a few things? You shower and are then worn out and have to rest? Or maybe you walk the dog and it’s just too much! And you find yourself turning down invitation to lunch (pre-COVID-19) because of no energy. I do. I hate having to say no to friends, going home early, or taking shorter walks. I feel like I lost so much and myself!
Then I heard about The Spoon Theory, developed by Christine Miserandino. It’s a way of describing, planning, and conserving energy units that you use during the day. On her web page, Christine how she explained her illness (lupus, an autoimmune disease) and energy levels to a friend. You are able to explain to others the details of your life as someone with an invisible disease or chronic illness.
For example, I start my day with a list of things I need to do (shower, make the bed, do some laundry) and then I add my list of things I want to do
(go for a nice walk, sew, bake something). When I put the lists together, I realize that I won’t have enough spoons (units of energy) to get through the day. So, I’ve learned , using The Spoon Theory, to divide up the have to’s and the want to’s and add in some rest periods. I probably won’t get everything done—there’s always tomorrow—but I also won’t get exhausted, achey, and cranky half way through the day! The Spoon Theory has made so much sense to me!
Have you thought up a way to use and conserve your energy throughout the day? 

https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/https://www.brainsupportnetwork.org/explaining-fatigue-the-spoon-theory/

@ess77

@becsbuddy, @johnbishop, @Erinmfs, @gingerw, @artist01,@marye2, @hopeful33250 Well, my goodness, folks! This is wonderful…..what a wonderfully simple, reasonable system for handling all this junk we deal with every day and night. This woman has obviously experienced these issues and is a survivor. I love it!

Every time I think of counting my spoons, I 'hear' the Sound of Music, 'Just a spoon-full of sugar…'…that may be the impetus for the theory, but whatever, it's in my head! Not so bad….I like the song and love the concept, so…..spoon counting it is.

Interesting, I often find hooking my bra is a spoon, getting dressed is one or sometimes two spoons, but by the time I walk out the front door to go to the doc, I've used most of my spoons for the day and barely make it to the car to sit down! So, can we add more spoons????? Nope, I know. Negotiating again – But, I, too take a bottle or two of water, diet coke, Kind protein bar or two with me every time out. Good thing.

Side bar: finally got my new bed delivered yesterday! I've rescheduled 4-5 times as yucky stuff arose, but did it, Got it! Getting ready took 27 spoons…. my housekeeper came by for emergency help Monday to help get the bedroom ready. I still was up until 2 doing laundry….it's gotten harder to handle the in and out, lifting wet sheets and towels, folding and getting them upstairs and put up. So, I enjoyed meditative, good piano music while folding sheets. I used my cognitive thinking, relaxed and took my time, used things learned this last 2 years w/Mayo.

Rested in between folding each sheet. Drank iced tea and then a cup of mint green tea as I got things done. Took my time and made it pleasurable! But, I used up several tablespoons. My back was screaming at me, so I sat in the comfy recliner for 10-15 minutes, ate a Kind protein bar, breathed well and got upstairs with the folded linens. That was remarkable. Took an extra extra – strength tylenol and a half extra dropper of 1:1 MMJ, melatonin and to bed, old bed,

Quite a couple days, I'd say. Interesting, because I was able to accomplish tasks at hand, got it done, but with the rests, energy breaks, liquids, meditation, positive thoughts only…..putting into action what we've all been working on for so long. It worked well. Slept like a dream on my new bed last night! This was a huge deal for me. Got a good one, online!!!!!, Macy's clearance/close-out year-end sale. NEVER saw it, custom firm w/pillow top. I added a topper cover w/extra padding. It's great! Whew!

My back, feet, legs and hands were screaming. But, I used our pain tools, plus some Voltaren cream before bed and lidocaine patch to go to doc yesterday. These insights, tools work. I'm adding the spoons, and already doing better!
Blessings to all you warriors, life-livers and forward thinkers. Use our spoons thoughtfully! elizabeth

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@ess77 Hi Elizabeth
So glad that you used your spoons wisely! Keep it up. It's a life-long habit for me.

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@becsbuddy

Hello Spoonies! Well, I used up all my spoons too early today, and the day wasn’t even half over! I walked the dog and we did Meals on Wheels. Then I decided that I could go to the grocery all by myself. I even planned to let the employees bag the groceries for me (by leaving my own bags at home). Well, the store was short staffed and I had to bag my own groceries! I almost called my husband to come and rescue me. I didn’t but when I got home, he told me to take a nap while he put away the groceries and made dinner. Think I learned my lesson!
Have you ever had a day where you used up your spoons?

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@becsbuddy On the way to my procedure yesterday, I had to drink 40 oz of water. A short procedure, but I had had nothing to eat for over 12 hrs. Stopped at a fast food place to get quick something into my system, sat in car with my coffee from home, rested. On to first store, got most everything I needed, went back to car, rested and drove home. Spoons available to me had all been used up.

Today we are supposed to go on to BLM land and harvest firewood, but I have elected to stay home. Neighbors are going too, so I know my husband will not be alone. If they weren't also going, I would have to go.
Ginger

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I love the Spoon theory!
I have significant mental fatigue- made worse by any stressful event.
It started with me burning out at work just before early retirement. After a couple of years I developed a difficult to diagnose autoimmune illness that caused pain or discomfort 24/7 for 10 years or so. After a final, difficult treatment I had run on empty- no more stress hormone reserves.
I manage when I have to be sharp- like when my daughter was just hospitalized. When it’s over I’m drained. Spoons are all gone- in the dishwasher! I’m now trying to stock my spoon drawer again.
We are moving within a month- I will run out of spoons again.

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@astaingegerdm

I love the Spoon theory!
I have significant mental fatigue- made worse by any stressful event.
It started with me burning out at work just before early retirement. After a couple of years I developed a difficult to diagnose autoimmune illness that caused pain or discomfort 24/7 for 10 years or so. After a final, difficult treatment I had run on empty- no more stress hormone reserves.
I manage when I have to be sharp- like when my daughter was just hospitalized. When it’s over I’m drained. Spoons are all gone- in the dishwasher! I’m now trying to stock my spoon drawer again.
We are moving within a month- I will run out of spoons again.

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@astaingegerdm, @becsbuddy, @gingwew, hopeful32250 Hello, all. Good to learn about how you use your spoons and handle this concept. I explained the spoons to my son a couple days ago and how it's helped me with acceptance of limitations, to stop fighting 24/7 against my body… he noticed improvements in attitude, how I deal with pain and limitations. Good conversation with him, so I'm very hopeful he will let it sink in and activate the spoon theory in his life.

Becky, it sounds like you had quite a challenging day with that procedure. I've had many of those, as well, but only occasionally have enough spoons to use for shopping on the way home. I've tried it, but other than a drive through I pretty much head on home. Then, rest and catch up on quiet, low energy things.

Yesterday, I had a procedure, bonding injections in the ureter to combat leakage. I didn't sleep well, as often happens before an unknown, and had to be at Mayo by 9:15, that means leaving home by 8:15ish .Mornings are difficult, but this is early up and out for me. Did it, but had a tough time, pretty tired. I didn't do well after the procedure, had to stay for observation for several hours and came close to an ED visit. I got home after 2pm, straight to bed, but had to be up and down a lot, etc.. Today, some better, but I'm taking antibiotic for my stupid infected toe!!!! so now my tummy's in trouble! Talked w/nurses this morning, stopped taking med, drinking lots of water and staying in bed all day.

Spoons aren't available. Bed is required. Cancelled designer appt for kitchen redo, housekeeper picking up meds…..so, tomorrow I have my spoons refilled and will be out of bed, enjoying my birds and flowers. One of our several steps backward days. Decided I won't have another of these procedures. Ever. I'll deal with the issues…..

Hey! I'm comfy in my NEW bed, NEW mattress…..Ain't that grand! No dips or lumps or sliding off the side! It's a good thing…..Blessings all. elizabeth

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Well, I think I used up all my spoons before I even got started! Getting ready for my son and family wore me out before they even got here! Two under-seven kids, a blind dog, an explosion of toys, snow, dinner to make because other son and wife were coming, too, and on and on. Needed 100 spoons! But, I survived and had a great time!

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@becsbuddy

Well, I think I used up all my spoons before I even got started! Getting ready for my son and family wore me out before they even got here! Two under-seven kids, a blind dog, an explosion of toys, snow, dinner to make because other son and wife were coming, too, and on and on. Needed 100 spoons! But, I survived and had a great time!

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@becsbuddy Wow, lady. What a lot of energy….where'd you find it? I'm so happy for you with the flurry of family and stuff….that sounds like a good life, Becky. Blessings to you and family! 2 under 7 would be enough….blind dog? Wonderful….

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I love this! A joyful way to look at this awful fatigue. This fatigue can be depressing since it robs you of all you used to be able to do. I enjoyed being busy. Yet I want to be thankful and handle the energy I do have! Thank you for sharing this!

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@becsbuddy What a great way to describe how to get the best out of your situation. This patterns the Mayo Pain Rehabilitation program and actually is common sense when you think about it. Scheduling is key, as is moderation, and modification. I found that once it was spelled out, it helped me form a new way of looking at how to work with my situation easier.

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@dancing1

I love this! A joyful way to look at this awful fatigue. This fatigue can be depressing since it robs you of all you used to be able to do. I enjoyed being busy. Yet I want to be thankful and handle the energy I do have! Thank you for sharing this!

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@dancing1 i, too, used to enjoy being busy! I always said ‘I cant sit down’ and now it can be exhausting to stand up! What are some tips you have on handling energy?

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@becsbuddy

Hello Spoonies! Well, I used up all my spoons too early today, and the day wasn’t even half over! I walked the dog and we did Meals on Wheels. Then I decided that I could go to the grocery all by myself. I even planned to let the employees bag the groceries for me (by leaving my own bags at home). Well, the store was short staffed and I had to bag my own groceries! I almost called my husband to come and rescue me. I didn’t but when I got home, he told me to take a nap while he put away the groceries and made dinner. Think I learned my lesson!
Have you ever had a day where you used up your spoons?

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Adorable story…. Hubby-to-the rescue!!! Thank God for these helpers we have, right?!! My hub gets me through the day, and also has the patience of a Saint.

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@ess77

@astaingegerdm, @becsbuddy, @gingwew, hopeful32250 Hello, all. Good to learn about how you use your spoons and handle this concept. I explained the spoons to my son a couple days ago and how it's helped me with acceptance of limitations, to stop fighting 24/7 against my body… he noticed improvements in attitude, how I deal with pain and limitations. Good conversation with him, so I'm very hopeful he will let it sink in and activate the spoon theory in his life.

Becky, it sounds like you had quite a challenging day with that procedure. I've had many of those, as well, but only occasionally have enough spoons to use for shopping on the way home. I've tried it, but other than a drive through I pretty much head on home. Then, rest and catch up on quiet, low energy things.

Yesterday, I had a procedure, bonding injections in the ureter to combat leakage. I didn't sleep well, as often happens before an unknown, and had to be at Mayo by 9:15, that means leaving home by 8:15ish .Mornings are difficult, but this is early up and out for me. Did it, but had a tough time, pretty tired. I didn't do well after the procedure, had to stay for observation for several hours and came close to an ED visit. I got home after 2pm, straight to bed, but had to be up and down a lot, etc.. Today, some better, but I'm taking antibiotic for my stupid infected toe!!!! so now my tummy's in trouble! Talked w/nurses this morning, stopped taking med, drinking lots of water and staying in bed all day.

Spoons aren't available. Bed is required. Cancelled designer appt for kitchen redo, housekeeper picking up meds…..so, tomorrow I have my spoons refilled and will be out of bed, enjoying my birds and flowers. One of our several steps backward days. Decided I won't have another of these procedures. Ever. I'll deal with the issues…..

Hey! I'm comfy in my NEW bed, NEW mattress…..Ain't that grand! No dips or lumps or sliding off the side! It's a good thing…..Blessings all. elizabeth

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All of this talk about spoons….it slays me! I have no idea what they are, but I do think that I would like a big drawer full of them!

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@pianopain12

All of this talk about spoons….it slays me! I have no idea what they are, but I do think that I would like a big drawer full of them!

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@pianopain12 , @becsbuddy , @rwinney , @dancing1, @gingerw, and all…
I need your great spoon concept! Good reminder, Becky. Did way too much yesterday at Mayo for pre-op, walked 3 bldgs to a Cafe for food to take home. Suchi for Rob, yogurt &fruit and choc pudding for me. Walked back to get car, home to bed! That was pushing it as I've not gotten exercise for months, infections, but my mind has been planning….today, resting with kitty, in wonderfully soft new captain I just bought online last week. This is refiling my spoons…so my special Angels and I can get through the surgery no problem next Thurs. Love my caftan. Getting a couple more and a sleepshirt and a Wacoal bra! Gifts for me!

Spoons help me so much to think clearly, focus and take each moment as a gift to use thoughtfully. Wisely.
Thanks, Becky. Wisdom friend. Blessings..Elizabeth

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