Fibromyalgia Awareness #1

May 12th is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so I thought I would bring awareness on my blog all week. 

Fibromyalgia Awareness #1:  What Is Spoon Theory?

You have probably seen me use the term “Spoonie” in my posts and some of you may be wondering what that is all about. So let me explain.

A woman, Christine Miserandino, with Lupus was having lunch with her best friend who asked what it was like to be sick all the time. She picked up a handful of spoons to use as a metaphor and The Spoon Theory was born. People with different types of chronic illness sometimes refer to themselves as “spoonies”.

The basic idea is that you have a limited number of spoons each day. Every activity you do during the day, uses spoons. Some spoons are physical, some mental and some emotional.

Image Credit:

For example:  If I have 15 spoons to start with, I use 1 to walk the dog, 3 to homeschool, 2 to take a shower, 1 to make lunch, 4 to go grocery shopping, 3 to make dinner and clean up…I end up with 1 spoon left for the day. If I rest in the afternoon, I probably have about 3 before bed. Everybody has their particular number of spoons. I think 15 is about right for me on a good day. If I am flaring, I have between 8 and 10 spoons.

We can use The Spoon Theory to help us pace our energy throughout the day. Walking the dog technically takes 2 spoons, but because it relaxes me and makes me feel good, I count it as 1 spoon. Some days, homeschooling takes 5 or 6 spoons, so I will try to take it easy for the remainder of the day. Laundry takes a lot physically, up and down three flights of stairs, so I do it on days when I don’t have much else. If I have a doctors appointment, it can take 6 spoons, but if I come home and relax, I can get a few of those back.

There are certain activities that take more spoons for me than they would for others. Grocery shopping takes at least 4 for me because of the parking, the lights in the store, the smells, the checkout lady, loading and unloading the car. Driving in unfamiliar places or for more than an hour, takes a lot. Being at the park with a bunch of screaming kids or around loud noises, takes a lot. Things that are overstimulating for me from a sensory standpoint, take up a lot of my spoons.

Any sort of confrontation or stress takes spoons, the car that almost hits you, the rude lady who gets in your personal space, the task you procrastinate on, the event you are dreading, the contractor who mucks up a job. Stress is the worst spoon stealer because it not only takes spoons, but it also causes pain.

So there it is, a tool to show how we manage with our energy limitations and a tool to help us pace throughout the day. In all honestly, I keep things in mind, but I have not used it seriously for pacing and after writing this post, I am thinking I should.

Happy Monday!



10 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia Awareness #1

  1. Reblogged this on tracyslifewithfibromyalgia and commented:
    I’ve tried to explain to others the spoon theory but it isn’t something everyone grasps about fibromyalgia patients….. speak, be heard make the world aware of Fibromyalgia and wear Purple Thursday May 12. Some days I wake up with 4-6 spoons to start my day but I’ve been seeing better days these last two weeks…. hoping it continues

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there, just to let you know I shared your spoon theory idea with one of my students, she has one of the chronic pain syndromes & can be in a wheel chair or walking around. Last week she lost the use of her arms temporarily, it being exam week, oh & going rock climbing! Because she can walk now. She rested & is ok now. We had a laugh about it today she told me ” miss I used up about 3 weeks worth of spoons in one go, I’m gradually getting my spoons back. I love the idea & my friends love it too, it’s such a good way of thinking about what you do & how to plan what I do. Can you say thank you to the lady for sharing it. ” Your post made 15 yr old girl feel she was not alone & the link to the spoon theory web site was a great talking point when she walked into my lab & told me “miss my arms don’t work. ” thanks again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s