So what is up with the spoon?

Some of you may be wondering why a spoon has become associated with chronic illnesses including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. And why people might be calling you a spoonie?


Is it because of our unified love of ice cream?
Do we know some super secret military code to the super moon base?
Did we all accidentally dress up as a spoon at some utensil themed halloween party?
Are we all members of the Reese Witherspoon fan club?
Perhaps we all graduated from Spoon University? ( Go Fighting Sporks!)

Sadly No. It is much more interesting than that.

It was developed as a way to explain our invisible illiness to our family and friends. This is the way that I view it. Each day you are given a certain amount of spoons to pull from the jar of sugar. The sugar being your energy and functionality. A healthy person has an unlimited amount of spoons. A person who suffers from a chronic illness is given a finite number of spoons. Every time we take a spoon and reach into the jar we are using energy. We can steal a spoon from the next day’s supply but we will be paying for it. The cost is pain, exhaustion, fatigue or fog. The spoons can be used for simple things like taking a shower, driving to work, making dinner or going to the store. Everyday is a calculation of how to use our spoons.

Lets imagine that we have made it through the work day. We have used our spoons to get ready for work, arrive at work, perform multiple tasks, walk several flights of stairs, lead a department meeting and get yourself back home. You arrive home with 2 spoons left but you still have to make dinner, do dishes, throw in a load of laundry and oh look at that, the dog just vomited on the couch. For the spoonie, it is now decision time. What do we postpone until the next day? Perhaps we turn the underwear inside out, throw a towel over the vomit and make a healthy dinner. Sounds like a night for a cup of soup and a clean couch. Hope it’s not windy tomorrow because I’m going commando. 😉

It is a constant balancing act and we have become expert energy mathematicians.

So next time someone refers to you has a spoonie feel free to shout back “ Go Fighting Sporks”.

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