On Disability but Still Battling Spoons
After trying to continue working for years with multiple chronic health issues, I was finally able to get disability. I imagined being on disability would enable me to get more rest and this would allow me to at least be able to take care of the household better. Much to my disappointment, I found that my pain has not waivered with the extra rest and my spoons are still very low despite having more rest.
Spoon theory for all
If you don't know the Spoon Theory, you should read it. It was written by Christine Miserandino on butyoudontlooksick.com, she talks about explaining dealing with chronic illness, using “spoons” as an analogy for the extra energy required to live with her chronic health condition. The moral of the story is a powerful one: we can only do so much within our own individual limitations. It can be applied to everyone's life, not just those with chronic health conditions.
My health challenges
In addition to the chronic daily migraines, I have fibromyalgia, asthma, and an autoimmune issue. Even though I am not going to work every day, I still get exposed to germs when I have to try to go to the grocery store or to my doctor appointments. This is definitely a huge challenge for me because my weakened immune system puts me at a drastically larger risk of picking up an infection that would not phase most individuals. Any type of a germ in my body is automatically a major drain on my body and an extra drain on my spoons.
Spoon reminder when chores build up
My husband still has to remind me about my limited spoons because I will get so upset when I do not get everything done that I had wanted to get done for the day or for the week. On the days that I wake up feeling completely miserable and like I have been in a car accident and my head is going to explode, my husband reminds me that I do not have to clock in anymore. Even though I know these things, there is still a since of responsibility inside of me that drives me to feel pressured to have all the laundry and dishes done and I get upset with myself with I am too drained and out of spoons.
The lesson I have learned here is it does not matter what our day holds for us, if we are supposed to work or if we are home on disability, our spoons are still only our spoons. We can not push ourselves beyond the spoons we have available for the day because then we can be miserable for days, which will only make us get further behind than we wanted to be before we pushed ourselves. I am lucky that I have a husband who will remind me to pay attention to my spoons because through my advocacy work with other individuals with migraine, I have seen that a lot of husbands have no sympathy for migraines much less spoons or lack of spoons to accomplish all of the daily tasks.
Do you struggle with managing your spoons?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?