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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » The Spoon Theory


12-31-2013, 11:43 PM   #1
Kero
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The Spoon Theory

Been getting asked often lately, why I haven't been going out and visiting when I am usually a social butterfly. I try to explain to people that lately I am lucky to even get up out of bed, get dressed and if it's a good day, go to work or do some house cleaning. They just don't understand I came across this on another forum and would like to share. Even though the lady who wrote/performs this suffers from Lupus, most of it can be applied to how we feel each day. I have been using this as a good example as to why I can't do what I used to do, and won't be able to until we know what is going on, and I can get treatment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5IBsm49Rk

Enjoy and share
01-02-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
SarahBear
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I use the spoon theory all the time. I think it's a great idea, and I enjoy the cute little spoon symbol. I even have a spoon necklace for days when I really need an extra.
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01-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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I use the spoon theory often but I'm not sure people still get it but I'll check your link later because a video may be more helpful in explaining.
01-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #4
Kero
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The video is the lady who wrote the spoon theory actually narrating it I find it helps when someone doesn't want to read. I love that you have a little spoon Sarah!
01-02-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, but this is the first time I have been in a flare in our relationship. Paired with other health problems, I have very little energy and strength to carry on day to day activities. I felt that he was getting frustrated that chores were not getting done or that they were taking a long time to get done. I used the spoon theory to explain to him why even the littlest things are so challenging. I think it really helped him understand.
Saturday nights we usually go over to a friends house for game night, but this Sunday we are taking down the tree and decorations. I told him that we have to stay home on Saturday (or at least I do) so that I would have the energy to be productive on Sunday, and no questions asked, he understood.
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01-02-2014, 04:02 PM   #6
nogutsnoglory
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I'm going to search for a video that actually demonstrates this because I think people respond better visually than just seeing her talk.

Also, she looks healthy in the video and while we know that doesn't mean she feels healthy, the people we are trying to convey the message to may have a harder time getting it.
01-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
jwfoise
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I can't watch YouTube at work, but you guys got me interested in what the heck you were talking about, so I googled "spoon theory". I found this BBC article with an explanation, for those who want a non-video explanation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-22972767

Christine Miserandino came up with the idea in 2003. She has lupus and, when describing her predicament to a close friend in a cafe, grabbed some nearby spoons as props.

They counted out 12 spoons and Miserandino explained that daily tasks such as eating breakfast cost her at least one of those spoons, and showering used up two.
01-02-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
SarahBear
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Here is the original story: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wp...-spoon-theory/
01-02-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
Essieluv
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I love the Spoon Theory. I've used it to help my friends and family attempt to understand what I go through everyday. It does help, but it is still hard for people to understand what living with IBD is like, unless they actually do live through it.
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01-02-2014, 11:56 PM   #10
afidz
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Yes, the spoon theory is good for explaining the lack of energy...but I think we need to come up with a theory for pain and excessive bathroom needs.
01-03-2014, 12:57 AM   #11
nogutsnoglory
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Afidz I usually just say to the person ever had the flu or a nasty stomach bug? Try living with that on a daily basis and that's what crohns is like and more.
01-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #12
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I never understood this (I've read it before, a while ago); why spoons? What do spoons have to do with anything?

It doesn't really get across anything about being chronically ill, as far as I can see. It's supposed to just explain what it's like to be chronically tired rather than all the other possible symptoms that come with being ill, right? But I don't even think it explains tiredness that well. It gets across what it's like to have to plan carefully, to lack the ability to be spontaneous and having to sacrifice certain activities because you only have the energy to do so much... but it doesn't get across the fear that comes with exhaustion. When you know you have to go out somewhere and you are so tired you're scared of going out. Or am I the only one who finds going out places when feeling that kind of exhaustion makes them so apprehensive? When I'm exhausted, I can't think straight and I want lie down so badly it makes me want to cry - and that's with limiting my activities and scaling down to the bare minimum that can constitute anything approaching a life.
01-03-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
afidz
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She used sppons because that was what was around her. And remember she has Lupus, not Crohn's. SO maybe the biggest part of her day is lack of energy. Yes, there are some faults in it, but in general, it does help to explain the difference between a normal healthy person to a person with a chronic condition. For someone that doesn't know how to explain what is going on with them, the spoon theory is a great place to start
01-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #14
Essieluv
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Or am I the only one who finds going out places when feeling that kind of exhaustion makes them so apprehensive? When I'm exhausted, I can't think straight and I want lie down so badly it makes me want to cry - and that's with limiting my activities and scaling down to the bare minimum that can constitute anything approaching a life.
You are not the only one, that's for sure. I feel you on this.
01-03-2014, 08:46 PM   #15
SarahBear
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I never understood this (I've read it before, a while ago); why spoons? What do spoons have to do with anything?

It doesn't really get across anything about being chronically ill, as far as I can see. It's supposed to just explain what it's like to be chronically tired rather than all the other possible symptoms that come with being ill, right? But I don't even think it explains tiredness that well. It gets across what it's like to have to plan carefully, to lack the ability to be spontaneous and having to sacrifice certain activities because you only have the energy to do so much... but it doesn't get across the fear that comes with exhaustion. When you know you have to go out somewhere and you are so tired you're scared of going out. Or am I the only one who finds going out places when feeling that kind of exhaustion makes them so apprehensive? When I'm exhausted, I can't think straight and I want lie down so badly it makes me want to cry - and that's with limiting my activities and scaling down to the bare minimum that can constitute anything approaching a life.
Like afidz said, she used spoons simply because that's what she had available at the moment. What the item is has nothing to do with it. You could demonstrate the spoon theory using toothpicks or bottled waters or kittens.

Of course it isn't going to explain everything. There's no way anyone who hasn't experienced something like this can understand all of the ways it impacts our lives, or the degree to which it does. The spoon theory gives them an idea of what we go through. I don't think it's entirely fatigue-based either. I know if I wear myself out, I'm exhausted and my pain levels double or even triple and that's why I can't do anything. Of course, her situation isn't going to be the same as yours or mine. You could easily use the spoon theory while explaining the differences you outlined above. I think the biggest thing is that she didn't explain why she's unable to do anything after using all of her spoons.
01-05-2014, 07:35 AM   #16
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She used sppons because that was what was around her. And remember she has Lupus, not Crohn's. SO maybe the biggest part of her day is lack of energy. Yes, there are some faults in it, but in general, it does help to explain the difference between a normal healthy person to a person with a chronic condition. For someone that doesn't know how to explain what is going on with them, the spoon theory is a great place to start
Yes, I got that the spoons just because they're to hand - but that's what I mean. I think the theory would be more effective with a more fitting metaphor - batteries to represent energy, for example.

And maybe the theory should have included a way to make up some energy lost. I couldn't face doing anything this morning. Then I fell asleep and woke up feeling liked I'd regained a couple of spoons.
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