Allocating the spoons.

I did it!  I finally managed to get myself down to the local aquatic centre and into the hydrotherapy pool to do some long overdue aqua-jogging.  I’m feeling so proud of myself!

It used to be (about 6 months ago) that I was managing to get down there THREE times every week.  Sometimes I could only manage 15 – 20 minutes in the pool, but at least it was something.  That, unfortunately, lasted about four weeks before my body goes “ahhhhh no, I don’t think so Kim”.  Basically I had become so fatigued I was struggling to get out of bed, and my rheumatologist said I had to stop and rest and only start again when I felt able to.  I was also under strict instructions to restrict myself to 1 – 2 visits each week for no longer than 30 minutes.

Today was my first day back to the pool.  I woke up this morning after a rough couple of days, felt ok, and decided to bite the bullet and get down there.

It got me thinking though, about how many spoons chronically ill people get allocated, as opposed to those who are well who have unlimited spoons.  (If you’re a little lost here please read “spoon theory“).

While I was in the pool, I couldn’t help but notice a mother, with several of her relatives and a baby in one of those floaty things, basically taking up the middle of the hydrotherapy pool.  Now, please don’t think I’m a bitter and twisted mean person.  I do love babies, and this one was really cute….and babies and mums are allowed in the pool…..however…..not smack bang in the middle where aqua joggers have to go around them (it’s a little inconsiderate).  It got me thinking as I flailed my way around her every time I did a length, about how many extra spoons I was using to do that.  As a result I had to stop early because I felt a lot more tired.  It’s not something fit and well people understand…1.  That they have unlimited spoons and 2. Others do not.

When I got home and had to have my shower, I almost dropped my socks. I managed to catch them though, and as I did so I automatically found myself thinking…”phew, thank goodness I got those, it would have taken so much more energy to have to pick them up off the floor” and “thank goodness I brushed and flossed before going to the pool, I wont have to do that as well as have a shower and get dressed”.  And as for removing wet and clinging togs….that will be three spoons thank you very much.  Once showered and dressed and out to the lounge, my thought was “how much energy will it take to make a juice?”.  In the end I made a cup of tea, but in truth I really wanted a juice, however simply didn’t have the spoons to peel the fruit and blend them up. Cup of tea = 1 spoon, juice = 3.

It’s occuring to me today how often I am measuring my spoons daily…asking myself whether I have enough to do something, or will it have to either wait until later or another day, or do I just just flag it all together. Those thoughts are quickly followed by “OK, so if I do this, then will I need to nap before doing it? Or after?

Additionally I’m finding that I’m choosing not to do many things despite desperately wanting to.  There was a pottery exhibition on at the museum last week, but alas, I just didn’t have the energy to go.  And I’d love to get along to more of Max’s gigs, obviously I love to see and hear him play.  However my spoons allocation will rarely let me.

I feel sad when I think about how spoon allocation has become so automatic for me now….I’m constantly calculating my every move, and all decisions I make that don’t involve the recliner.  It used to be that my mind was taken up with creative, deep and meaningful thoughts.  These days I have to treasure the times I can indulge in my old ways of thinking, it generally happens on the recliner….for about 5 minutes before I fall asleep!  Still….at least my math skills are improving, 5 spoons minus 3 equals……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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