[EDIT: I’m bumping up an old post from the VOX archives– maybe someone new will get something good out of it. The post was originally published December 29, 2007 @ 11:52h. Some of my perceptions of my condition have changed– actively working on PTSD now– but I think it still applies.]
Please read the link for the full story, but here’s a summary:
Imagine that living and experiencing life consists of using spoons– a spoon for every little thing, every little action.
Now… a healthy person has a near unlimited amount of spoons. But let’s say you’re sick, and not in an obvious way. It might be … fibromyalgia, Lupus (as the author has), a mental illness, cancer in remission, whatever.
Suddenly– your spoons are limited to a much smaller amount. Let’s say, as the author did, it’s 12.
I’ll put it from my perspective.
Waking up in the morning – if I don’t remember to take meds the night before or the ones I have to take right then, I lose all or most of my spoons. Since I fell into the “prescription gap”, I don’t have all the meds I’ve recently been prescribed, so carve that number down to about 8-10.
Speaking of sleep – if I don’t use my C-PAP machine, or if the mask had an air leak, I’m subtracting about 2-5 spoons.
I might be down to 5 spoons, and I haven’t even started the day!
A family crisis. Subtract a spoon.
A bacterial or viral illness. Subtract a spoon.
My back injury– subtract 1-2 spoons EACH day, EVERY day, depending on how much sitting I’ve done or how much physical exertion I’ve done… if yesterday, I probably didn’t sleep it off well, much less sleep period– if during the day, I might be able to reuse a spoon– IF I stop and rest.
How the hell do I explain emotional eating and resulting obesity? Hah- meds help me keep my spoons, but then they have also made it difficult to lose weight.
Speaking of meds, if there are any changes– either subtract 2 spoons, or add two and subtract 4 later on a different day– from 5 days to one full week later. A lot of us are guinea pigs, people. Even with diagnostics and statistics (that’s what the DSM manual is), everyone’s chemistry is different. Most of the time, docs just try a drug and see how you react to it. Hit and miss, trial and error, black art. Once one of my docs tried a drug and my side effects were SO BAD my family thought I was going to die, if I wasn’t doing so right then. (I’d forget to breathe, for one, and had the shakes something terrible.)
Hopefully… this makes sense.