If you are a person with an invisible chronic illness or disability, at some point in your internet travels you will probably have come across the site But You Don’t Look Sick that was started by Christine Miserandino. This is from their About Page:
The mission of ButYouDontLookSick.com is to help everyone with a chronic illness or invisible disability, in order for them to live their lives to the fullest and not feel isolated and alone. We believe that our medical circumstances have put us in a unique and understanding position, so that we can help each other through similar difficult times. We hope the information and community on our site can aid people in leading better lives through knowledge, networking, friendship and most of all support.
Christine, who has lupus, created The Spoon Theory one night in the hopes that her friend would better understand what it was like living with lupus. Check out the link for the full story but here’s a shortened version.
Christine and her best friend were in a diner one night and her friend, who had seen Christine live with lupus through the years, wanted to get a better understanding of what Christine actually went through with her disease. Christine grabbed a bunch of spoons and gave her friend a bouquet of spoons. She explained that the spoons represent different chores that have to be done during the day and to choose wisely. Once the spoons are gone, so is the ability to do much else during the day.
Christine took her friend went through a typical day, with spoons being taken away as the day progressed. Her friend began to understand the choices that Christine has to make each day and the consequences of making too many or the wrong choices and the effect it will have for the next day or two.
So, in my travels around the internet a couple of days ago, I came across this post at The Journey Leads Home. Pam had the idea of getting a vase and some old spoons from Goodwill. Each day she would adjust the number of spoons in her vase so that her family could visually see how she was doing. Her husband, who thought it was a brilliant idea, came home with this.
Mission accomplished! Her family now has a visual understanding of how mom is feeling each day.
We can try and explain to everyone what is happening with our bodies and how different things affect us. But, sometimes words only go so far. I think this is why so many people love The Spoon Theory. We humans are very visual and tactile creatures. We can look at the spoons. We can touch them. We can hold them in our hands and feel the weight get lighter and lighter as the day goes on. And we understand a little better.
I hope this helps inspire you to create your own spoon bouquet idea.