Save your Spoons!

spoons

Spooning with MFH is always the best part of my day. Spooning is all about the cuddling. Think of spoons neatly arranged in a drawer. Their bowls are perfectly aligned, the hollow of each lying flush with the next – ah heaven! Spooning can lead to forking but that’s a whole different use of cutlery! (whoops – inappropriate Mother alert!!!)

Since MS came into my life, I find there’s now a separate use for the word SPOON…

Some lucky so and so’s have boundless energy and stamina ( I remember when that was me!)  but those of us who don’t, due to chronic illness, find it really hard to explain our energy levels to the uninitiated and seem to spend our time explaining that we’re not lazy, we’re just oh-so-darn tired. And that’s where the theory of spoons comes in.

What is “spoon theory”?

It’s a quirky way of explaining how much energy or lack of it, we have on any given day.

You can’t measure energy levels scientifically but this unit of measurement – numbers of spoons you have – seems to hit the nail on the head.

TS Eliot’s quote “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” could have been written for us  – the MS “Spoonies”

The basic theory is that we count our day in spoons – tasks – 12 is the number bandied around but it’s up to you to set your spoon limit. Every activity we do costs us one or more of our daily allowance of aforementioned spoons and we have to use them wisely to get through the day: Here’s my take on it…

Getting up in the morning = 1 spoon

Having a bath = 1 spoon (getting in and out on bad day 3 spoons)

Walking the dog = 2 spoons (unscheduled squirrel chase – spoon meltdown!)

Visiting friends = 4 spoons (just a chat and a coffee uses lots of spoons)

School run = 3 spoons

Work = 5 spoons

Shopping = 5 spoons (on-line shopping 1 spoon and more satisfying  – boom!)

Exercise = 5 spoons (use your spoons wisely)

Climbing the stairs = 1-2 spoons (I have 3 storey house, so I’m all out of spoons by lunchtime!)

Cook = 3 spoons (baking – spoon reserves required)

Watch TV = 2 spoons (anything with George Clooney or Ryan Reynolds, gains you a spoon – swooning is good for the soul!)

Reading – 1 spoon

Making phone calls = 3 spoons

Ironing = weeks worth of spoons, so give this one a wide berth!!!

Attend social event = 5 or more spoons

Extracurricular activities = Way too many spoons, but so worth it!!!

You might hear someone say they’re running low on spoons. Don’t rush to John Lewis to replace them, they just need to rest and recuperate.

And if we spoonies use up more energy than we actually have, and get overly exhausted as a result, it’s known as getting into “spoon deficit”. This is when you have to have a ” crash landing” – an unscheduled rest to get over non-standard events such as a day out or hospital trip.

It’s all about pacing yourself and choosing which tasks are worth “sacrificing a spoon” for. In my humble opinion – ditching the cleaning and spending the afternoon on the sofa with a good book means you’ve replenished your spoon stock and can go to the theatre or out for supper without having to use matchsticks on the eyelids!

Word of warning… if you exceed your daily allowance, be aware that you’ll be dipping into your spoons for the next day, but then that’s fewer spoons for tomorrow.  Plan carefully or you’ll end up a gibbering wreck with not a spoon to call your own and forking is will be a thing of the past!!

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For crying out loud!

 

happy-cry

Big girls don’t cry… Oh yes they bloody do!

Shhh! Don’t tell everyone, but much to my annoyance, I find that these days I cry at the drop of a hat. I was never a big crier, and this change baffles me. Sometimes, the tears flow out of sheer exasperation, as I sit in the bath at 4am in a bid to soothe my aching body & sometimes, it might just be that I want to do something, but simply can’t, cue the waterworks – If tears were currency, Id be a millionaire Rodney!!

I’ve spent years bleating on to my children to buck their ideas up and not to cry over spilt milk, it’s not the end of the world and now thanks to MS… I can’t, I do and it is!

Sometimes, I cry at a mere thought of pain, other times, I cry because everything hits me like a tonne of bricks, I hit my MS wall if you like! Don’t fight the urge to blub – let it out. My Granny always said “better out than in” and it’s so true.  It’s at times like these, neither synthetic or holistic medicines will do, I find a little laughter or a fit of the giggles, is the only potion I need!.

 

pity-party

 

Me: Excuse me waiter, I’d like to cancel my side order of sour self pity for one and change it for a big juicy, lip smacking bowl of tee- hee please!

MS: Meh – we’re out!!!

Let’s face it, us MS warriors don’t laugh enough and before you all yell “silly bitch” – I’m only to aware that we CRY for a damn good reason and pity parties are a regular occurrence. BUT Sometimes, just a simple titter will escape from my quivering lips over something silly I’m watching on TV, but sometimes when I need it most, real laughter refuses to participate. It sits on the sidelines with arms firmly crossed and refuses to join in, rather like a sulking teenager! –  I try and I try but I just can’t turn that bloody frown upside down!

So, the only option is to try and tickle my own funny bone in the things around me. Most of the time, this tactic works. MFH bares the brunt of my warped sense of humour –

Yesterday, I just had to laugh when he tripped over the Westie ball of fluff and dropped his much anticipated, oh so sticky bun on said Westie and said Westie was now covered in copious amounts of glistening raspberry jam – I say laugh, I nearly wet myself and salty tears were flowing down my rapidly flushing cheeks, it was the funniest thing Id seen in ages ( except for the day when I watched my MFH step backwards into a steaming cowpat) … I sounded like a hyena being strangled or a Doberman with a rubber band around the willy, all high pitched a shrill – but god it felt f***ing wonderful – now, now – don’t judge!

I just couldn’t stop and this time, I was crying for a good reason and bless him, MFH didn’t mind, he’s like my emotional punch bag – on any given day, the general flow in the ring  (er, sorry in our house) is..

Wham – left hook…tears

Bam – right hook… giggles

wham bam – sucker punch…  gibbering wreck, laughter, tears, sniggers, more tears –

Ding ding – end of round one – and he’s there, mopping my brow, wiping my tears and showering me with hugs and giving words of encouragement –

Ding ding – round 2 – and repeat!

Just incase I forgot to mention, I think MFH is bloody brilliant – and the award for lifetime achievement (superior ability, special effort, a great or heroic deed) goes to MFH… gold star for that man please!

He’s my PUWMS hero (putting up with my shit) in so many ways. As my official carer, I’ve explained many times that he’s doing things wrong – poor love can’t win, some things, I think we can all agree, don’t come naturally to a man, BUT the one constant in our house is BIG GIRLS DO CRY – but laughter must follow, whenever possible. And we do laugh, mostly in the face of adversity, but we do!

I cry a lot thanks to buggering MS, but laughter definitely helps! So if you’re feeling blue, its ok to have a good weep but try and find your funny, it’s worth the search!

My recipe for this MS life..

1 teaspoon of salty tears

2 teaspoons of tickle my fancy

2 cups of hugs from a hero

2 cups of good old fashioned loving

Mix together and serve daily…

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