Firstly I’d like to start by saying I’m sorry for my slackness in writing this blog, it has not been intentional and I have missed writing it. Time has been the main issue along with so much going on in the last 5 months.
Here is a brief run down of my activities, bought land and started the building process (headache pills needed for that one, especially when it came to dealing with the bank), planned a 70th, organised Christmas celebrations at our house in less than a week, and then packed the house up and moved out and back into my Mum’s house in 3 weeks; and we’ve spent the last month cleaning the house we were renting.
Through this process I have learned so much about my body and joints, things I didn’t realise I could do and push my body to do. But in saying that all of the pushing I did has now come back to bite me and bite me hard. I’ve ground my ankle into dust it feels and my lower back and knees are really feeling unloved. I can however push my body even when I think I can’t go any further as long as I pace it. With a chronic illness such as osteoarthritis you can’t go hard into anything with the all or nothing mentality. Slow and steady wins the race is how I have to approach my life nowadays, which is very frustrating as my mind is still very much all or nothing.
While pacing myself and listening to my body as it screamed in varying loudness, an article I had read a little while ago resonated with me so much more. It’s based on the Spoon Theory which has become quite common discussion among chronic illness sufferers. The gist of it is, when you are chronically ill you have a certain amount of spoons each day that are available to you, and every activity will use up one or more spoons, sometimes unexpectedly. Resting can give you back a spoon.
So for example I have 16 spoons for the entire day, to get up and out of bed and then zombie-walk my way to the toilet would be 1 spoon on an ok day, maybe 2 on a really bad day. Showering and getting ready would be 2 spoons but I get half back from being under the warm water which relieves my joints. Then there’s work, depending on how many customers come in and what tasks I need to get done and my step count for the day vs my desk sitting I use up most of my spoons, let’s say it’s more sitting today so 8 spoons. So I have 5.5 spoons left to get home, deal with my mini zoo and feed them, cook dinner for the man and me, put a load of washing on and clean up around the house. 5.5 spoons ain’t gonna cut it! This is where I need to utilise my energy reserves wisely and where my man picks up the slack and usually becomes my legs for me. While I start a task he may finish it, I may gather up the clothes to wash, he’ll carry the load to the machine as putting that extra weight on my joints is a pain; and then I will put the machine on with the settings needed. Cooking dinner is very similar, I may do the cooking and some of the prep work but hubby will do the getting of things and washing up. If I have to push through and do all of the things then I run into a deficit and start with less spoons the next day. My evenings are spent mostly on the couch resting trying to get some spoons back for tomorrow and when my body has had it enough it tells me. It will shut down and I’ll be asleep in minutes, even if I’m trying to watch my fave TV show. I’ll be out for the next 2-3 hours until hubby wakes me to go to bed.
Nowadays I try and monitor my energy usage carefully and a lot of the time it means I cancel on things I would like to do but know I don’t have the energy for or can’t deal with the level of pain it will bring. Shopping is one of them, I would love to browse the shops and have the girly days out I used to enjoy. Now most of my shopping is done online where it only hurts my bank balance. I really should invest in a mini scooter (happy to advertise it if anyone wants to give me a freebie!) or something but they are so damn expensive and not as young-looking as I’d like.
Anyway I might wrap it up here. Promise that it won’t be so long between drinks and blogs from now on. Heaps more to come with products I’ve tried and want to review along with crazy stories of my everyday. Please feel free to read the original spoon theory article. https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
Until the next installment, take care of each other.
Have a good one!