When I first heard of the spoon theory, I thought it was such a cool metaphor to explain a person’s energy levels in people with disabilities. However, the spoon theory can also be relevant to people without a chronic condition. I mean…life IS a chronic condition right? Anyway, the spoon theory talks about how each activity we do during the day consumes up “spoons” and you only have a certain number of spoons per day.
Once you run out of spoons, you are depleted in energy and you either need to rest and recharge or borrow spoons from the future, resulting in almost like a spoon debt. For example, if I start the day feeling like I have 10 spoons, and I have to attend a conference, travelling might take two spoons, networking will take three spoons, presenting will take two spoons and at the end of the day I will be left with three spoons.
It probably didn’t help that night where I had reheated lasagna (the best way to eat lasagna!) and salad ready to go, tried to bolus only to realise that I was out of insulin. I was annoyed but came back with a fresh site, new line and full insulin. Of course, I was then met with multiple occlusion alarms. At one point I just sat there, diabetes tech spread out everywhere like a minor surgery prep with all the opened medical packets and needles around. I simply couldn’t do anything anymore.
I just sat there.
That’s when I realised “Man…I have no more spoons left to give…” (you could replace the word spoon with other words that come to mind…) and I felt it. I could feel dread in my body, the fatigue that creeps into your bones and the constant brain fog. The frustration of diabetes and the anger of its inconvenience while my lasagna was getting cold. It’s these moments where I hate diabetes. I hate its intrusiveness into my life, the extra effort and attention it demands from me and the unsightly scars it leaves on my body.
Because of diabetes I will always have fewer spoons that someone with a functioning pancreas. And this is something a lot of people don’t realise about living with diabetes. You never get a break from it and on the odd occasion it breaks you. And I guess that’s normal.
The important thing is that you get back up and keep going. Even if you have to cry angry tears as you do another site change. Or force yourself to take it slow while your to-do list keeps growing. You need to recharge your spoon-o-meter and most importantly you can’t give up. And that’s exactly what I did. Take that diabetes, I win.