My kidney transplant came on rather quickly. Between the times I learned I would need one “someday” and “now!” was six days, so it wasn’t until my pre-op appointment that someone made serious eye contact and stated in a sign-here-that-we-said-this-so-we’re-not-liable sort of way, “Just so you know, transplant is a treatment, not a cure.”
Weak, sick, and overwhelmed, I replied with the probing, “Oh…OK.” Because, really, what were my options with my donor standing there and a kidney function of eight percent?
What the doctor was not-so-clearly saying was, “Your health may never be the same because the anti-rejection meds can kick your tail.”
That was five years ago. Sadly, because my body doesn’t play well with these meds, the above has proven to be the case, and I am now counted among the growing number of people who refer to themselves as “Spoonies.”
You can learn the specifics of Spoon Theory Living by following the link, but what it basically means is that your body is being constantly taxed by something (ex. a chronic illness), so you never know just how many “energy units” (spoons) you have for everyday activities. This translates into a life of thinking through just how many “spoons” it takes to do things like shower or laundry, weighing those things against the priorities in your life (let’s say, relationships), and then choosing.
Another way to think of it is like a menu. You only have so much room in your belly. What do you really want to eat? Healthy people have stretch in their bellies so can over eat. Sure, they may feel bloated and a little miserable, but they can do it and even take an antacid to feel a little better.
Spoonies have no flex in their bellies. When we’re full, that’s it; one more bite and we vomit embarrassingly all over the table in front of everyone and can eat no more.
Therefore, we have to choose both what is healthiest for us to eat and what we really want to taste from the day’s menu.
This is why I’ve “gone granola” as my friends so lovingly put it. I want to give my body as many spoons (energy units) as possible for each day. Because I am obligated to put medications in my body that it perceives as harmful, I’m going to do my best to protect it from anything that could make my health worse.
So, bye-bye store bought hummus loaded with sugar and preservatives and chemical-laden shampoo! Hello from-scratch recipes and poo-free living! So long, food allergies and intolerances that put me into a fog and bring on achy muscles and almost instant headaches. Hello clean eating!
In this new thread, each food, beauty and household cleaning recipe I’m going to share must meet the following criteria:
1. It has to be good for you – or, at the very least, not bad for you.
2. It has to be quick and easy to throw together. (i.e. Spoon friendly)
3. It has to be inexpensive since I no longer work outside the home and am wed to a thrifty Scotsman (without the cool accent).
4. It has to work. Duh.
Now you know why I’m simplifying my life, but if you’re not a Spoonie, why should you come along with me?
Because while chemicals in beauty products, household cleaners and the junk in our food are really bad for me, they’re not good for you either.
Because you don’t have to be saddled with a chronic illness to take care of yourself. As a matter of fact, don’t be like me and wait until it comes to that. My health problems have been just as wicked-sucky for my family as they’ve been for me. I’d do anything to be able to spare them what they’ve gone through these past years! Take care of yourself now, not only for you, but for the ones you love.
Oh, and speaking of the ones you love, you should think about living a life that is healthier and less busy because, OK, when my “spoons” run out I’m stuck in bed and can’t hang out with my family, but when yours run out, your relationships suffer just as much. Sure, you may physically be in the room, but are you really with them when you’ve given your best at the office, or on the house, or wherever you volunteer (fill in the blank), and the important people in our life just get whatever fumes you’re running on at the end of the day?
What I’m saying is, if you’ve read any of my Marthaholic posts, then you know I used to be the go-getter, push ‘til you drop American woman who thought she could do it all, and my relationships with God, family and friends really suffered. My marriage and kiddos pretty much got the “burned cookies” of me while the guests in my life got the best batches, because I was trying to have it all. It literally took working myself sick to realize what was important.
This is why I’m inviting you into this thread whether you are a Spoonie or a mom – working outside or inside the home or single or whoever! Because, all of us should prioritize our lives to give the best of ourselves to our priorities, take stock of what is unnecessarily draining, and be kind to our bodies.
When you think of life that way, really, we all should live as Spoonies!