Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Spoon Theory

Apropos of our discussion regarding helping people "get it" here is the Spoon Theory alluded to by Wonky Warrior in her recent comment. It's from the blog But You Don't Look Sick. This is the best attempt I've seen at explaining the impact of chronic illness. Please read this.


  1. There was a similar thread on the Arthritis Foundation's Facebook page today. It made me consider how I would explain the bout of remission I've been experiencing (4 whole days! yay!). I think I would compare it to what I think an abusive relationship might be like. You get beat up and feel pain all over sometimes, then the abuser (RA) plays nice for a little while - only to sneak up and attack you again.

    I try to focus on the positive - those nice days - but I have to admit there's always part of me looking over my shoulder waiting for the next blow to come.

  2. I have thought about this for awhile now, and I am going to leave this one last comment before I quit annoying everyone here with my not "getting it." I think it might help me if someone would just describe for me what "getting it" looks like to an RA sufferer. I am talking the behavior that would show you that I "get it." What can I do to ease your anger and hurt? What can I do and say that would make you feel understood?

  3. When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen~

  4. The inflection in that Okay was high to low as in, "now I see", not low to high as in "only if you say so". Writing is so imprecise without inflection. Ok. THAT was my last commment. Ha. My prayers will be with you.

  5. The quote by Nouwen well describes compassion that goes beyond words. But it is difficult to touch a hand or sit in quietness when the only source of contact is in words on a blog. Might silence be interpreted as indifference or worse yet--nonpresence? What does "getting it" look like on a blog?

    I find it interesting that curiosity is pecieved as expectation. And that wanting to help by reaching into knowlege and experience and offering the best of what is there is not seen as a gift (even if it is not what you need). Does ill-informed or pathetically inappropriate or too insistent, negate good intensions? Hope and power are not tangible gifts. They are found in experience, so that is the offering.

    The pain alone, much less the depletion of energy and getting the rug ripped out from underneath you time and again with RA must be tiresome in the extreme, begetting impatience. Definitely exasperating and maddening.

    Anger for me would be aimed at God and in my insistent belief that God prepares us well for the work He has for us--SO God: How does RA work out as being well-prepared? And what could my work possibly be in this state? What does light look like coming from an RA body?

    My fear in posting this is that those with RA will say with a sigh: she doesn't get it. In the end, since I do not have RA, I suppose that is true. And the quote is right: just sit quietly by.

  6. Hi Kris,

    How are you?! Miss hearing from you. I have a couple of awards for you at my blog. Praying this finds you doing well.

  7. Just checking on you. I still miss your posts. I wonder how you are doing. You are in my prayers. Happy Mother's Day to you!