How many spoons do you need?


Some time ago I heard a story about spoons, in regards to Crohn’s disease.  I don’t remember it exactly, and I’m going to apply it to my hip situation today.  It might help people understand what I am going through, or any people for that matter.  So here goes.

When you are sick, or don’t have a hip like me, you wake up every day with only a certain amount of energy, or spoons if you will, to get through the day. Every task, every chore, yea, every bit of entertainment costs you spoons. Some days you will wake up with more spoons than other days. Therefore, you must choose the use of your spoons wisely.

Today I woke up with 10 spoons. To get out of bed go to the kitchen and get coffee cost me one spoon. To make breakfast cost me another spoon. I got showered and dressed, that was probably more than one spoon. I talked to insurance companies and nurses. Another spoon. I am typing up this blog. Spoon.

Sigh. Here it is not even lunchtime and I’ve already used up 5 spoons. Only 5 more left to get me through the rest of the day and bedtime. I must be conservative with my spoons, because if I “borrow” a spoon from tomorrow for today, tomorrow will be that much more difficult.

So how many dang spoons do I really need? Well, when you are feeling good and able to do just about anything you want, you feel like you have an unlimited number of spoons. Me, I feel lucky that I have worked my way up to 10 spoons. Right after surgery I think I started out with only one spoon.

It is difficult to answer people when they ask how you feel, or how your day has been. I think this spoon analogy is an easy way to get people to realize how being handicapped in some way feels. Cause once your spoons are gone, they are gone dude. I don’t care how much you beg and plead and cry, there are no more spoons to be had. So learn your lesson and be more careful in how you spend your spoons tomorrow.

You never know how many spoons you will wake up with.

Kids say and do the darnest thing!

kissing baby

When my niece Shannon was pregnant, I kept campaigning to name her baby Brianna, as that is my favorite name.  Luckily it was on her short list, and Brianna Nicole was born 4 years ago this past June.

When Bri was born, I loved her with all the desperation of an old childless auntie.  Her mother Shannon was also so special to me, and now her daughter was my sun, moon and stars.

I saw Bri almost every day.  I would drive there straight from work, and I would hold her, feed her, read to her.  I was there for her first steps, first words, first spitting contest!  When I came in the door, her face would light up and she would say “auntie!” and I felt so loved.

Then she turned two and everything changed.  No more kisses, no more hugs.  The more I begged, the more she would purposely turn away.  It broke my heart and made me cry.  I tried everything.  I tried too hard.  It became a game for her, I think.

When she was three, I got a new kitten, Izzy.  She was madly in love with Izzy and came over almost every day to see Ozzy and Izzy.  Then I would try to blackmail her and tell her she had to kiss me too, not just Izzy.  Blackmail doesn’t work with a three-year old.  It wasn’t that she didn’t love me.  She was just in that phase where she didn’t want to sit in laps and give out hugs and kisses.  She would rather run down to the lake or chase a kitten.  But still.

And then it happened.  It all changed.  I got more hugs and kisses than I could handle.  What changed her mind?

I think it was her compassion for and worry for sick people.  She loved her Papa so much, my sister’s husband, and when he passed away from a heart attack in December, she was the practical one, who spoke to his star in the sky every night and then comforted my sister and niece and nephew with her messages that she passed on from Papa.  I remember one time shortly after he passed, my sister was making coffee in the morning, and was very sad and sniffling a bit, as her husband had always done that.  Bri gave her a big hug and said “Papa said don’t be sad Grandma, he’s ok”.  Wow, huh?  Out of the mouth of babes…

Then I discovered I needed a hip replacement.  Bri was very worried about me, and checked my leg every day.  I got so many hugs and kisses then.  When I went in the hospital, she came to visit several times and always wanted to see my bandages and my incision and all the blood and guts.  She would pat my leg and say, “Aunt Janet, I LOVE your new leg!”  She would help me get up, and cover me up when I laid down.  She was always in attendance when I came home from the hospital for bandage changes.  She was very good at it!  I think this is her calling in life.

I don’t know if things changed because she was just growing up, or because illness triggered her heart, but whatever it was, it has continued.  She RUNS to see me every day, and hugs and kisses me as much as I want.  I LOVE it.

And I’m not going to think it’s because of all the quad rides I give her that she loves…..