Diabetes and Spoon Theory

The other day in a diabetes group I belong to, someone was asking about spoon theory and if it applied to diabetes.

My answer? I think it can.

For those of you who don’t know, spoon theory is a way to illustrate disability. In a nutshell, everyone starts the day with a bucket of so many spoons. For the hell of it, lets say there’s 25 spoons in our buckets.

You are a normal person and I’m a person with the disabilities (undetermined type of diabetes, lymphedema, lipedema and a bad back in the middle of rehab). Like anyone I have good days and bad days. However, even on a good day things will take more energy to do because my disabilities cause me pain and fatigue.

So, lets go over a normal work day…

Morning routine: this is getting up, morning hygiene, getting dressed and having breakfast. It’s a good day, we wake up feeling great. However, getting ready still exhausts me. You spend 1 spoon, I end up spending 2.

You’re now at 24, I’m at 23.

Morning commute to work: we both drive, however, sitting for the hour it takes to get me to work is pretty painful and exhausting. You spend 1 spoon, I end up spending another 2.

You’re at 23, I’m now at 21.

8 hours of work: work takes a lot out of anyone at after a day of meetings, idiot managers, putting up with co-workers or the public, you’re done. You’ve spent 5 spoons. Just surviving cost me 10.

You’re at 18 I’m at 11.

Commute home: we’re both pretty tired from the work day. You spend 2 spoons, I spend 4 because again, being stuck in the car for a long time, including a traffic jam, hurts.

You’re at 16, I’m at 7.

Cooking dinner: you decide you’re going to cook something nice for dinner. You spend 3 spoons. I’m starting to run dry, I stop by McDonalds on the way home. I spend 2.

You’re at 13, I’m at 5.

Evening routine: You decide you’re going to go to the gym and then watch some TV. With 5 spoons left, there’s not a lot I’m really going to get accomplished. I go ahead and do some laundry and go to bed. You spend 8, I spend 5.

You end the night with 5 spoons, I end at 0.

Different people explain it in different ways, but this is how I like to explain it. People with disabilities will always spend more spoons doing things than someone who’s healthy and full of energy.

So if you’ve read all through this, remember the original question. Can people with diabetes be spoonies. Is diabetes really a disability?

I’m sitting here with a blood glucose reading of 5 after I once again tried to cycle more than 7km.

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