Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday's Tumbles and Stumbles~ The Spoons of Energy

This blog is to show you not everything is hunky-Dorie in the land of the Murphey Saga. We face real issues just like most of y'all. We are human, not superhuman. We tumble and stumble through our lives. It is not a pity plea so please do not take it as such. It's just an illustration. Most of the emails I receive have basically been, OMG!, How do you do it?, and I have such admiration... Be aware that I don't write this for admiration. It's more or less write to show you you are not alone in this life.

I need a shower something awful. It's been weeks of birdy baths( quickie sponge baths). I
Notice these are teaspoons not tablespoon
have to look at what I have to do each and every morning. This chronic fatigue I've had since my first stroke has been a killer. And then, I look at how much energy each task is going to take. It's always a juggling match of what has to be done and what should be done. A shower is something I cheat and pass on because it totally wipes out three energy spoons between getting undressed, taking a shower, and getting dressed. Three spoons of energy is important when looking at at the most thirteen spoons worth of energy per day. Pictured are 12 spoons, but I gain an extra spoon with a two-hour nap.

Let's do the math everyone...
  • I know the care of my husband during the day will take four spoons. 
  • Fixing and eating meals can run two to three spoons a day depending on how much I have to prepare before cooking. 
  • Care of my animals (cats, dogs, Guinea pig, and rabbits) will take another spoon if it's not a grooming or cage clean out day. If it's a grooming day or clean out day = 2 spoons.
  • Hospice visits. Sometimes three a day one spoon.
I'm already up to EIGHT spoons out of twelve gone and I really haven't done anything yet and I took the minimum of each. I've got four to five left for the rest of the day.

Now add in or subtract...
  • Therapy days-twice a week= Occupational therapy 1 spoon for each session.
  • Grocery shopping= 2 spoons because I have to make a list, shop, and then bring the groceries in and put them away. It's really closer to three.
  • Any other shopping like yarn, clothes, appliances, etc =an easy 2-3. Stores are huge!
  • Each doctor appointments = a good one spoon if not two. Botox is definitely a 2 and my heart doctor is closer to 1 1/2 because of lab work I have to get before my appointment.
  • Dropping off and picking up laundry= 1 spoon that's even with putting the folded clothes away. Now, if I did my own laundry= 3 spoons.
  • Picking up take-out from a restaurant, even Mickey D's =1 spoon.
  • Sweeping, vacuuming, dishes, dusting...you know, housework = an easy 2+ because the size of my house. I'd like to hire a housekeeper, but can't afford one.
  • My every Wednesday Night Knitting group = 1 spoon.
  • My once a month Stroke group = 1 spoon.
  • Knitting or spinning wool= 1 spoon.
  • Spending quality time with one grandchild = 1 spoon. I have eight.
Now, you see the actual juggling part. But there's a hitch in the twelve spoons of energy theory. Getting twelve spoons of energy is based on a good night's sleep (8-12 hours). I'm waking every two-four hours to administer morphine to my DH (darling hubby). If I do that twice a night that takes away one spoon easy before I even start my day.

No wonder I'm so exhausted all of the time! That's even without a bath.Yes, my kids were nice enough to install a walk-in tub the second Father's Day after my stroke, but I rarely have the time to really soak in it. The best I can do is stare longingly at it when I take a minute to go pee, or change my own diaper, or washing out urinals most times.

The last time I had a shower? Er, um, let me think...two weeks ago when my #1 daughter came for a visit. That sounds horrible doesn't it? But it's my cheat to make my short supply of energy last. I often said watching my growing kids or grandchildren, "I wish I could bottle their energy."

Wouldn't that truly be a blessing.

What has been your tumble or stumble during the week?


2 comments:

Rebecca Dutton said...

I love the spoons analogy.

Elizabeth, John, Jack, and Luke said...

I love the spoon theory too. It helped me to understand and explain my own life changing fatigue. I have to be SOOO careful with my spoons cuz I can't run out before I've done my job with 2 little ones to take care of. Every day is a careful balancing act and not much else gets done except the minimums.