If you are a follower of mine, you’ll know I am a ‘spoonie’. Throughout the years, I’ve managed to discover some useful tips and tricks to help me get by, and wanted to share them with you, in hopes it will help another spoonie out there.
The spoon theory is a disability metaphor used to explain the reduced amount of energy available for activities of daily living and productive tasks that may result from disability or chronic illness. Spoons are a tangible unit of measurement used to track how much energy a person has throughout a given day. A spoonie can refer to any individual who suffers from a chronic illness.
Smoothie Ice Cubes
I actually just discovered this one during my recent hospital stay. I wasn’t able to tolerate food or drink very well. The wards sister nurse told me to make smoothies, and freeze them in an ice-cube tray. I find drinking smoothies are sometimes too harsh on my stomach, but this way, you’re able to still get your fruits and veggies without having the harshness on your stomach.
Migraines are very common with chronic illnesses. Sometimes even the smallest bit of light can be excruciating. Always keep an eye mask close incase a migraine attacks.
I suffer from Raynaurds, which is a condition where the blood doesn’t flow properly to certain parts of my body. Having this is a LIFE SAVER. In the winter, my hands and feet can get super painful, but whilst I’m cocooned in this, it’s all good.
There are days where you feel all gross and sweaty, but can’t even manage to walk to the bathroom, let alone shower. Having wet wipes around makes it easier and less energy-consuming. Give your bits a wipe down, and you’ll feel slightly more human!
Like the wet wipes, this makes you feel more human! I hate the feel of greasy hair, but putting on some dry shampoo and bunging your hair in a bun is the way forward.
I take 8 types of different medication throughout the day, and painkillers every 4 hours. I always forget when I’m meant to take my next dose, or even if I’ve taken my tablets at all! I write everything down I take, the time I took them, the dose, and the next time I have to take them again. Life saver. Literally.
Also, having a ring binder folder makes it easier to keep all of your medical notes, discharge papers, appointment letters etc. in one place!
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a method of pain relief involving the use of a mild electrical current.
You can pretty much buy these bad boys anywhere now. Boots, Superdrug, Chemists, Amazon… You pop the sticky pads onto the area of pain, and choose your setting. The electrical current reduces the pain signals that go to your brain, making the pain ease. Just make sure you’re not setting it too high!
Likewise with the eye mask, sometimes even a door shutting with a migraine can cause severe pain. Keep earplugs or noise canceling headphones near by to pop in whenever the noise is getting too much.
When I was first diagnosed, I had to give up reading since it caused my such bad headaches and exhausted me. Audio books are a brilliant alternative.
Mints Or Hard Boiled Sweets
Spoonie or not, we all know how horrible a dry mouth is. Sucking on a mint or hard boiled sweets can relieve this, and also can give you some sugar if your blood sugars are low.
This stuff is incredible. Tiger Balm is a balm (obviously) that you rub on muscular aches and pains. This stuff heats up on its own, and reduces the pain temporarily. Big shout out to my uncle for introducing me to this stuff! Tiger Balm says:
‘For temporary relief of muscular aches and pain. Rub gently on affected parts of the skin’
Just be aware that you will get an orange/red/yellow tinge to your skin after, but this does wash away!
Veet Hair Removal
Since I have EDS, shaving for me is a task. Yes, I can move my legs and reach places most people can’t, but since I have super stretchy skin, I can often turn my bathtub into something that looks like a murder scene. If you’ve never used Veet before, just beware of the smell. It honestly makes my eyes water, but it’s better than adding even more scars to my legs.
I often can go from being freezing one minute, to feeling like the devil himself is urinating on me. Make sure you have your fan near by! Having a plug in one with a remote control is the best ones to get, since you won’t have to keep getting up and down to turn it off and on again.
I just wanted to add that if anyone EVER feels lost or down due to mental and/or physical health, my inbox is always open! Feel free to email me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whats your favourite spoonie friendly product?