I had seen this thing called The Spoon Theory all over the Internet for years before I finally one day decided to look it up. Basically, the premise is that we begin each day with a certain number of spoons, everyone, healthy people as well. But when you are chronically ill, be it physical, mental or emotional, you may begin each day with a limited number of spoons. And each task you complete, all the parts of daily life that are so often taken for granted, costs you a spoon.
As my kidney disease has progressed, and as I was plunged into the difficult work of grief, depression and ptsd, my spoons have been drastically reduced. And they cost me more. Right now I am struggling with what is most likely advanced endometriosis or adenomyosis and am scheduled for a hysterectomy next month. I'm hoping this will ease the chronic pelvic pain and dangerously heavy bleeding, the awful pain of cysts constantly forming and rupturing, the flaring up of kidney issues with each cycle. By eliminating that problem, I am hoping to gain some ground and get physically stronger. The mental agony will continue, as I learn to live & work with my loss... especially as pain often begets depression, anxiety and isolation. There are risks involved. I may be plunged into early menopause if my remaining ovary fails to produce the hormones I need. (And won't that be fun on top of everything else?) But it's a risk I'm willing to take to try and gain more control over my life.
Right now, I am extremely limited in what I can do, physically. Exertion means a steady spike in pain and possibly hemorrhaging. I am bedbound some days. Ok, many days. On the outside, I look like a normal, healthy person (sometimes). On the inside, my life has become a study in compromise. If I clean the house this morning, it means I will most likely have to spend the remainder of the day resting. If I want to be social, I have a time limit before my body starts screaming "ENOUGH!". Every mundane activity costs several spoons and if I am not careful, a deficit that will likely put me in the emergency room or stuck in bed for several days. I am on winter break from work and as much as I love what I do, I've had to start coming to grips with the fact that I will no longer be able to have a physically demanding career.
A dream... of a small cafe, a commercial bakery, a career in a field I have loved and excelled in for over 10 years... is dying. How that hurts. I've already had the life I knew upended and yet again, here I am, trying to navigate and repair shattered pieces. I am preparing for a new career, one that will demand less from my body, and I am excited about it. Terrified, nervous, but still, excited. I'm going to have to start at the bottom all over again. Work my way up. Hope that I am good enough, that trading passion for better life balance won't break me further.
I have become exquisitely familiar with change. I am becoming more adapt at rolling with it instead of giving into my natural instinct to fight it. To control. Control is such an illusion and such a difficult one to give up.