SPOON THEORY

My neighbor sent me an article that she thought might interest me.  The article outlining “Spoon Theory” is excellent.  No matter which disease process you are dealing with, if part of your problem involves fatigue, you should read this article.

Like the author, I had a treasure trove of analogies I used in my practice to help patients and family understand what was happening to them.  Now that I’m a patient, sometimes I have trouble getting friends and family to understand what I mean when I say, “I’m exhausted/tired/fatigued.”  In response to any physical complaint, I usually hear, “You look good.”  As far as I’m concerned, anyone who thinks I look good must be blind.

I’m fatigued all day and night.  I really can nap anywhere and at any time.  If you are healthy, you can’t possibly understand what it feels like to be exhausted after putting on your pants.  Renee usually has to do my socks. Hard to believe?  Absolutely, but real!

My fatigue is multifactorial.  Parkinson’s causes fatigue.  The medication for Parkinson’s cause fatigue.  Fatigue contributes to obesity and obesity causes fatigue.  Sleep apnea, even when treated appropriately, can cause fatigue.  Ever see a dog chase his tail (another useful analogy)?  That’s me!

The treatment for fatigue, Parkinson’s and obesity is exercise. It’s a real life Catch 22!  Yesterday, I saw the gastroenterologist.  I look like I’m carrying twins (maybe I should have seen an OB/GYNE).  Essentially, he said I was fat and he prepared me for a long and arduous battle, fighting the fatigue, further cutting back on intake and resuming exercise.   Had I read this article prior to my appointment, I would have shared it with the doc.

So, what can I do?  “Diets and Other Unnatural Acts” has the answer. It’s time to dust off my book and follow its instructions.  I’m in this for the long hall.  It’s time to stop chasing my tail and make small deposits in my health account on a regular basis.  My goal is to lose just 5 pounds! 

Spring will be here soon!  My grass will green up, trees will sprout leaves and flowers will blossom; and I’ll go for a short walk twice a day, lengthening my walk as I can.   When the pool opens, I’ll swim laps.  Eventually, I WILL hit the gym and, believe it or not, start boxing.  Boxing is good for Parkinson’s.

Here’s your joke for today and a song.

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?”

“Well,” he said, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”

“No” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

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