I am the wife of a spoon! Have you ever heard the term spoon? Or spoonie? If you have ever known someone in chronic pain or with a chronic illness they are spoons. Sometimes the spouse is called a dish. I wish as the dish I could just run away with the spoon. Take him away from his pain, take him somewhere to relax and have peace and quiet with no stress and no noise and no pain! Alas, I am just a dish, and dishes really don’t have legs. Neither do spoons for that matter.
A story, written by Christine Miserandino, is where the spoon theory started. Click here to read the story on her blog But You Don’t Look Sick. The spoon theory is a great visual aide story to help people understand the daily life of someone in chronic pain. I had not read the story until recently. I did understand though.
I knew that if my husband pushed through his pain to do the yard work himself then he would (we all would) pay for it the next day. He was borrowing against the energy he would have the next day. In fact, anything he forced himself to do would take away from his activity later that day or the following day. He would hurt more that afternoon or the following day, be more easily agitated by sounds and conversations would be strained. Even simple conversations would be too loud or easily misunderstood. Major decisions cannot be made during this time. Even deciding on dinner isn’t easy. As the spouse, aka dish, I get the brunt of it. I get it, I am the spouse, confidant, sounding board, etc. He is not trying to take it out on me. It’s just that I am here and we are usually the ones discussing matters of the household. He teeters back and forth between annoyance at life and fear that we will all get tired of this life.
There is a lot of fear for those in pain. Constant fear that those close to them will one day have enough of it and leave. Fear that the pain will stop (not because they are healed if you get my meaning). Fear that the pain will never stop. Pray for those in pain, not just to be pain-free, but for freedom of fear. Fear is real and can be debilitating by itself. Pray for peace in their pain. They just want to be free of pain and as their loved one, who is watching from the outside, you desire nothing more than to see them pain-free. If they cannot be free from their suffering it would be wonderful if they could not be fearful about it.
The bible says “Fear not, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10. God does not want us to live in fear. It is difficult in the midst of pain to not be fearful. Be the dish to your spoon. Hold them up in love and kindness. Support them and if you get a chance; be the dish that runs away with the spoon, if only for a quick look at the stars or quiet dinner out or in.