The spoon theory that has helped navigate my RA journey!


Today I am going to share a known arthritic toolkit…the Spoon Theory and how it has been an indispensable part of my RA journey.

In one of the early workshops I had attended on Pain Management I was introduced to the SPOON THEORY, which most of you must have heard about it. This was the analogy that was first introduced by Christine Miserandino in 2003. It was just a year after I was diagnosed with RA!

The Spoon Theory has been circulated worldwide since Miserandino first shared it. Many people now call themselves “spoonies” and our warrior tool is the spoon!

Personally, When I was introduced to this concept, I was grateful. Finally, I felt I had a way to explain my endless fatigue to my extended family, friends and office colleagues. Sometimes it is hard to express our feelings. Finding the right words to describe our feelings can be just as frustrating as the feeling itself. With this theory in mind, positive communication while promoting our own self-care can be as simple as ‘spoons’.

I speak at various conferences and workshops and many ask me to describe what a typical day for me is like, and I immediately say, “Have you heard of the Spoon Theory?”. I recapitulate it for them and tell them to surf and find out for themselves. What I experience is immediately the audience is able to relate to it …and they share a statement saying “Oh really. Now, I get it.”!

Normal people begin their day with limitless energy levels, that they are raring to go. Whereas Warriors like us have our own daily limitations.

The minute my eyes open in the morning a visual body Xray is done and I am aware of my energy and pain levels which I equate it to how many spoons I have.

I normally assign 12 spoons for a day, which in normal times without a flare up, covers up my basic routine activities.

On a flare up day my basic activities become a real struggle and need meticulous allocation of my energy spoons. By doing this simple allocation in my mind I have visually charted the course of my day. Hence the feeling of helplessness or frustration is on a very low scale as predetermined activities that can be attended to are taken care of on priority basis.

My daughter will always check with my spoon levels for the day. And without saying anything just by the number of spoons I mention, she understands how my day would be and accommodates her presence and involvement around me through my day!

Each activity I need to attend to is given the number of spoons by assessing my pain and feelings accordingly and the rest are carried forward for the next day!

It has been my indispensable partner on this journey ..thank you my one dozen spoons !

Be a Happy Spoonie and pace up your lives as per your daily spoons!

Next update on how I pace myself for a day and the thought process behind it! See you soon….



1 reply
  1. Shama Khan
    Shama Khan says:

    This is such an interesting idea! I think this is possibly the easiest way for us to gauge our energy and health levels for the day. Thank you for sharing.


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