Those who have been around me for any length of time might note I’m not very energetic. Not anymore anyways... Before lupus, I had more energy than a room full of preschoolers on caffeine! My sleep consisted of about seven solid hours a night and I was wired every day. I could go and go for ages. No boundaries; didn’t have to think about how what I was doing might affect me later. A full day of school wasn’t hard for me to handle on top of riding horses and running.
Now I am the exact opposite. My energy is about as much as one tiny triple AAA battery. Anything and everything I do, I hear about from my body for the next week. It does not forgive me for anything. Now a half-day of school is really pushing it. Riding horses and running has to be done in the morning or else I don’t have the energy to later on.
There are energy drainers. I am well aware of them. In first place comes: stress. So I try my best not to. For the most part I have learned how to just let things roll. Takes practice though! Second place is awarded to: the cold. Uh huh, that’s right. My heating system is fried. So… when it gets cold, I get tired and generally see my good friend Raynaud. After that would come pain. May sound kind of odd but pain is exhausting. Some honorable mentions are: shopping, not eating right, and doing challenging mental tasks.
It’s hard trying to explain to other people that a seemingly healthy looking 17 year old girl doesn’t have the energy to go to a football game after only a half day of school. Most of the time I refer them to “The Spoon Theory” http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory-written-by-christine-miserandino/ and after reading the essay they tend to have a shallow understanding of why. Some days it can be quite saddening to me that I have been reduced to comparing my energy level to cutlery. There is no true understanding until a person walks a mile in my shoes (or some one else’s with lupus.) Then it sinks in and they truly do understand.
Every day I do not know exactly how many “spoons” I have. Some times I will over estimate how many I have and crash. Other days, I manage to manage my energy quite well. It’s a learning experience every single day. Never do I spend a “spoon” in vain. There are too many other things to do with it than use it in a negative way. I appreciate what little energy I have and use it to my best ability. That’s the best I can do and I hope others do the same.