Tag Archives: the spoon theory

The Mallet Theory

the mallet theory 2When I first mentioned my Mallet Theory in a previous post, it drew a great response from you guys, so here is the full, unabridged version.

Ok, so most of us have heard about the Spoon Theory, and whilst I like it, I find it a little bit…..gentle? Spoons are such handy little things. Unoffensive.

You explain to your friends and family that with MS, you have a set amount of energy in one day, represented by a number of spoons, and you give one or more away depending upon how much energy you’ve used. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Me? I prefer the Mallet Theory.┬áMS fatigue isn’t gentle. It’s a whack across the head by a mind-numbing, poleaxing, utterly devastating Mallet of Fatigue. So, say you start the day with ten mallets. You chuck one away (if you have the energy) every time you feel this crushing tiredness and if you’re left with any at the end of the day, it’s been a good one.

Unfortunately, you can’t carry any over into the next day. MS is cunning like that – you start each day right back at the beginning. There’s no saving them up, which is kind of hard to explain to other people. They might helpfully suggest, ‘oh, if you have a sleep now, you can go out later.’ You don’t get to choose when to sleep, you’re compelled to. I’ve had mornings when I wake up bright and breezy at 7am, and am zonked out on my sofa by 10am.

I’d like to expand this theory by allowing people with MS a second set of mallets per day, and here’s where it gets exciting. This second set can be used for when people say something totally ridiculous to you. Something along the lines of , ‘you’re still drinking Diet Coke? Don’t you know that probably caused your MS?’ or ‘wish I could sleep as much as you’. Yeah, right. Have this mallet over your head, you annoying person, you.

Obviously I’m not advocating actual violence, no matter how much you may be tempted. This is purely metaphorical. Since incorporating this theory into my life, I’ve had hours of fun. So, pass the theory on – anything to do with MS that can raise a smile can’t be bad.


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Any Time, Any Place

sleepIf they gave out medals for sleeping, I’d be top of the podium (after a quick nap).

I wake up tired, I go to bed tired. I yawn constantly. And not polite little yawns either. Massive, jaw-aching, cartoon-like yawns. ‘Am I boring you?’ is a phrase I hear an awful lot.

It’s exhausting (excuse the pun) being tired all the time. It’s a bit like MS in miniature – the feeling of being disconnected from society, in a little bubble all of my own.

Days are meticulously planned, pockets of time doled out like bargaining chips. Spontaneity is a thing of the past, or at least, I have to think about it very carefully. Which kind of defeats the object.

There is a famous spoon theory, to explain chronic tiredness to other people, about how you only have a set amount of energy in one day. I prefer to think of the Mallet Theory. Say you start the day with ten mallets. You have to give one up every time you feel you’ve been coshed over the head by MS fatigue. If you’ve got any left at the end of the day, it’s been a good one.

The thing about MS fatigue, like most other MS symptoms, is that it can be managed, not cured. I have loads of strategies – a handy duvet tucked behind the sofa, rushing around like a wild woman when I suddenly find myself with some precious energy, preparing food ready for later, a command table set up next to my sofa with everything to hand. In fact, it’s very similar to when The Teenager was a screaming cute little baby. The midwife would chastise me, ‘now dear, mummy must sleep when baby does, mummy must be guided by baby, baby won’t mind if you haven’t managed to dust the house.’ Baby won’t mind if I shut the door on you, then.

I’d like to say I feel better with all this sleep. I don’t. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It barely brings me back up to my baseline energy levels, and even that’s way below par. But as with everything else that MS throws at me, I’ve adapted to it. It’s kind of normal now. Only problem is, I keep running out of mallets. …

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