21 Things You've Definitely Said If You're a Spoonie


When you have a chronic illness, it’s a bit like joining a secret club. You have certain things in common with your fellow spoonies that “outsiders” may not understand or even know about — let’s be honest, only fellow spoonies get how taking a shower is basically your version of a marathon, or why it’s actually not always “great news!” when your test results come back negative. And if you think about it, you can probably remember a few things you’ve said that only a spoonie would say. It might make no sense to someone who doesn’t have a chronic illness, but to those who do, it’s like you’ve found someone who speaks your language.

We wanted to know some of these unique spoonie sayings that bring our community together — those painfully true, often-funny things you might think no one else has said besides you, but actually your fellow chronic warriors will instantly recognize. Below, check out what our Mighty community said when we challenged them to share something they’ve said that only a fellow spoonie would say. Let us know in the comments how many you’ve said, and if you have any to add!

Here’s what our Mighty community shared with us:

  1. “Stands in front of toaster, points at toaster. Says, ‘That thing right there, the bread thingey.’ Kids say: ‘The toaster?’ Me: ‘Yeah, toaster!’ (Like it’s a revelation!)” — Evylj L.
  2. “‘Why are you back in bed?’ husband [says] to me. ‘I am trying to get the energy up to take a shower.’” — Christina G.
  3. “Ooh let me show you my new pill box, it’s got lovely big compartments for all my meds.” — Janey G.
  4. “On my bad pain days, where it doesn’t require a hospital visit (or even if it does, but I know they’ll give me the same stuff I have at home) I’ll downplay how I’m feeling: ‘It’s bad, but not hospital bad… But I’ll be OK later… Maybe.'” — Celaena W.
  5. “My hair hurts.” — Misa H.
  6. “Me to my parents and adult brother and sister: ‘You can have me today for BBQ or tomorrow for swimming, you can’t have both.'” — Shawnie G.
  7. “I’m so hot. *Four minutes later* I’m so cold.” – Jane B.
  8. “To my boyfriend — ‘You’re parking all the way out here and then we have to go to the back of the store? Park closer!'” — Lindsay M.
  9. “*Takes all pills at the same time.* *friends, family and nurses stare horrified.*” — Day L.
  10. “No, not that purse. I need my pharmacy purse!” — Sara W.
  11. “You know how I did that thing today? Yeah. So I can’t do a thing tomorrow.” — Alexandria A.
  12. “How many times can I use dry shampoo before I have to take a shower?” — Josie A.
  13. “Kids! Pick it up! Mummy doesn’t bend!” — Gabbie J.
  14. “I just got out of the bathroom, so you know I’ve got to rest a minute.” — Carol S.”
  15. Me: ‘OMG I need a nap.’ Husband: ‘You just woke up thee hours ago!?’ Me: ‘Exactly.'” — Sarah C.
  16. “With all the incredulous looks, blank stares and occasional accusations, ‘I know you don’t understand or believe me, but…’ is how many explanations unfold.” — Liz W.
  17. “Explaining why I can’t do certain activities takes up at least six spoons. Friends: ‘What if we do that?’ Me: ‘No. I can’t because of this.’ Friends: ‘Why?’ Me: ‘Because this condition affects this condition, which does this.’ Friends: ‘….?’ Me: [frustrated face].” — Katherine S.
  18. “While blankly staring at someone who asked me a question, ‘Ummm give me sec, fibro fog is real and it’s a bitch.'” — Stacie B.
  19. “Friends: ‘Oh I love this heat, it makes me feel so much better.’ Me: ‘The heat makes my muscles cramp up and my joints ache.’ Friends: ‘Oh I love the sunshine, it makes me feel so much better.’ Me: ‘The brightness makes my eyeballs sting and burn.’ Friends: ‘The summer is my favorite time of year.’ Me: ‘I’ve been trapped indoors for days now.'” — Jo J.
  20. “Can you pass the salt, I need to put some in my water.” — Meg S.
  21. “*gets up from 14-hour nap and yawns* ‘I’m tired.'” — Elizabeth H.

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