Help Christine Smile again.
Have you ever heard of The Spoon Theory?
It's a story that Christine Miserandino wrote that helps explain what living with Lupus or any other chronic illness is like. After having been asked what it was really like by a friend – Christine grabbed the nearest thing to her – spoons (she was in a diner after all) and gave them to her friend. Then she asked her friend to describe her day. Her friend made generalizations like – getting up to pee, brush her teeth, get breakfast.
Christine broke it down for her – first she had to get her body moving in bed, then she had to stave off the nausea in order to walk to the bathroom. Breakfast – yea, she needed to eat something – in order to take her handful of pills, but what do you fix – and eat – when you have nausea and no appetite.
Each of these tasks takes just a bit of energy – which adds up to spoons. The more she went thru the day – the more the spoons disappeared. Before the end of the day – the spoons were gone, and like I said – the day wasn't over.
What do you do then?
You can read the entire essay here:
She wrote The Spoon Theory in 2003. Since then it has been read and translated all over the world – yup – all over the world. The Facebook page for Butyoudontlooksick.com/fb has over 1 million fans. The fans that are sick – well, we call ourselves Spoonies. Every day messages of thanks come to Christine for giving a way to explain the fatigue, the fog, the pain of being chronically ill. It fills Christine's heart to know that she's touched so many in such a meaningful way.
One of her fave quotes is
“We rise by lifting others” Robert Ingersoll
This is where the Spoon Lady is today – she has lost her beautiful smile.
Everyday, she wakes, takes her medicines and puts on her beautiful smile for the world to see. The smile that says to the world – But I Don't Look Sick!
But Christine has had a very difficult year – and she has lost the ability to put on the smile. It is gone.
She has spent her life supporting the Spoonie community – reminding you that you're not alone. That she 'gets' it, that she's there for you.
Along with ensuring we never feel alone in our journey, Christine is also a very real person with family a daughter a significant other and medical bills and medicines and everyday health issues that make life hard to live.
Our very own Christine Miserandino, beautiful person and creator of The Spoon Theory needs a helping hand from her Spoonie Family.
Christine was due to deliver a beautiful baby girl named Charlotte in March of 2016.
Instead, after suffering months of constant nausea and vomiting, and then weeks of renal failure and trying to keep the baby to term, on January 26 she had a c-section to deliver her stillborn daughter. Christine and her boyfriend Ned lost a daughter, Christine's daughter Olivia lost her little sister and Christine and Ned's parents lost their grandchild.
“ ... I didn't even know what was going on at first and every time I. Would wake up and feel the pain of the c section, I would ask where my baby was and a nurse or Ned would have to explain all over again what happened. Ned lost a daughter too. Olivia lost a little sister. I was trying to take care of them.”
This heart breaking and soul crushing experience affected the whole Spoonie community too.
Christine planned her daughters burial, instead of her homecoming.
When she was able, Christine did reach out for comfort, for assistance in getting thru this devastating event in her life. She looked for inspiration, for people who understood what she was going thru, people who had survived this kind of loss. The response was amazing. She received so many responses of encouragement, of support and sympathy and lists and lists of resources to help her climb out of her depression.
She tried and tried and tried.
While living with this grief Christine faced serious jaw surgery. Christine’s teeth are literally falling out of her mouth and she’s needed 6 teeth extracted, 4 root canals and too many fillings to count. The affect from twenty plus years of steroids and 7 months of throwing up 5-7 times a day during her pregnancy and saliva issues from Shogren's took their toll. Christine literally lost her smile – well, she still has a few teeth in the front.
So, Christine's health has been on a roller coaster since January. As any Spoonie can appreciate, this has seriously flared Christine’s LUPUS and FIBROMYALGIA very badly, she’s living in one of the worst Flares and Pain cycles she's ever had.
She's also still trying to overcome the grief and depression from losing Charlotte. The grief and depression are as deep and dark and fresh as the day she lost her little Charlotte. Christine is in treatment for Postpartum / Post Natal depression – she's on a waiting list for a specific program – and there will be co pays.
The events I've described have been physical, mental – and financial. There are a mountain of hospital bills already. She has worked with hospitals, lawyers, etc to discuss payment plans, consolidations etc. New York has many programs in place to help those that need it - but you have to be very progressive and aggressive and even 'mobile' to take advantage of them. She has really tried and made some progress - it will never be enough to cover all the bills. She's exhausted her resources - Currently, her parents are helping and the credit cards - well, they're at their max. Plus, there are more surgeries and repair work and more huge bills to come for Christine's literal smile. Dental surgery, implants and dentures don't come cheap. The financial aspect of all of this has given her a new symptom – Panic attacks and anxiety.
It's been a constant battle to overcome the health issues, the grief and the mental health issues, the financial issues. It's taken a huge toll on our Super Strong Spoon Lady.
Christine is finding it difficult to imagine the next day.
She feels lost.
What can you do to help Christine find her Mental and physical Smile again?
What she needs most is help paying the bills. I know each and every Spoonie out there knows what that's like. But Christine's bills from January total near $50,000. Her bill from the dentist from a recent visit to begin the process of the implants – came to $3,000.00
No wonder she'd having anxiety attacks!
If you could help her out by donating what you can to her here at Gofundme.com – it would be so appreciated.
Our Spoon Lady Christine is so strong. She's also extremely private about her personal struggles, preferring to focus on those in the Spoonie community – To ask for this help from you – it's Huge. It took some convincing from a group of us to convince her that she needed to ask for help.
.At the end of the day, Christine is a Spoonie too and after pouring her life into helping us all, she needs us to help her by giving a little back.
Christine, her family and her closest friends, would be forever grateful for any financial help that you can give.
She thanks you for the support over the years and for the support that you can give to her now. It means everything to her.
Christine and Friends of Help Chris Smile
P.S. May you have an abundance of Spoons!
- Laura Varga