2 posts tagged “summer”

Spoons and forks – not just for summer picnics

Posted July 17th, 2015 by

There are a ton of activities to do during the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” And whether you’re living with a chronic condition or not, it’s good to learn how to manage your energy. Christine Miserandino, who lives with lupus, created her “Spoon Theory” as a way to think about how much energy we have available.

Here’s how it works:
Pretend that you have a handful of spoons that represent all the energy you have for the day. Depending on your health, you’ll need to use some of those spoons to get dressed, make a pot of coffee or take care of your pet. Once you’ve done the daily ‘essential’ activities, you’ll know how much energy you’ve got left for other things, like going for walk on a summer evening.

The great thing about the Spoon Theory is that it works for everyone – you choose how many spoons to start with each day and know how many you have left. It’s also an easy way to communicate with others how you’re feeling at any given time. Maybe you’re not feeling like that hike in the woods. It may be hard to say ‘no,’ but easier to say, “I only have one spoon left today, and I’m saving it for cooking dinner tonight.”

Flipping it around, Jackie, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS), came up with her “Fork Theory” as a way to communicate her pain points to family and friends. Jackie explained the theory to others in her PatientsLikeMe community:

“Forks are the opposite of spoons, you want to get rid of them. But knowing how many forks you have at any given time can help those around you understand what’s going on. For some of us, these forks take the form of chronic pain or fatigue, but for others, they may be simply a lack of motivation for the occasional family dinner (just kidding, Aunt Helen 🙂 ).”

Support that sustains
Whatever type of cutlery makes sense to you, a summer day may offer you more chances to eat well, enjoy some exercise a bit or spend time relaxing at the beach.

If you need someone to talk to about your health condition(s) and how you are using your spoons or forks today, there are more than 350,000 PatientsLikeMe members discussing more than 2,500 health conditions. Summer wherever, but summer together. Join PatientsLikeMe and discover a place to learn and connect.

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Uncovering psoriasis with patients like you

Posted November 1st, 2013 by

World PSO Day

This is it, the last report in our 5-part series of seasonal surveys focused on uncovering the experiences our psoriasis members. Like the seasons before it, this summer more than 300 psoriasis community members added their voices to research to help everyone understand what it’s like to live with the condition. Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences and helped uncover a little more.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Summer facts
What do we know about those who took part this summer? The average age of those who answered this survey was 48, and 70 percent of respondents were women. These people also told us about what activities they prefer. A majority of members enjoy swimming in the summer, and out of the swimmers, more preferred the pool (39%) than the ocean (35%). And when it came to clothing choices, we learned that the majority of you (70%) are actually fine with ‘uncovering’ a little skin, choosing to wear T-shirts and shorts versus long sleeves and pants.

Uncovering Psoriasis

You can check out the full results by downloading this report — Patient Voice: Uncovering Psoriasis (Summer 2013). You’ll find in-depth look at how our members with psoriasis rated their “skinpact1” this summer along with what specific factors can increase it, from age to the location of an outbreak to the percentage of the body covered with itchy, red plaques (a measurement known as the Body Surface Area or BSA score).

Interested in other seasonal psoriasis insights? Here’s a recap of the other seasonal reports, made possible by the experiences that PatientsLikeMe members have shared over the past year:

Want to connect and learn from psoriasis patients like you?


1 The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) is used to measure the “skinpact” that psoriasis can have on patients. It asks questions like “How self-conscious are you because of your skin”, “How much has psoriasis interfered with your personal activities”, or “Does your skin condition affect your ability to do sports?” The questionnaire runs from a low score of 0 (no impact) to a maximum of 30 (extremely large impact).