What Is a ‘Spoonie’?


If you’re active on the Internet, particularly in groups and forums regarding chronic illness, you’ve definitely noticed the term “spoonie” being thrown around.

MORE: Some patients suffering with CF are celebrities or became celebrities because of their fight against the disease. Read their stories.

Spoonie is a term coined by a chronic illness blogger, who used spoons to demonstrate how much energy a person with a chronic illness has each day, and how much is used up doing simple tasks like washing or getting dressed.

As this video by Hot Pink Sun explains, the symbolism stuck and spoonie is now a widely used term for anyone who has a chronic illness,

MORE: The symptoms of cystic fibrosis will vary from patient to patient, but there are commonalities in the way that CF affects the body. Learn more about them here.

Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Will says:

    I was fairly active in social media, but find that most people with chronic illnesses are very quick to complain about their illness. Especially those that call themselves spoonies. Enough with labeling. Your illness will disable you to a certain degree; it is true. But don’t disable yourself more.

    And someone told me years ago something which hurt at the time, but helped me more than anything. People may ask how your day is going, but they don’t really want to hear. They don’t care. They have their own problems. So as Jesus said about the Pharisees, suffer in silence. don’t make a bigger show than it needs to be.

    Do what I do with my chronic illness, thanking God every single day that I’m still alive to breathe his air, soak up his sunlight, and live another day!

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Hi Will. Thank you for the comment and advice. You are right in that many people do not care how we are doing. However, there are those who need that emotional fencepost to lean on in sharing their discomfort and pain with those closest to them. This post is basically to help those newly diagnosed or struggling with their diagnosis to learn a little about a common term.

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