Instagram for the Chronically Ill: #SpoonieLivingApp

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[Image shows three spoons on a laptop background. Overlaid is clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper is a small clipart of a minimalistic camera with black text that reads “Instagram for the Chronically Ill: #SpoonieLivingApp” and below that in small red text is the URL for Thee Crohnie Grace Blog]

What started out as a small project for PhD student Sam Martin is now taking the chronically ill community to a whole new level. SpoonieLiving App is the instagram for the chronically ill, featuring stickers, profiles, and a wall of fame where photos can be posted and people can like said photos. The stickers include signs warning of “low spoons” or “low energy”, all the way to having specific banners for individual illnesses and disease.

Sam Martin is a spoonie herself, with Celiac Disease, IBS and Arthritis. To quote her “About SpoonieLiving” page, Sam is “writing a thesis about how people with chronic illnesses…use social Β media to share experiences of their illness and find information.” As well as created to, “see if the use of illness and dietary related stickers would help individuals express themselves… It is hoped that using stickers will help people creatively manage their illnesses on a daily basis.”

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[Image shows what looks like a table in front of a window blurred out of focus. It then has a camera in blue and white similar to that of Instagram’s camera, but with a rainbow spoon beneath it that reads “#SpoonieLiving”. Then follows with the options of “Photo Library”, “Collage”, “Camera”, “About #SpoonieLiving”, and at the bottom has the “Wall of Fame”, “Inspiration”, and a settings option.]

Upon opening up the app you can pull pictures from your phone. It allows you to add a background if you want, then it comes up with the image editor. It’s all very basic and simple but serves it’s purpose. The fames come in various shapes, leaves, coffee cup, and of course spoons.

Then come the stickers, a variety of things are here such as traffic warning signs that say “No Energy Come Back Later”, a wooden spoon that says “Spoonie Life”, Banners that read “Spoonie Super Hero”, and of course the banners for individual illnesses and diseases.

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[Image shows a selfie of me at my college, on a blue/purple/pink geometric ombre background. On it has a clipart sticker from the app’s collection that reads “Straight Outta #Spoons” and at the top is a black and red banner that reads “IBD Warrior”, at the bottom there are a few of many stickers available. They are all banners, the first is red and blue with yellow text that reads “Managing PTSD One Spoon A Time”, the next is a purple and red banner with white text that reads “Managing IBD One Spoon A Time” and the last is a black and red banner with white text that reads “Stomp Out Transverse Myelitis”.]

I give them credit for the wide variety of illnesses that they cover in their stickers: Gluten Free stickers, Epilepsy, MS, Lupus, Coeliac, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Transverse Myelitis, POTS, Crohn’s and Colitis, Stoma Superhero Stickers, IBD, IBS, PTSD, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome, ME, Allodynia, Gastroparesis, Hypermobility, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Cluster Headaches, Chronic Migraines, PCOS, Endometriosis, TPN Warrior Stickers, CRPS, Sepsis Survivors, Depression, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Dysautonomia, Chronic Kidney Disease, Life Support Survivors, Catheter Dependents, Septic Shock, Arthritis, Allergies, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lyme Disease, and even Invisible Illness Warriors and Undiagnosed Spoonie stickers for those who are still a medical mystery.

The Image Editor also includes textures, filters and photo adjustments.

The next unique feature about this app is the “Wall of Fame” where you can post your edited photos and go and like or comment on other’s photos to help them reach the top of the wall.

Currently at the top of the wall with 111 likes is user Glutenfreeoreo.

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[Image shows a girl in a black and white photo with long hair and glasses. On the photo is a teal and pink banner with white text that reads “Undiagnosed Spoonie” and the #SpoonieLivingApp watermark. She has a little medal with the 1 on it to show she is at the top of the Wall of Fame]

And it also allows you to look at your own profile to see all your photos you have made on the app, along with how many likes they are receiving.

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[Image shows a dark berry shade of purple banner that reads “My Profile”, it then reads on a white background in black text “theecrohniegrace” and my email along with my profile picture and the option to “Update Profile”. It then shows “My Posted Pictures” which then is followed by all my selfies with stickers from the app and so forth.]

You can email the creator with suggestions for stickers if you can’t find one for you, or just have some cute ideas for more stickers. It’s a great way to express yourself and find others as well. And if you post your photos on instagram, there’s a good change she will repost them to her instagram which can be found by clicking on the “Inspiration” menu on the first page.

Overall, I think this is an amazing app at letting spoonies express themselves and having a small community of their own, the stickers are fantastic (minus the misspelling of Crohn’s disease), and I love seeing when she uploads more, I can’t wait to see what Sam comes up with next.

Go check it out, it’s available free on ITunes and also in the Android Shop!


8 thoughts on “Instagram for the Chronically Ill: #SpoonieLivingApp

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience of using the SpoonieLiving App ! It’s so wonderful to hear that it works well for you and fellow Spoonies (I can promise that the Chron’s mis-spelling has now been fixed in the latest update, so after you’ve downloaded it, I would be really really seriously happy if you could edit that bit out?). And thank-you once again for your support, and your production of some amazing images within the app’s internal wall. I created this app to make a difference to fellow illness sufferers, and I am so glad it is helping you and others too. xx


    1. Your app is great! I’m going to try to redownload and see if the spelling is fixed although you still misspelled it in your comment haha. It’s spelled Crohns, named after the doctor who discovered it. Not like Chrons like Chronic. I still struggle with the misspelling myself from time to time despite having it since I was 8 so if it’s fixed when I redownload I will edit that part out tonight(: Thank you


    2. Upon getting the update it is still misspelled. It’s spelled in the app “Chrons” when it should be “Crohns” the rest of the update is fabulous though! And I hope you can fix the spelling soon if you have the time. πŸ™‚


      1. There is a new update out with the correct spelling of Crohn’s as checked via the Mayo Clinic website. If you’re happy with this, I would be grateful for a change in the article. πŸ™‚


  2. Any chance of a correction? I’ve re-published an update with the correct spelling, and have noticed you’ve used the correctly spelled sticker in the app now – I’d love to cite your article once this is sorted. xx


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