I have asthma as well as lupus and someone explained to me that having an asthma attack is like trying to breathe with a plastic bag over your head that only has one tiny pin hole in it. It is an image that always stayed in my mind and explains exactly how it feels.
I wish I could come up with something that would help with lupus a short sharp image we could leave in people's heads as a lasting impression that would give them insight into how we feel.
I have read the spoon theory but it feels too watered down and does not convey the complexity of the illness only that you have to manage your energy levels.
I like to use film references so when I had my pulmonary embolism I likened it to when the priest in the omen got impaled by a lightening rod lol, I know extreme but it was how I felt even tho I have never had experience of a lightening rod but I think you get the gist lol.
Maybe we should put our heads together. For example it's like you've run a marathon without getting a medal, then had a baby and then entered mastermind.