April was an exciting month for me. After months of posturing and changing lanes and going nowhere it felt as though I was finally off!
After 6 weeks of my new diet, it is becoming more natural and routine. I’m also remembering to take my supplements ( to help my memory amongst other things!!) and after 7 months, April has blossomed a whole series of firsts:
- Having full nights sleep
- Waking up feeling refreshed
- Being able to eat breakfast within 20 minutes of getting up
- Enjoy meals out with friends
- walk downstairs without ‘shaky legs’
- To join in conversations with groups of people
- Not be exhausted by noise sensitivities
- To sit and talk with friends for more than 1 hour
- Heart rhythm to be more stable
- To have renewed interest in shopping ( much to my husbands concern!)
- Occasional multitasking!
- Walking further distances
- Pottering around the house and garden
- Standing and singing in church
- Leading a Brownie meeting
- Visiting a museum
- Tolerating some strength/pilates exercises
To an average reader, this might not appear an exciting list, but to anyone who has suffered with ME, they will appreciate that this is a very exciting list!
I don’t want to give a false impression that everyday has just got better and better. My ‘best’ days have still been proceeded by a big dip (Post Exertional Malaise) These can be seen on my weekly record charts. However, I seem to have bounced back much quicker ( Typically 1-2 days rather than weeks) . Other physical symptoms have persisted: in particular my pins and needles, numbness, swollen glands etc. I’ve been following the advice of my Combination Therapist in quitting whilst I’m ahead and taking regular rest. It’s a hard discipline to follow when you feel that you have renewed energy. The temptation is to make up for lost time, but it is good advice and I try hard to follow it.
‘Better’ is a strange word. It can be both relative and absolute. For someone with an invisible illness it can be misleading. It’s great to be able to tell people the positives but I prefer to use the term ‘improving’. I am still a very long way off ‘better’ but I do feel as though I have reached my first goal of being stable enough to try increasing activity. Some of my friends that know about my grading system will now ask how I am from 1-10. I love seeing onlookers faces when I come back with a confident 6.9! April’s grading ranged from 4.41-6.90 (NB My personal grading criteria can be found at ‘My Road to fitness’ Blog Feb 2014) I’m now seeing the benefit of recording my daily progress. It spurs me on to see how far I’ve come rather than how far I’ve got to go!
My exercise for April consisted of 10-15 minutes of Pilates at home alongside some strengthening excises from my physio. This time, I’ve had no side effects and hope to extend these next month. My aerobic exercise has just consisted of extra household activity for now but again I’m looking forward to extending this next month.
May will be a huge test for me with some big challenges that I will report on next month. It’s going to be hard to stay within my ‘quitting whilst I’m ahead’ limits. I’m not sure what distance I’m running, I’m not sure I’m fully prepared. Winning the race isn’t important to me, but it’s definitely the old adage that it’s the taking part that counts. For now, it just feels good to be out of those starting blocks! This race will certainly include hurdles but I’m just hoping and praying that it’s not a false start!