My Road to Fitness: June 2014

Falling flat on face

I’ve been dreading writing this month’s post. After the euphoria of last month’s progress and the green light to start on gentle exercise again, the warnings about activity and ME are echoing round my head as I stumble down my grading chart and ponder what went wrong. ( I slid from 7.4 To 3.8 on my 1-10 scale)

 

June Grading The first half of the month continued well and it was a joy to stride out on gentle walks and celebrate my birthday (even if it was without the usual obligatory cake, chocolate and champagne/alcohol!)

Friends commented on how much better I seemed and after nine months it was a fabulous feeling to honestly confirm this as true.

The second half of June saw things start to unravel rapidly. (This can be see on my Grading graph but not really reflected in my mean Health Items chart)

Ignore readings for July
Ignore readings for July

To what extent this was due to increasing my activity is unclear. Summer viruses seem to be in abundance and my own feeling is that the flare up was more a result of me picking up another mild virus as my dip was accompanied with intermittent sneezing fits, streaming nose, sore throat and tissues galore! My glands were also more enlarged than normal.

I’ve still maintained my strict diet and supplements so the fact that I’ve reacted so badly to such a small virus is disappointing to say the least. I can’t be sure whether the extra activity was stretching my body to its limits and whether this could have been avoided.

I know it doesn’t take much for me to be knocked off course. I guess I need to remember that it wasn’t just occasional walks that had increased this month. I had already increased the amount of domestic activity: cleaning, shopping, gardening, my social life, and with it expectations of myself, friends and family that I was capable of doing so much more than of late.

Although all of this extra activity is fantastic psychologically, it’s hard to remember that with ME, good and bad stress all takes its toll on the body. It is SO hard when you’re feeling better to rest and change the rhythms of life that you feel comfortable with. It’s amazing how quickly I can slip from resting out of necessity to feeling lazy!

However, it makes sense that if I’m doing more I need to counter balance it with resting MORE whether I feel like it or not. I know diet, supplements and exercise are no cure for ME but it is all I have to try and re-balance the body the best I can to give myself a fighting chance. The problem about trying to keep a balance is that you don’t know how far you can tweak the balance until you tip off the scale!

It’s been a wake up call (again!) how quickly & easily I can slide down the scale after starting to  feel so well. The scary part is not knowing how long the climb back up will be.

However, there are some positives this month:

1)      My exercises have helped relieve my pins and needles in my arm

2)      Sleep hasn’t been effected too much during this flare up

3)      London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are interested in my case and have been in touch to arrange blood samples for their ME CFS Blood Bank

4)      I had a lovely birthday with family and friends!

 

So next month’s plan is to rest more, stabilise, then resume some gentle exercise and rest more so I can bring some better news for next month! Onwards and upwards!

Relevant links: Prof Julia Newton “Metabolism and the Muscles” Explaining why only some sufferers are exercise intolerant & finding that acid levels that are 20% higher in muscles of people with ME. www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UFTngBp7ek

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2 thoughts on “My Road to Fitness: June 2014

  1. Oh man, I’m gutted for you. I just know what it’s like when you feel, ‘this is it, I’m getting better, so let’s try x y z’ etc. and you can’t actually do it, and it feels wonderful! – and then you crash again.

    One thing I would say, though, from someone in another part of the country, is that there has been an EVIL cold/cough virus going round which has wiped several people out (even healthy friends), and for me it seemed to hang around for four weeks.

    Also, there is a phrase ‘you need to be well enough to have a cold’. I’m not 100% clear on this, but I did read that the more symptoms you have when you have a cold, the more it indicates your body is fighting it. I had faint cold symptoms, on and off, for 3 weeks – wasn’t even sure it was a cold, but I just felt wiped. Finally, the symptoms appeared, and even though I felt miserably ill, my energy went up. Getting a virus can be a good sign, because it means your immune system is on and working to fight the thing.

    And I know how hard it is to double up the resting when all you wanna do is increase activity. I’m praying for wisdom and discernment for you. Much love x

  2. Thanks so much for your reply. I really value your understanding, encouragement and wisdom.

    If I’m honest, I never anticipated this recovery to be this long or difficult considering my ME is only mild/moderate. Like you say, it IS hard but at least it doesn’t feel as though I’m back at square one and I’m not yet deterred from continuing on this course of diet, rest and gentle exercise.
    Although it feels far from minor, I’m hoping over time it will show as nothing more than a minor blip…! I guess the problem with writing a monthly blog is that it’s not good when I end a month with a crash!

    The evil cold is doing it’s rounds up here too. My daughter has had a bad cough for a good 3-4 weeks. I had never thought of getting a virus as a positive sign before, so that’s quite encouraging 🙂

    Sorry to hear that you’ve also been wiped out. Praying for you too and many thanks again xx

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