I love it when a plan comes together…
almost as much as I like peanut butter on toasted cinnamon and raisin bagels. But enough of my wanton gluttonous ways.
I’m planning, and currently, organising making a commitment. A commitment to do something regularly. At a set times on set days. For ill-er or for worse. For real.
I am… gulp.. delving into the world of getting a personal trainer.
Yup, actually happening. I’ve set up a meeting with someone who has been recommended to me. She sounds pretty cool as she specialises in training outdoors. O.K. that is not massively inspiring looking at the rain coming down outside at the moment but there it is. I’m excited and nervous.
- I’ll be cool to have someone else to figure out how far it is “normal/sensible” to push with physical activity.
- It’s random and new to me.
- Instead of feeling massively self conscience about it all I’m now like “Yay, I totally deserve this investment in me! Wooo! Go team”. And by team I mean me. Team of one. That’s pretty sad. I’m not crazy, honestly ;-)
- It’s a chance to prove I can stick to something. Who knows where this leads to? Maybe I will be able to join a running group soon. How massively cool would that be?
- I need to point out my medically history. Which, thank-you-so-very-much-CFS, is kinda like bringing out a scroll and unraveling it to watch it drop to the floor and roll out across the room and down the corridor. We may be here some time.
- My knee hates me. Stupid torn cartledge. Stupid not being able to tell actual ‘oh hell I’ve just crippled myself!’ pain apart from C.F.S. random aches and pains and consequently have wondered around like this for months. Not cool.
Also, randomly, potential P.T. and I are meeting at a cafe. Is this some sort of test? Am I expected to sit down with a herbal tea and apple or can I go for the more honest and totally delicious carrot cake and massive coffee?
Time to think up some new year resolutions…. in mid-March
I haven’t posted in ages. Not that I haven’t though about it but I’ve be struggling. After some problems with my PhD (sciencey-technically stuff I wont bore you with) it’s been grinding me down a bit so I’ll just been spending the vast majority of energy trying to plough threw that. Getting there.
And in my “spare” time?
I’ve been hiding from life by being on the internet - there can’t be a youtube video I haven’t seen. I’ve been living a little too much in imagination land and spent my time reading too much or daydreaming about all the things I’d do and see and the life I’d lead if I wasn’t feeling so ill.
There has been no running or swimming or activity of any kind for about 3 weeks. I just about managed cycling the mile to the supermarket the other day as it was quicker than walking and poor planning meant that supermarket home delivery would leave me with only maple syrup, spring onions and porridge as my only sustenance for two days. Ill but not that ill y’know? Yuk!
I’ve broken all my cardinal rules for the last few weeks. I’ve eaten cakes and biscuits even though I know that they make me porky /
ill ill-er ill-est just because I wanted to be able to bloody well comfort eat like a normal person. Fact: as I type this I am polishing off the remains of an entire packet of dark chocolate caramel digestives. I recommend them. Exquisite. [Update: feel a bit sicky now. I’ll exercise moderation next time methinks.].
I’ve never really been one to comfort eat. Oh sure I love a good feed but controlling my diet is a large part of “controlling” (insofar as possible) my CFS. Before my excessive binging of the last few weeks I actually got down to 8 stone and 1 pound and was feeling prety good but stuff with work has made me lose my way a bit. In the last 5 weeks I’ve rocket up to 8 stone 7/8 pounds. Full marks for effort…
I’m getting tired of being… well… tired. Time to take up the reigns again. I’ve tried and failed to take control of the situation for, on average, 3 to 4 times a week. That’s pretty lame. When it comes to getting better / fitter my will isn’t usually lacking but I’ve had a few weekends away and that has really wiped me out.
On the upside: I’ve had a few weekends away. Camping for a weekend in a hobbit-style village anyone? I went to cae mabon for a friends birthday and it had open fires outside and in huts. A hot tub and everyone bought awesome food. I ate EVERYTHING and it was a really fun day/night
View from bridge at Llanberis.
Snowdon. Photo taken from the warmth and comfort of Seat Ibiza called “Blue Bess”. Next time Snowdon… Next time I’m be climbing you and that is a promise!!
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Finding limits, setting boundaries and the serious need for a “users manual”
A conversation with my boyfriend this evening:
Me: Why am I in such bad shape. My body is a wreck. Even when I ran 10 miles [last October] I was a disaster.
Boyfriend: Disaster? How??
Me: Just is. I never feel strong.
BF: But you aren’t doing any strength exercises
Me: True. But I am running. I’m just so tired after running that strength training and flexibility work eludes me.
BF: Why are you pushing yourself so hard?
Me: I’m not pushing myself at all. And yet I’m knackered.
BF: Love, running, core, swimming and a Phd is pushing a lot. [N.b. I want to go swimming but I haven’t managed it yet]
Me: Not really. Just soooo tired all the time. Other people manage with more.
BF: So what? Other people aren’t getting over CFS.
Me: I’ll never get over it.
There are two different kinds of hurt in my life:
- The first is the pain/soreness you experience pushing yourself to get fitter. It’s a “normal” kind of pain. I don’t over-push myself but (usually) push boundaries to make my body change. To get fitter. To endure better.
- The other kind of pain is far worse. It’s the nagging pain of C.F.S. The phantom pains with no obvious cause. The burn in your muscle from basic movement like lifting your arms to take a drink of water. The total exhaustion and fatigue that both of these hurts cause. The mental exhaustion from it can be even worse at time.
I’m having a hell of a time telling these two pains apart at the moment. I have no idea when to push against C.F.S. Or how to tell if I am just succumbing to laziness. Or identifying if I’m making myself ill-er.
I honestly have no idea and it’s troubling me. If I run today will I be too ill to go to work tomorrow? If I cycle this afternoon will I be too exhausted to see my boyfriend next weekend? If I get up and make a cup of tea will I be in bed for the next week?
At times I don’t feel like a real person anymore. I don’t remember what it feels like to be normal. I don’t remember where my limits were to figure out where they should be now. Currently, I try to go to work. I try to “fix” my body. I try to be a “normal” girlfriend. I try to be a friend that is around and social and not just locked away napping or lazing. But I am continuing to fail juggling these things. To make it worse I’m so busy trying to cope with them as a collective that I am failing at each of them individually. Disastrously.
My boyfriend went on to say something along the lines of “F**k sake love, I think if anyone was doing what you are they would be tired all the time too. I am tired every evening, and all I have done is gone to work.”
Today I accidently went for a long cycle ride (don’t ask…). I went 10 miles (!) and it took me a whopping 1 hour and 20 minutes. I’m not too worried I was slow. I’m not used to cycling and my brain was so foggy (foggy enough to not query the wisdom of cycling so long) that I just focused on enjoying the view and being road safe. In the afternoon a friend of mine from work came over and we made peanut butter chocolate cups, and glittery chocolate dinosaurs. It was great. But in a normal person’s life that was 4 hours of their Saturday. In my life that was my Saturday and probably most of Sunday will be spent recovering. Tomorrow is meant to be long run (relative term – I’m thinking 4 miles) day. Hmm. I don’t know if this will happen. Currently, it hurts to lift my hands to type. My muscles are burning in my arms.
Most people with C.F.S. (or other chronic illnesses) at this point are probably thinking “F.U. b***h. You’re one of the lucky one who gets to walk again. Who at least get to try to have a normal life. You get no right to complain. You should be f**king thankful that you have it as good as you do” and they are right. And I am grateful. Yet I still feel in limbo and I’m not sure of the path to take to get well.
Tonight I am questioning if I will get well. And wondering what “well” even constitutes. What do I wan’t to achieve? Most people never really completely recover from C.F.S. (apparently) so will I even recognise “well”, as in the best my health is ever going to get, if I get there? Should I push try push boundaries or just shut up, put up and just be grateful that I am not super ill anymore?
I’m not hosting a pity party I just really wish I knew the answers to these questions. I’m a little scared that the only way to find the answers (and move on with my life) runs a high probability of me making myself very, very ill in the process.
I know tomorrow I will feel better. I know eventually I will get back running. Life will roll on and I’ll bounce back to my usual positive self. I’ll even enjoy the challenge of beating C.F.S.! However, tonight I wish I could see five years into the future. See who I am at the end of all this, if I ever find an end to all this…
In other news my ass is killing me from the cycle. Probably good for it though. Especially after all those peanut butter cups. Yum.
Mortified. I’ve shrunk my favorite jumper in the wash. (Can you tell it is a slow period for news?).
Yes, I know this is a first world problem but we’ve had some good times together. Like the time I made an effigy of one of the other PhD students in our office…
N.b. This beauty was made on a weekend so technically in my own time. I’m not so much of a slacker that I’d do this on a week day ;-) Unfortunately after all this fannying about I did actually go on to do some work before falling asleep in the staff room at lunch time. Tiring work tuckers you out!
Totally worth it as it scared the living daylights of the other PhD students on the Monday. HA!
The boyfriend and I bailed on going out for dinner on Saturday night (too much energy required - weekends are for recovering from life) and stayed in and made cranberry sausage rolls instead. We threw caution (and weightwatchers pro-points calculator tools) to the wind and ate all of them as they were so, so good. Actually it was mostly him wolfing them down. My biggest weakness was these bad boys:
I ate two whole packs (eek!). The only thing that stopped me eating these? Well, it was the discovery of the following…
But I “limited” myself to one pack. Hmm, a dubious achievement.
Back on track now though. Haddock, butternut squash and quinoa for lunch anyone? ;-)
Oh dear Deity-of-your-choice, what a strange day. This morning I packed my beloved off on a plane back to the land of his gainful employment. It’s been an unsociably short visit for us this time (Friday night to Sunday morning) but a pretty blissful weekend otherwise.
I was in a bit of a foul mood after he left for the obvious reasons (e.g. weeks until I see him again). I pottered around the house for ages doing nothing but making and consuming vast quantities of tea and systematically eating all the fruit in the house despite not even being hungry.
My running schedule pointed out that, instead of shuffling around in my PJs and mad hair, I had actually planned a nice long run for the Sunday afternoon.
It couldn’t have been more perfect a day for it. The kind of Sabbath I normally dream about running through. The sun was shining. The temperature vaguely-kinda-warm-ish. The wind was calm. I had clean running gear. Heck, I could even find a matching pair of running socks. But in all honestly I thought “Sod it, I’d rather stay in, close the curtains and eat a packing of digestive biscuits whilst watching back to back episodes of Hornblower” (cos that’s how I roll).
Instead as the sun set and Portsmouth put on a cracking example of an eerily attractive twilight I was pulled by some unknowable force from my seated position and I went for a run. I don’t really know how I ended up on a 4.1 mile run but what I do know is that within the first few steps of running I found my happy-pace. It was amazing. I was in the zone as I continuously plodded on with no panting, wheezing, unsightly fatigue related tripping or slowing/stopping throughout my whole run. WOW.
And I loved it. Wish it was always like this.
(No photo I’m afraid. The middle of Southsea Common in the dark is a bit too creepy for me to stop and take a photo from.)