Monday, July 06, 2009

Back Home!

We're back from our 3-week cross-country road trip (if you missed it, there are pictures at our trip blog). We really had a wonderful time - I didn't want it to end!!

As usual, I felt quite good during the entire trip. It's really amazing to me the effect of ditching all the daily to-dos and home maintenance stuff. I was able to take 1-mile long hikes - uphill and at high altitude! Sure, I was exhausted afterward, but there was nothing else I had to do the rest of the day. Of course, I hiked at a really slow pace with lots of stops. It's really pretty funny to see old ladies in sneakers and overweight guys in flip-flops passing me by, especially since I look strong and healthy.

I was thrilled to be able to do some hiking with my family. Before CFS, I loved exercise and all sorts of outdoor activities. My stamina was definitely down a bit from where it was last year - still the effects of Lyme, I guess. Most of the time, I hiked along for awhile, then Ken and the boys went on farther without me. Still, I was pleased to be able to hike at all. For much of the last year, I couldn't even walk around my block without crashing the next day.

Craig did great on vacation. His CFS has always been milder and he's virtually symptom-free with Florinef, even when he's active. Jamie had some down days and was definitely affected by the activity - he sometimes rested in the afternoon when I did, while Ken and Craig did something together - but the slow pace of vacation helped him manage, too.

I'm hoping to maintain some better conditioning now that I've gotten used to a bit of exercise again. I took a slow walk around my neighborhood today. The problem is all the other bits of activity that count as exertion for CFS but aren't really adding to fitness or conditioning - laundry (the washer and dryer have been running non-stop for days!), cooking, dishes, grocery shopping, running errands, and even (though I hate to admit it) sitting at the computer. It seems so unfair that these kinds of things "count" and can keep me from being able to take a short walk.

I'm also surprised each vacation (slow learner!) by the effects of daily stress, or the lack of it. I was really dreading come back home to the never-ending to-do list, over-cluttered house, and jungle-like yard. I tend to use up all my energy just on the daily maintenance stuff, so we never get to things like home improvement (or even pulling weeds). I had 423 e-mails waiting when I turned on the computer this morning (I'm ignoring them for the moment)! And that overwhelmed feeling definitely contributes to CFS symptoms.

So, I'm determined to try to keep some of that vacation feeling going by not getting too overwhelmed and trying to rest more throughout the day so I don't crash. It's a real challenge, though, being back in the real world. I am glad to be back to the blogging world, though - I missed all of you!


Unknown said...

Welcome home Sue - glad to see you back. Happy to had a good & safe trip :)

Shelli said...

Welcome home -- we missed you too! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip. It sounds heavenly! I hope the real world is gentle on you the next few weeks.

marts said...

Welcome back Sue! What a great & glorious three weeks for you! I'm going to see Dr Levine tomorrow to really have a "sit-down" to talk about what's what.
Meanwhile, good luck catching up with "home life"!
Best, Martine

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

Great to have you back. I laughed about the old folk overtaking you. It happens to me all the time.

Take it easy!

Renee said...

It is great to have you back, Sue. We all enjoy your posts and comments so much.
I watched my mother in law when she was 86 rake our yard as I sat in a chair weak as a kitten....humbling. Even the snails would pass me by. From my perspective on the sofa, you were running marathons! So happy it was such fun for you to be gone so long and enjoy it so much.