Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slowly Coming Back to Life

After a severe crash that lasted over two weeks, I am slowly coming back to life and returning to "normal," whatever that means for me! I was really getting frustrated this week, to still be feeling so awful and having to stay horizontal all the time. Last week, I had a good attitude about it - I could tell from the way it started that it would be a major crash, the sort that only hits me about once a year now - so I settled in to rest and wait for it to go away, resigned to spending a week on the couch. I even made a pre-emptive appointment with my doctor for Friday because I knew this type of crash with congestion always turns into bronchitis for me (I think when this happens it is triggered by exposure to a virus). I thought I was on top of things.

But this was more like a once-every-two-years crash! As one week passed by, then 10 days, I started to get impatient and frustrated. Last Saturday night, I missed out on one of our local CFS family gatherings that I always look forward to. We even had a family visiting from out of state, so I really wanted to be there. How pathetic is it when you're not well enough to go to a party for sick people??

So, I kept resting, and I did feel a little better last Sunday, after spending another Saturday on the couch. I expected Monday morning to be a fresh start, and I was ready to get back to work and be productive again. But I woke up Monday morning after 10 hours' sleep still feeling exhausted and achy all over, still congested and coughing.

I had one big thing planned for this week: my neighborhood book group's 125th book celebration Wednesday evening. We were meeting at a local restaurant to celebrate and have our book discussion...and I had made the arrangements and chose the next group of books to vote on. I did not want to miss it, so I tried to be good and listen to my body (something I'm not always good at) and rest aggressively (I love that term!). By Wednesday, though, I still felt awful. I stayed on the couch all day, took a longer nap than usual, and tried to avoid stress and exertion. Finally, at 5 pm, an hour before dinner started, I needed to make a decision. I went back and forth - yes or no? - and agonized over it. Finally, my son said, "Mom, what's the big deal? Just go and come home early if you need to." I realized he was right, and, completely fed up with missing out, I decided to go - I got dressed (in something other than sweats), even put on a little make-up, and I went! It felt like such a victory! And I did think I might be feeling better but wasn't sure I could trust my feelings.

The evening turned out great. I managed it fine, feeling better and better. I took of my shoes under the table and sat cross-legged on my chair to ward off OI. I also took Sudafed before I went - I was still congested but also figured it would be good for OI plus its stimulant effects wouldn't hurt! It was such a joy to be with other people and talk. I am normally a very social person - I was not meant to live an isolated life alone in my family room!

That turned out to be an OK decision. By pure dumb chance (and a lot of rest), I really did turn the corner that evening and started to slowly feel better. My stamina was still quite poor for the next few days even though I felt better, so I tried to take it easy and come back to "normal" life bit by bit. Yesterday, I managed a short walk with my husband at our local nature center - it was so wonderful to be outdoors and moving again!

Today is Sunday which is always a busy day for me - my older son comes home from college for a few hours, and I need to refill all our medications (12 weekly reminder boxes between the 3 of us!), plus I usually make his favorite pancakes for breakfast and a nice Sunday dinner. So, I am hoping not to overdo today so that Monday - this time - really will be a fresh start!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue, So very good to read that you are coming out of that crash and also made it to the book group. Upnorth recommended Snow Child which I recently finished. I enjoyed your review so now maybe I'm the last person to have read it !! I've always wondered if you have ever watched any of Yasujiro Ozu's movies. They are unusual in just about everyway, starting with the camera position. Tokyo Story would be the best one if you want to give him a try. I've watched them over and over and many have commentaries (I love commentaries). So it sound like you are slowly getting back to your normal. That's great. Leah

ME CFS Self-help Guru said...

Glad to hear that you're picking up again. Long may it continue!

upnorth said...

these long crash/relapses are disheartening, but I'm glad it's over. It can be a reminder for me that it could be worse, but also to be careful.