Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A Change of Scenery

The beach is so peaceful and relaxing.
 Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders!

As most of you know, I've been going through a bad period this past month, and last week was just as bad. Friday I pretty much hit bottom - severe sore throat, horrible aches, exhaustion. I did something I rarely do and stayed in my pajamas in bed all day. By afternoon, my mood matched my physical condition - all of these down days finally got to me, and I was feeling pretty depressed.

I dragged my chair out onto our sunny deck, laid in the sunshine, and watched some inspirational TED talks - that often helps, and it did this time, too.

Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk
Things began to turn around in the evening. I started to feel just a bit better, our son got invited away for the weekend, and my husband and I suddenly had a weekend alone in front of us. We've been trying to get away together for a long time - over a year! - so we made a snap decision to just get out of town. Of course, we had no reservations, and it was too late to use the Bed & Breakfast gift card my mom gave us for Christmas last year. So, we made a quick reservation at our favorite inexpensive hotel at the beach (Rehoboth Beach here in Delaware) - just making that reservation lifted my spirits!

Enjoying a relaxing breakfast
Saturday morning, I was still somewhat achy but definitely feeling better. We packed a quick overnight bag - well, actually, it wasn't that simple, as you probably know - we CFSer's do not travel light! I packed an overnight bag, all my medications, just-in-case medications, my own pillow and blanket in case I needed to sleep in the car, etc. By 12:30 pm, we were at the beach and on vacation! It was such a great feeling just to be away and on our own, with no responsibilities! For me, just being out of the house was a huge relief.

A short walk on the beach.
We had a wonderful 24-hour getaway together. We took a short walk on the beach (I wore my heart rate monitor, of course), ate at our favorite restaurants, splurged on fudge and homemade donuts, watched episodes of The Good Wife on my laptop in bed, and even managed a tiny bit of shopping at our two favorite stores there - a bookstore and a retro toy store. I still wasn't quite feeling up to my normal baseline, but I felt pretty good and managed quite well. It's that Vacation Paradox again - I can handle a lot more activity on vacation because there are no stress or obligations to use up my limited energy.

I had a brief crash again Monday afternoon and evening and thought I was in for another bad week, but today was better - not great, but OK. My college-aged son is not faring so well this week - for the first time in over a year of college, he had to come home last night to rest because he felt so horrible. He's got a severe sore throat, swollen glands, and some congestion, so I fear he may be starting what I went through a few weeks ago. Hopefully, he will rebound more quickly than I did because he can't afford to miss a lot of school. For now, I am giving him extra immune system meds and supplements, feeding him his favorite foods, and trying to take care of him.

The weekend away refreshed me - I feel like I am starting fresh this week! 

A beautiful day at the beach...though a bit chilly!


Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought that the reason that you feel better when you are away from home for a while could be that your home itself is a problem?

Dr. Myhill says:

The key to diagnosing mould allergy is the history and if patients are improved in a mould free or low mould environment then this is highly suggestive that moulds are a problem. In order to survive moulds have to get their water from air, therefore they do not exist either in very dry climates (which may be hot dry or cold dry), above three thousand feet where the air is too thin to hold sufficient moisture, or on sea fronts where the prevailing winds are onshore. Since moulds do not live in oceans, their spores are constantly blown in land.

Therefore, to diagnose mould allergy I currently recommend that people have a two week holiday in such a mould free environment. They may have already done this and not realised that their improvement was actually due to the control of their mould allergy and ascribe improvement to other factors such as freedom from stress, or sunshine, or whatever.


Here is a test that you could do for your house:


Sue Jackson said...

I see how you could misinterpret what I said here, unless you had gone back to read the older vacation post. My symptoms do NOT improve when I'm away from home - they stay pretty much the same. It's just that I am able to be more active in a fun way (walks, short hikes) while on vacation because I am not expending my limited energy on daily responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc. This is true no matter where we travel - we have been all over the US. Alternatively, when we are away from home but spending time with family, all the social interaction uses up my limited energy and I am able to do less and see my symptoms increase considerably.

Energy, stress, and activity level are such a delicate balance in ME/CFS!

I do have mold allergies, but thankfully, our home doesn't seem to trigger them. We do have one damp spot in the garage that I've been meaning to have tested, so I greatly appreciate the link - thanks!


ME CFS Self-help Guru said...

So glad you're on your way up again! Hope your son doesn't crash too badly. Best wishes to you all.