One thing I would like to write about is a visit to the CFS/ME clinic at Sutton Hospital about a week ago. This appointment was a follow-on from the seminar I went to a few months ago. I met with a specialist physiotherapist to discuss my resting regime (my phrase, not her's) and anything I might want help with. I went in thinking that I was doing OK I suppose as I have been improving steadily since Christmas and have been feeling a lot more hopeful for the future, but on the other hand I still have days when I get the resting regime a little wrong or I feel much less persevering and overall I can't live as a normal 20 year old quite yet. So I was very surprised when the physio said that I was doing really well and doing everything right.
Apparently yes. Maybe it's my perception that being as I'm not better yet, or that I still have down days so I have to be doing something wrong. Or maybe it's other people's perceptions that my illness is my fault, or that my down days are my fault. Either way, somehow I was surprised. This is something that has reassured me though as most of my resting regime is of my own creation based on trial and error, not the specialist advice of a doctor.
I may just pause here and elaborate on what the physio said was particularly good/helpful:
- pre-resting (again, my phrase not her's) which involves resting in anticipation of larger energy expenditures rather than relying on resting afterwards. Somehow it's more efficient, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because you feel a little less anxious going into things knowing you have prepared??
- proper resting. I talked about this about a year ago as I was experimenting with it but haven't kept it up so much. The physio described proper resting as simply doing nothing, even for only a minute or two. I had gotten a little into the habit of watching TV to relax but it doesn't quite work as well.
- a good bed-time routine.
This is turning out to be a meandering post because I would also like to put into words my thoughts about this, my last long summer before I am meant to go out into the real world once I graduate next year. Last summer felt wasted as I spent most of it in bed feeling very poorly but this summer has allowed me some freedom. While I still cannot compare myself to others at my age and stage in life without some sadness and envy, I can still enjoy the great things my life is offering to me right now. I am well enough now to meet up with friends I haven't seen for a while and so have something to look forward to. The most encouraging thing is when friends who I have barely seen are still good enough to remember me. They tell me that they are so glad I have made it to see them or to get to an event and make the most of my company, which is the most lovely thing ever. So somehow I don't feel this summer is being wasted, and I am learning to enjoy each day for its own sake.