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Big and little changes

Posted Jul 13 2010 12:00am
I was just over at Lee Lee Ingram's blog, commenting on his observation that his condition waxes and wanes. Also, Shelli has been talking about big events that have caused her to crash. It put me in mind of my own experience this weekend. I've had a slight difference in the way symptoms are presenting and I'm wondering what I can put it down to.

I told you about the great fishing trip debacle, how we got lost twice and gave up and went home. Well, the following day AJ went out fishing again and I stayed at home and rested up. He drew a blank at the lake so came home and asked me if I wanted to go out for a late lunch. We drove out to a very nice riverside hotel. It was fairly busy and I was suddenly overwhelmed with anxiety as I sometimes am in crowded places. I settled down though and we had a pleasant meal although I felt a bit distant. My attention kept getting drawn to the sparrows in the ivy and the house martins flitting in and out of the eaves of the old building. 

We drove home, admiring the gorgeousness of Shropshire. It has turned golden this week as the wheat ripens. When we got back I couldn't get out of the car. I managed to get to my feet and AJ had to help me back to the house. Inside, the stairs were a complete impossibility and I lay down on the living room floor with a cushion and a blanket and promptly went to sleep. An hour and a half later I woke up, a little stiff and groggy, but able to walk again.

What was different was I got no warning. I usually get the staggers first if my legs are going. There were little signs, like the agoraphobia and the distant feeling. Now how do I know? Is that PTSD or extreme fatigue causing the anxiety? Does it matter? And I rarely sleep in the day these days, so I must have been pretty fatigued, but I didn't feel it.

Other things I've noticed recently is little holes in my concentration. I'm misunderstanding people because I've missed a step, or I don't get something in a novel because I've skipped a paragraph which I still don't pick up even on re-reading several times. I go to it the next day and all is clear! I'm not new to cognitive dysfunction, but again, I'm usually aware of it. This 'little holes' thing is like my last days in my job when I was making mistakes all the time but wasn't aware of it. I'm pretty sure now that getting lost on Saturday was one of these little lapses.

So what's changed? Well, I've stopped taking the mini-pill as I'm well and truly menopausal now. Hot flushes have returned with a vengeance and so has night-time thrashing about trying to get comfortable. So is it hormonal changes? Or, is it that I've become much more active in the last few weeks. I'm involved with a local community group and we are putting together a funding application which involves quite a lot of work and relationship management. I'm also doing Art group on a Wednesday and friendly craft group on a Friday night. So, am I just doing too much?

When you have CFS, the minutiae matter. The Normals don't have to do this kind of self-review all the time and I find it pretty frustrating. There are much more interesting things to think about. Or is the self-review yet another manifestation of being hypervigilant? What would happen if I just threw caution to the wind? Has anyone tried it?

OK, I'm thinking myself into a standstill now.
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