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Slowly Coming Back to Life

Posted Oct 20 2013 9:51am
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!
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