I've woken up this morning with a monster headache and my whole body is stiff and aching. I know why. It's PEM otherwise known as payback. I've just discovered the term payback. As I think it is so descriptive and so much catchier than 'post-exertional malaise' I am going to use it as much as possible. Payback, payback, payback.
Having almost convinced myself (and this is a marker for how warped my thinking is at the moment) my CFS was in remission and my problem was entirely depression, I decided to build in a little exercise. In fact, the doctor recommended it when I saw him on Monday. So, on Tuesday I drove down to the chemist's to pick up my new prescription and go to the post office. The plan was to park at the car park that was a hundred yards away, rather than the right up close one - which I did. I took my stick. So far, so sensible.
The post office was shut and I had twenty minutes to kill. I needed the post office to get cash for the cup of tea I had promised myself in my favourite tea shop. I saw an inviting flight of steps. 'Oh' I says to myself ' I wonder where they lead?'. Madness, complete madness. I climbed the lot, in stages. They led up to a church and a nice view. Coming down was worse as my legs were starting to go.
I made it to the post office and the tea shop, but wove back across the bridge like a drunk. My right leg was cramping and almost useless. I could drive but it was another close call. You may remember I nearly got stuck in the woods just before Christmas. If I'd stuck to the hundred yard amble on the flat I would have been OK probably. Why do I do it? Because it's there. And I'm in denial.
Yesterday I followed up with a short walk from the house to the edge of the woods and back. Today I'm in payback, big style. Will I learn the lesson? Probably not. It's taken my mind off the depression though.