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Taking control

Posted Oct 02 2012 5:24pm
I feel like the CFS (or Chronic Lyme, now, I guess?) has been calling the shots the last few years but now it's time to take some of that control back! Well, I'm going to try my best anyway! Two weeks ago, I left my job and family behind to move 400 miles with my boyfriend to northern California for his new job. The move took a heck of a lot out of me, but I finally feel like I'm back to where I was, at least to 2 weeks ago levels! Hurray. There's so much left to unpack and it's overwhelming to think about, but the apartment is not a pigsty anymore; the boxes are at least neatly stacked on top of each other :). I also survived my first IKEA trip with the beau (with resting to recover after). Well, I made it around the top level at least; lots of places to stop and sit for a bit with all the sofas, and kitchen chairs, and desk chairs.

Anyway, back to the taking control part. I am now unemployed and we've decided I will stay as such until I get better (because it WILL happen, dammit!). My CFS doc  thinks I'm at a point where I should start doing some resistance-type exercise because it's supposed to boost the immune system when done at that hard-to-achieve non-detrimental level. This decision was based on the fact that my reverse-T3 levels have gone down quite a bit form an initial level 3 years ago of 53 to 16 at the last visit. I was wary of this idea at first, but since he hasn't led me astray yet and I've been slowly but continuously improving since I started seeing him, figure I should follow his directions.

I've set up a strict activity regime for the day. The goal is to start activity at a level that I know I will tolerate, however little it may be, and build up on it in tiny increments every week. If I start or arrive at a point I can't tolerate, I move down to a tolerable point until I feel like I can move up. And I will never push myself to do more than I feel comfortable with just because I feel "I should". Or at least, try not to. Much easier said than done! So 3 times a day (after every meal) I will go for a walk (.1 miles, to the edge of my apartment building and back). I've broken up the walk into 3 small portions so I can come back home and rest right after. Next week I'll increase to .13 and see how I feel. Then on alternating days, I do either weights (starting at 1 lb, 10 reps of bicep and tricep, and a couple sit ups) or this restorative/healing yoga video that I found (picking and choosing the mildest exercises that all involve laying down and mostly stretching). With these also, I will slowly increase the difficulty level a tiiiiny bit every couple of weeks. After each activity, I rest rest rest to avoid any over-exertion and potential crash.

We'll see how it goes, but I'm super committed. I've even made a spreadsheet to keep track of walking distance, heart rate, weight amount used, length, etc. I'm a nerd. Thing is, I've had experience in the past that has shown this sort of thing is beneficial to me (doing literally 6 seconds of a lower back exercise twice a week and slowly building every few weeks--adding second by second-- helped me be able to go grocery shopping for myself again!), so I'm excited to do it in a controlled environment.

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