Good and Tired

Hello old friend, how’ve you been.  I’ve missed you whilst you’ve been gone.

I’m talking about that good kind of tired you get from when you’ve done an awful lot of exercise, camping, staying up late, cooking, organising, partying and playing and your body just wants to get horizontal for a good long stretch (on a decent bed) and recover its reserves. Continue reading

G.E.T. Average

A slightly longer than anticipated gap between this and my last post – G.E.T. Started – as work and ‘life’ have intervened during that time to keep me incredibly busy.  However, this experience has brought into focus one of my next topics: ‘Wants and Needs’.  I will get to these in more detail in my next post but first we need to revisit our activity log and talk about next steps.

Average is your friend Continue reading

G.E.T. Started

Graded Exercise Therapy.

For some sufferers of CFS/ME this brings to mind painful experiences where they have been’encouraged’, by healthcare professionals with limited understanding of the technique, to push through their limits and do more, ending up with crashes, flair-ups, setbacks and pain.

Although the end-goal of Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) is to increase your energy levels and stamina; initially it is about doing less.  I will go into more detail about this in a later post. Continue reading

G.E.T. M.E.

My planned series on my experience, hints and tips on Graded Exercise Therapy (GET, also known as GAT, Graded Activity Therapy) has been somewhat delayed: I have been meaning to post for days but life has been getting in the way.

In the meantime, check out this page at Action for ME which has some resources, research and articles on GET to start with.

I hope to get my first post in this series, together with an update of what has been keeping me away, up at the weekend.

Decisions, Decisions!

One of the most frustrating things about having CFS is having to make decisions on what I do and don’t do in any one day/week.

In my mind, now that I am out of the dark days of hypothyroid and CFS induced fugue, I am no different to how I was in my gap year (scarily, 17 years and half my lifetime ago now) before I had Glandular Fever where I would work shifts – either early 6am-2pm or late 2-10pm – ride the horse most weekdays as well as going jive dancing 2-3 times a week. Continue reading

Time and Motion

I’m away house/dog sitting again this week and, as happened last time, I realise that I have let my step-count dwindle since I stopped wearing my pedometer every day.  It is difficult when I am working hard to build up my business which is mainly desk-based.

I have always struggled with working hard at work and working to maintain my fitness; getting home (or leaving the home office) after a busy day leaves you reaching for the quick and easy choice for supper, which is not always the healthiest choice.  When dragging your tired body out of bed ready to start another busy day the last thing I want to do is jump on the cross-trainer, even though it is right by the bed (which I try and avoid looking at so as to not feel guilty).  You may have the time, but don’t have the energy or you may have the energy but not the time.

I have been keeping up with the riding, which at times has been the one thing that gets me going through the day: my “raison d’etre” when I wonder what all the hard work is for.  I’m really enjoying the ‘map my run’ app on my phone and using it to track the rides we go out on – especially useful for tracking the fitness of the horses too, giving top and average speeds and an accurate track of our mileage (then you realise that the dog has also been coming with us on our 7-8 mile rides).  Having kept up with the riding, which is good all over exercise, I’m not so unprepared for the dog walking I do when I’m dog-sitting but I do need to make sure that I do 20 minutes on the cross trainer every day.

I haven’t been doing my EAP exercises, although I have been trying to stick to the nutritional plan and last week I had lost another couple of inches although the weight hadn’t changed much.  Not sure what this week’s measurements are going to bring as I fell off the wheat wagon and am struggling to get back on the straight and narrow.  I always find it difficult with the change in the seasons, not that we’ve really had a summer to speak of, when the nights draw in.

Since receiving my diagnosis of CFS and getting set on the road to recovery, I have always known that I need to prioritise my fitness as equally important as my work because without maintaining my fitness, I will not have the stamina and energy to do my work.  I have always hoped to be able to work not-quite full time in order to devote some of the time that would normally be spent working to building and maintaining my fitness.  However, to get to that point working for yourself means that you have to work more than full time to initially build up your client base which adds an extra challenge.

I’m now 3-years on from my diagnosis of Hypothyroidism and CFS and sometimes can’t believe how far I’ve come: from someone who was not far off being bed-ridden to someone who would be considered ‘moderately active’ (or ‘Active’ when I keep up with my step-count).  I still have a way to go to get to the level of fitness I want but when I worry that I won’t be able to get there, I just have to look at what I have already achieved – and also at the determination that kept me going before my diagnosis – and I know I can do it.   I hope it doesn’t take me another three years to get there but if it does then it does and it’s still a great achievement.

Mixing it up

Yesterday was an enforced rest day due to my mystery toe…. 75% sure it’s broken but it’s not nearly as painful as I think it should be for a broken toe, however it does ouch something horrid if I use my foot correctly when walking (i.e. rolling from my heel to my little toe then across the ball of my foot to my big toe.  Consequently, am suffering an achy foot and a cramping calf because I am either limping or trying not to limp by rolling my foot directly from heel to big toe.

I also had some emergency dog-sitting so clients could go to Wimbledon so decided that I would take the day off and let my toe settle down.  Just some gentle walking with the pooch.

As a result, I have decided to shift my Friday exercises to Saturday, Saturday exercises to Sunday and use yesterday as Sunday’s rest day.  This is because I was feeling really disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to do my exercises yesterday, I was feeling like a bit of a failure until I told myself to buck up and that resting with a broken bone is not ‘wimping out’ but a sensible move.  Evidence of my guilt/disappointment/wimpish feelings about taking yesterday was the dream I had where I was scoffing down bread and pasta and all sorts of other Trot-list foods, EAP be damned!  It was horrid.

This is more like the me of 17-years ago before everything went a-over-t health-wise.  At last!!

In other news, last night I registered for a local K9-9K sponsored walk, with dog, for our local veterinary charity, the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) on the 21st July.  This is a Big Thing for me, being able to contemplate walking 9k (or 18k steps in pedometer terms) in one go.  This time 12-months ago, and even 6-months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to even think of doing this without coming over all fatigued.

On that positive note I will leave you to go and try my foot out in a Jodhpur boot

The way the world works

I have fallen down in my blogging lately.  A whole two months and change without any updates; a combination of relying on my phone for emails/facebook and not switching on the laptop for longer periods of time are to blame.  Additionally I’ve been feeling a bit stuck in a rut with not much news to report.  I really should try and post something every day, or at least every week.

Things have had their ups and downs over the last few months.  I’m still without a job.  The horse has been signed off from the Vet so we are back riding him and he’s coming on nicely.  The steps-per-day are gradually increasing, I’m averaging between 5-7k most days with at least one 10k day a week.  I’m planning, when I have an income again, to buy a cross trainer so that I can increase my step count whilst getting some cardio work.  I would go running but the concussion causes me horrid pain in my hip and lower back so the cross trainer would allow greater speeds without the jarring.

On the job front I’m holding off on the self-employed angle because I’m claiming Jobseekers Allowance to cover bills whilst I’m looking for a job and if you go self-employed you are not entitled to claim but still have no guarantee of work.  I’m hoping to find a part-time job which will give me a core income but still leave me time to cultivate clients.  However, unless you have children it is difficult to convince an employer that someone of 32 who was previously a Senior Executive PA in London simply wants a part time job to have a better quality of life.  I think they assume that you are only going for a part-time job for an ‘any port in a storm’ application.  I’m finding it very frustrating.  I have a few applications on the go and am trawling the job sites and local paper for more opportunities but it is a soul destroying process.

However, I keep muttering to myself to the phrase “there is something better around the corner” and keep sending off the applications because what else can you do but keep on keeping on.

Getting to the root of the problem

I’ve been a bit distracted of late.  Hence the lack of posts.

Before I get into the why I’ve been distracted, a quick update on resolutions…

  • Steps – I’ve been averaging about 4k a day and have had one 10k+ day so far.
  • Pilates – I’ve been doing the classes but not the DVDs as yet
  • Dog walking – hmmm.  Mostly round the field at least once a day but not “out” for a walk yet
  • healthy eating… hit and miss would be the best comment on this one!

So, on to what has been keeping me distracted…. Archie has been under the weather with a poorly tooth, which he had extracted in November and hasn’t really healed properly.

Without waffling on too much, we had big debates about whether any further treatment would be in his best interests (taking into account the extent of the infection he had, which looked like it had gone into the bone of his jaw) or whether go ahead with a rather major operation.  Lots of tears & heartache but we decided to go ahead with the op.

We dropped him off at the vets yesterday ready to go in for his op this afternoon.  I heard when I got back from work today that he had come round ok, that the vet had to take out a lot* (my very technical term) of infected bone but it feels like he got it all.

So, the major worry of whether they would go in and find something they couldn’t fix is over but there is now the critical 48 hours post-op window to navigate.  Still not out of the woods but at least if it doesn’t heal up now and we have to have him put down, we know that we’ve done everything possible (within reason for the welfare of the horse) to get him over it.

That’s what has been keeping me distracted, using up nearly all my brain power, when I’m not actively distracting myself from thinking, and being a big drain on my emotions.

Fingers crossed.  Hope for the best & prepare myself for the worst.  Those are my two mottos at the moment.

 

In other news, it has been confirmed that my fixed-term contract won’t be extended past the end of March so I’m back on the job hunt again.  Oh joy.  However, I do have an interview next Tuesday for a job 12 miles down the road, which will be cheaper in petrol!