I’ve written about the joys of ME/CFS many times before, even discussing how it’s not all bad and the way things do slowly improve For any newbies to this page, a quick infill for you:
For many years I’ve had this delightful illness commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The NHS describe it thusly:
“Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes persistent faigue (exhaustion) that affects everyday life and doesn’t go away with sleep or rest.
CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. There’s some debate over the correct term to use for the condition, but these pages will refer to the condition as CFS.
CFS is a serious condition that can cause long-term illness and disability, but many people – particularly children and young people – improve over time.”
For those of you who have never heard of the spoon theory and want to feel well informed about the post title, just pop over here for a minute and acquaint yourself with how it all started alternatively just have a look at the image here:
OK, so, now we’re all on the same page how about I explain my current happiness to you?
I’ve been trying to up my stamina for quite some time for 2 reasons:
- To be able to work more hours and eventually get a full time position somewhere – preferably NOT on a zero point contract because yes, they suck major arse.
- To be able to get back into exercise and maybe take up martial arts again
Obviously with the wedding and all, I wanted to work on my arms and general body fitness so that I’d look good in a dress – the results were not as great as I’d hoped but considering that when I started out I couldn’t even manage a single push-up but by the wedding I could do eight – with the way I crash if I over exert myself – I felt that was a win.
Sadly, September came around which meant work, which in turn meant no more exercise as I just didn’t have the spoons for both and so now I’m back to being unable to do a single push up again – which plain pisses me off.
Now the difference this year to the last three years is that most of my work is in Hatfield – I only have to do the evil journey on public transport between Watford and Hatfield one day a week; you would not believe the difference this makes to me physically (and mentally)
As an example; two years ago after another news item about graded exercise was being thrown around I decided to give home exercise a go and did a YouTube workout. This was when I was travelling 3 days a week to Watford; the days I did not work were mostly spent on the bed in pJ’s feeling knackered; but I still wanted to try, to make sure that I could still do something. So I cued it up and followed along, after 10 minutes I felt great but decided to not push it – 2 days later I was back in bed and missing a day of work as the delayed fatigue onset hit.
This is why I was dubious last week when my friend Kathy told me she’d got me a free pass to try a Boxercise class with her at the Uni sports village. …but I figured; I seem to have more energy of late; I’m managing early morning starts even if I’m not loving them and as well as very little travelling I’m not having to bring as much work home because the Uni job (unlike the college one) doesn’t involve anything outside of my contracted hours. Yes, I’m working 2 jobs (well, technically 3 seeing as the college one is split between both WHC and NHC at present) but I’m also managing to have a life outside of work – I’m getting to play with my daughter, I’m doing my share of the cooking and cleaning and i’m even *gasp* managing to be social and seeing friends.
So yes, I thought maybe it’s time to try this exercise thing again: I miss having strength! I once stopped a guy 3 times my size from getting on a stage despite interference from people who mistook ME for the interloper as opposed to the security: I know I’ll never be back there again on the physical front but I’d like to at least carry my child up the stairs without dying after 2 steps…
Well, I managed the first 30 minutes of this hour long class before I developed a twitchy spasm in my right hand and wanted to vomit. The sweat was pouring off me and I wanted to die – you can say I gave it a good go. For the next three days I ached (I still ache in fact!) and the following day I was quite worried as the hand was still a tad shaky and I couldn’t grip anything BUT! Yes, there is a but: I have not crashed!
I have had three early morning starts, I have worked full days and I have done all the housework and cooking on top of that AND I volunteered at the school fete – and I have STILL not crashed.
You have NO IDEA how amazing that feels. To just have the natural ache of an unfit body feeling the results of exercise without the body completely shutting down and the brain fogging up and refusing to work. I have hope again! The end is in sight!
I plan to remain at this balance of work and travel while I build up my physical stamina; one day I will be able to again throw a guy twice my size to the ground (even if I can’t keep him there) and more importantly I will be able to carry my child up to bed when she’s ill and manage my own damn shopping bags.
Boxercise may not be the thing for me, but the lovely Kathy has managed to score another 3 passes for me to try out different classes: I WILL have it all – if it kills me!