Sudden setback

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Yesterday was promising, but today full on fatigue. Up at 11am, on couch except for a short field trip for lunch, on couch, on couch, take out trash, get on computer, talk on phone.

Probably couch again after this. But. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning when I will have another chance. Rest more and try again. Glorble snop.

weekly forecast

Having slept a longer continuous block than I have done for many, many months, I am feeling quite pleased that the minutiae of my daily existence is giving me my best chance of a relapse-free week.

Success is a work in progress, but still success

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I have been very busy this week. A weekly evening commitment restarted, which is for me a challenge. I have had a bit more work assigned than I could do in 5 weekdays, and also had other social and life activities on my plate.

I have emerged ok, but not without some CFS-style setbacks.

Summary and challenges of this week:

  • The late Monday evening did impact my Tuesday, but I was able to get through the whole day of work and life activities.
  • Wednesday I had fatigue, and so went through my workday slowly and with more resting than I had on Tuesday.
  • Thursday I felt better and went through that day and Friday with more energy.
  • Friday I did not rest enough, worked too late in the day for my energy level and added a social activity that was of course rewarding for my ‘fun times with people’ endorphins but was really too much energy outlay for the end of a stressful day.
  • Saturday then, was a whole day of couch (fatigue, headache, brain fog, slight nausea). Wait, no, I did walking errands in the sun, too much energy outlay, but nice to be out there in the world. A beautiful world, it turns out, with blue skies and chirping birds and friendly neighbors to boot! But the rest of the day, couch with short food and phone breaks.

And then I woke up today. I did let myself sleep as long as I needed, had got some good sleep for about as long as I can get. Slight ringing and plugged sensation in my ears, but able to wake up, feel basically alert and happy. I think this is called “having energy”.

So today, though I have lots to do that I didn’t do yesterday, I am happy and just simply having a Sunday. My day thus far:

  • Listened to some favorite LP’s (you know, the spinning things that sing to you)
  • Put some sheet music away that has been on top of the dining table for too long
  • Swept the floors
  • Emptied out the shredder, which was on the way to shredding itself
  • Got some donations ready for Grey Bears
  • Put a framed artwork on display rather than face down on the floor

I will have a good rest from this “flurry”, and then do some computer-based activities both for work and volunteer, feed myself, more rest and then attend a board meeting.

To bed early tonight so I can have a good, energetic (within reason) Monday. And Tuesday. Und so weiter…

Here is what I have learned

When I start to feel good, it feels so familiar and normal to me that I forget I need to be gentle with myself, and I don’t rest as often or as well as I need to. Even though my rational mind knows this, I am not yet to the point where I know this internally. I acknowledge that this is where I am today.

My success story for the week is that when I relapsed, I was able to come back fairly quickly by resting more and by applying the practices learned from the introductory course that I have recently completed: http://cfidsselfhelp.org/online-courses

I still have work to do, my success and recovery and return to consistent functionality is a work in progress. But I understand better what that work is, and have already come a long way to instituting changes in my approach to life that are helping me feel “normal”. When I started the course this June, I was in the grips of an intense, lengthy relapse. Seven-plus weeks later, I can work my target minimum billable hours per week, do housework regularly, cook for myself in the way that I like, have social interactions and do volunteer activities. Not all at once of course, but with pacing I can achieve like the tortoise achieved.

My long-term goal is to be able to do all this plus some athletic, outdoor adventures from time to time, consistently, calmly,  happily, and paced well.

My short-term goal is to cheerfully accomplish today what I like, and wake up happy and refreshed tomorrow.

So self, what do you think? Can we?

Sleep Report

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This week I have been averaging 6 hours continuous sleep, which is a great return to my “normal” pattern. Still takes up to 2 hours to get to sleep, but I have been feeling more rested in the mornings and so getting up earlier and accomplishing more even though this week had surprise setbacks in it. (Yes, I am taking breaks and resting throughout the day).

Evil Plan is working. 

Good job, day

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So after losing my Internet connection yesterday and spending almost all day talking with tech support, I magically have Interwebz again and have made it through a work day made longer by not having gotten anything done before. Whew!

I also managed to do some housework that I have wanted to complete for quite some time.

Aaaaand, I rested enough, ate healthy food, and did not push myself beyond felt capacity. So now I shall break for the evening, sure that I can wake up naturally, and early tomorrow, to do all this accomplishment stuff again.

Newsflash: Resting helps!

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All my good work yesterday resting rather than doing the things I had planned to do resulted in my being able to have a basically active and functional day today.

I took time to rest today also, both physically and mentally. I know that on Saturday I threw pacing out the window and paid for this with a day and a half of fatigue. But I have a renewed sense of looking forward to implementing my pacing system that I have been working out for myself.

Dear Self, please remember:

Feeling good is not enough. You need to take care of yourself every day, not just on symptomatic days. Please pace yourself on non-work days. At least try to take a break during mental rabbit-hole travels. And continue to enjoy doing it; you know you enjoy the results!

Rabbit-hole yesterday, rest today

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Yesterday was all about mental rabbit-holes, and very interesting and fun it was for me. But I did not take enough breaks, and I even exerted myself in the hot sun, which spoiled my energy for the evening.

Today is all about rest. Letting my mind rest, with silence, and with entertainment, and with listening to the leaves in the breeze. Letting my body rest with my 2 hour couch nap and my 1 hour bed nap. I can do something if I want to, that’s ok but my rule for a Rest Day such as this is that if it takes “pushing” to do it, then I let it sit for another day.

Exert, reset.