As bad as I have felt these past ten days or so, I am grateful that it is not worse. Because it could have been. As much as I hurt, ache, burn, throb, melt, freeze, spin, crave sleep, cry and many other nasty things besides, I have to stop and acknowledge that it could be worse. ME/CFS could have flared even more. I am grateful for small (very small it has seemed at times) mercies. Although a quick shower has left me having to lie down for fear of my knees buckling and legs giving way, at least I’ve still had the energy and gumption to shower.
I am grateful that the flu vaccine didn’t send me down with full blown flu. I am so very very grateful for that. Joint pain, myalgia aching muscles, headache, temperature craziness, sore throats, zero energy, sheer physical and mental exhaustion, sleepiness etc etc is doable compared to all of that plus raging bad cold, cough and all the other viral nasties of proper flu. Touch wood, pray hard, flick the light switch three times (I’m not a superstitious person at all…) that this is it. That the flu buck stops here. I’ve had the vaccine. Had after effects but now I’m protected. I damn well better be!
I am increasingly grateful for a sexy little thing called compression stockings. Okay, so they’re not sexy (especially not sexy when my ‘less than optimally toned’ thighs are squeezed into them) or so little (little wouldn’t cover the aforementioned thighs!) but they are amazing. When wearing them the throbbing in my ankles and calves is reduced to a dull ache. It is still there but it is not as acute. I still get the weak feeling that sends me to a horizontal position on the sofa but it is not as extreme. When I walk in them I feel a little like I’m walking on water I am so supported. And the dizziness and ‘head lifting’ sensation on standing up or turning round is reduced. And when I take them off after a day of wearing them, the pain instantly cranks up and I’m like ‘ah the effort (and it is effort, to begin with it took both my Mum and myself 20 mins + to get them up my legs, a great mother daughter bonding experiences…tho not one I’d recommend if you don’t have to!) of putting them on is so worth it’.
I am very grateful I saw sense and didn’t attempt to go out for lunch on Sunday with Mr B’s family, as much as it pained me to stay at home. It was most definitely the right decision. After 30 mins or so chatting over coffee (which Mr B made not letting me get up out of chair) with them I was wilting. I could feel the fatigue setting in. Mr B’s Mum saw this and ushered everyone off to lunch. I am grateful for that understanding and acknowledgement. Whilst they all tucked into roast lunch I had a quick bite to eat (rice cakes and guacamole, Mr B said he felt very sad leaving me to eat that but honestly I didn’t mind) and then fell asleep for an hour and a half. Yes I’d have done myself no good and been utterly rubbish company if I’d gone out for lunch. So for once common sense prevailed!
On a lighter note, I’m so grateful for good TV at the moment. I’m spending a lot of time horizontal on the sofa. I can only read for a little while (like 10 minutes) before the words start to swim on the page and the fatigue curtain falls over me. But I can tolerate TV for much longer (about 30 minutes). Though I have to keep the sound quite low as that has a tendency to hurt my ears…. I’m not watching endless chat shows and other day time TV fillers though. I know some people love that stuff but for me it sends me straight down the fed up depressed path; somewhere I’d very much rather not be. So I am grateful for the Autumn/Winter programming schedule to be in full swing with shows such as Great British Bake Off, Master Chef Australia, Strictly Come Dancing and XFactor (awful but somehow we still watch it) to entertain me. Our Sky+ box means I can record all these things and then watch in short bursts as and when I need a light activity to occupy my time. I am also loving Friday Night Lights. My sister sent me the boxset as a surprise. I’d never watched the show before and I am loving it! Sadly though I am already onto the fifth and final series so shortly I am going to have a FNL shaped hole in my life! But hopefully by then SHE who MUST be OBEYED (a.k.a ME/CFS) will have got back in her box and this flare will have calmed down enough for me to resume other activities.
TV aside I am also grateful for it it being Autumn. I love the crispness and chill to the air which hits me when I open our window each morning. I just love the freshness. It feels cleansing some how. And that’s despite it being pollution filled London air! I’ll pretend I’m at the top of a peak in the Swiss Alps breathing in clean, fresh, beautiful air!
I’m grateful for the blue skies. Yesterday when I ventured outside for the first time in a while I was struck by watery sunshine that was surprisingly warm. I went for a little (very little, all of about 5 minutes, but hey that’s progress from not being up to making it out of our front door as had been the case up to yesterday) walk just around the communal gardens of our apartment complex. I sat on a bench for a few minutes to give my aching burning legs a little rest and marvelled at the glorious blue sky and the auburn orange brown leaves scattering the cobble stone walkways.
I am of course also forever grateful for Mr B’s love and support. His actions and words mean everything to me and he still continuously surprises and amazes me at how selfless he is being in looking after me. I am also forever grateful for the love and support of my Mum, Dad, sister and closest friends. The list of what I’m grateful for from these loved ones is long but I appreciate every little thing you all do for me so very much. This all goes without saying I hope.
What are you grateful for?