Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Celebrities and recovery

This week Martine McCutcheon has 'revealed' that she has had a seven year battle with ME and depression but from the sounds of it she's recovered. While I'm pleased to hear that she is well again, unfortunately she hasn't told us HOW she recovered which is frustrating for the estimated 250,000 people suffering from ME/CFS in the UK.  This sounds all too familiar... over the years I've read about celebs who have suffered from chronic fatigue and got well again but never shared their secret to recovery. This list  however does mention some of the celebrities affected and what approaches they have used. I can't help but feel that the availability of money and time contribute significantly to most of their recoveries... One sufferer also mentioned this week in the news although not quite so famous (yet!) is Malcolm McKay, a writer from Stornoway who has won the top crime writer award in Scotland. His illness has prevented him from working or going to uni so it's a pretty amazing feat to have written a novel and sends hope to others.

To the ignorant or ill informed lay person (or professional for that matter) reading Martine's article I don't think it gives a very good insight into how severe and debilitating ME/CFS symptoms can be. I always find it frustrating that someone in her position could use her fame to spread awareness and understanding of an illnes, that still after all these years, is misunderstood. But it appears that she would prefer to promote herself and discuss her return to singing...

Next week I start my ME specific yoga class which I'm looking forward to and I have my follow up Consultant appointment, when I should get the results of my autoimmune tests and hopefully be referred to the ME/CFS rehab service. In the meantime, I came across another free ME/CFS self help website, which was promoted on Phoenix Rising. I've posted a link to it under the links section of the page. It seems to make a lot of sense and I feel I can incorporate some of the approaches related to nutrition, exercise and rest into my own recovery.

I've been buzzing around tonight but came across a nice little article with ways to relax....

Friday, 20 September 2013

New Boots

So this was a casual outfit to go round to a friends for a movie night. I'd bought some new ankle boots from New Look that I was desperate to wear so I teamed them with a pinafore style dress that i got from Urban Outfitters a few years ago and since the autumnal nights are here, I put a denim shirt (Oasis) over it with a leopard print scarf. Think I hit a few trends - #darkflorals #ankleboots #leopardprint

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The last camp of the year

Last weekend was our final camping trip due to Autumn setting in and the temperature gauge dropping. Although it was chilly, previous trips to Glencoe in March when there were icicles forming on the tent during the night have warned us of the dangers of going ill-prepared, so we took our thermal long johns and down sleeping bags and were very toasty! We met some friends and stayed in a campsite in Alyth in Perthshire (five roads caravan park);

The owner and facilities were great. Its a small campsite and set up mainly for statics and caravans but has space for a few tents. The only downside was the lack of a camping shelter, as we found out on Sunday morning when the heavens opened and there was nowhere to cook our bacon and egg!
If you are not into cooking al fresco then its worth visiting 'the traditional fish and chip shop in Alyth'. The best fish supper I've had in a long time!

We also took a day trip to 'Active Kids' in Stanley on the Saturday; a farm park with lots of trampolines, slides and a few farmyard animals. It was reasonably priced and the boy enjoyed it but I've been to other farm parks which have impressed me a bit more in terms of rides and the size of the park, although from memory, they have been more expensive...

So the camping equipment has been packed away for the year but I have to say i'm looking forward to Autumn. I do enjoy the change in seasons although this is always the time when my health dips. I'm never sure whether it's partly psychological as this is the time of year when I first became unwell (and had my bad relapse last year) so perhaps it holds a negative association for me. But I refuse to be apprehensive about it. This year I'm going to embrace the crisp cold mornings, look forward to the steaming mugs of hot chocolate and crunch through the fallen leaves in my wellies with my boys :)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

No room for spontaneity

Well I did something really silly. I went out and had a few drinks... I thought that I could be 'normal' for the one night, you know the way that other people are after they finish work on a Friday and as I had been feeling somewhat better with my ME, I took a chance. Oh did I pay for it. I was completely wiped out on Saturday and the last few days my head has felt like it's stuffed with cotton wool, the dizziness returned and my temperature gauge has been completely erratic. So I've taken a few steps back again but I'm hoping that a return to pacing, lots of sleep and healthy eating will help me get back on course. I hope...

It's tough to think back to a great deal of my twenties when all my friends and colleagues were off having exciting adventures and going on fabulous nights out that I would either not go to at all or tag along knowing full well that i couldn't keep up with the pace (although I would try and pretend that I could) and would feel absolutely horrendous for days if not weeks afterwards.

Although I have a lot to be grateful for (in the main my ME has been fairly mild) it still robs you of your life. There are lots of things I would have liked to have done, places I wanted to go and stuff that I missed out on by being so consumed by my every symptom and the consequences of certain behaviour.

However I believe that without getting unwell, I wouldn't have pursued the career path I have chosen and shifted my thinking to look at life in the way I do now which, despite my rant above, is actually pretty positive!

I know myself that to be as well as I possibly can, I should live within my limits but surely sometimes you have to break out of that box....