Tuesday, 28 January 2014

ME clinic - first appointment

I had my first appt with the ME clinic last week and I have to say I am feeling pretty positive about it.  I saw a senior physiotherapist (the clinic is also run by psychologists) and focuses on a CBT and GET based approach (cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy for those not familiar with these terms).

The first appointment consisted of me 'telling my story' about becoming unwell, how things have been for me over the last eleven years and what helps and negatively affects my health. The physio was very understanding and appeared to have a good knowledge of ME (always reassuring!)

She talked about the role of adrenaline and how it appears to affect a lot of sufferers who feel as though their system is running on overdrive, something I can relate to. To obtain a picture of what my week is like and to try and balance this a bit better, I've  been given some activity diaries to complete and have to highlight these to show whether I'm resting or participating in a low, medium or high energy activity.  Initially if was quite difficult for me to recognise what categories to place activities in and also it's a very personal area depending on how affected someone is and their limitations.  I've got to grips with it now though and have been finding it useful to see exactly what I'm doing in a day and how my days can really fluctuate. I've noticed my diary has had some huge blocks of highlighted orange (medium energy activities) and so I need to try and ensure that I have some low energy and rest periods around these so they are spaced out a bit more. But I'm guessing that in a fortnight at my next appointment, the physio will help me to look at this.

In terms of goals i know the clinic isn't offering a cure and is a lifestyle management course so my main aims are to balance my week better and start incorporating some more gentle exercise into my week and build on this. The physio seemed happy with this plan. So I'll keep you updated as to how it goes.

On an even more exciting note we have a house! In an area that we wanted and move in there in around six weeks so lots of packing and paperwork to be done. Will be interesting to see how my activity diary looks as the date gets closer! Eek!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The stress of house hunting

I've been busy the last few weeks absorbed in the Breaking Bad boxsets which I have to say I'm loving! But aside from that we've also been house hunting. And we've gone full circle with our plans - we've decided to stay in Edinburgh!

A few months of job hunting up north has made us realise that although our family would be closer we are unlikely to get work up there. Or if we did it's likely it would be shift work and we would have to drop our wages as it's difficult to stay on the same band when you move to another NHS trust. Yes moving north meant the house prices would be cheaper, the schools are excellent but there are less amenities and opportunities and overall it seems like our quality of life wouldn't be so good. We've also built a life here in Edinburgh having been in the Lothians for the past twelve years and it would be tough to give that up...

 So we've started looking for properties. Edinburgh is not a cheap city to live in, especially when you're trying to get something in a good school catchment. But I think we can do it and the bonus is that where we are renting is already in a good catchment so there shouldn't really be too much pressure to move before August although in an ideal world...

 I have quite been stressed over these last few weeks and my ME has flared up at times. The whole process of buying, with the closing dates and being outbid, really gets to me and as a result I even missed a hospital appointment as I was so distracted -oops! I'd noticed I was feeling really irritable and feeling despondent as it reminded me of how difficult it had been back in the early 2000's when we were first time buyers and properties were going for well over the valuation.

 Luckily I recognised that feeling this way was not going to help my health and I can't risk having another relapse. I am a true believer in the saying 'what's for you wont go by you'. So I've been challenging my negative thoughts and worries about the future and I'm trying to focus on the present, practising mindfulness, and have started back at my yoga class. So although the process of searching for properties, viewing them and liasing with solicitors isn't the most relaxing, I recognise that I need to take everything a step at a time and keep grounded, not allowing myself to get caught up in the 'what if's and but's'. I've also signed up to 100 happy days which means I'm taking photos or making note of things that have made me smile each day. It's worth checking out!

 Hope you are all keeping well and stress free. I'm signing off now - back to Breaking Bad...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year, New Things

As I find shops too busy and tiring (and its impossible to browse with a four year old) I do most of my shopping all year round online and got some online bargains in the New Year sales. However I did also manage a few hours out in Edinburgh with a friend and picked up a couple of treats for myself (and my little boy).

I bought a couple of pairs of jeans; a skinny grey pair from new look at the bargain price of £8! and these bootcut jeans from Oasis which were £30, a bit more than i'd hoped to pay but they are a very nice fit. Both pairs were a 34inch length which is perfect for me. I find it can be really difficult trying to get long length jeans/trousers in the sales.

The red bird top is from Alice and You at Dorothy Perkins (around £10) and the Tall blue marl jumper was also around £10 from DP.

I also got a pair of cute little pumps for £8 for New Look.

On my venture into town yesterday, I got this cute little stag badge for a few pounds from a quirky little sweet shop just off the Royal Mile. I'm not sure if I've said before but I am obsessed with stags and have various stag related items dotted round the house, including a pair of antlers hanging in my lounge....

Although we agreed to limit our spending on each other at Christmas, I opened this gorgeous bag from my husband (another obsession of mine is Harris Tweed).

So I'm feeling pretty chuffed with my bargains and my bag. Did you manage to pick up anything in the sales?