Friday, 28 March 2014

ME Clinic -appt 6. And so GET begins...

This week I've been off work on annual leave but have had a viral infection, which has floored me a bit.  However we managed to get the rest of the woodchip off (hoorah!) but it left a fairly uneven roof and walls and we felt somewhat deflated. However my amazingly talented parents came to the rescue and lined my ceiling and walls with lining paper. It looks like a new room! So now the fun bit - choosing paint colours :)

Anyway the last ME appt was focused on GET and setting goals. I know GET, or graded exercise therapy, is a controversial topic in ME and I don`t want to get into the politics of this. I know some people have really strong feelings about it and I totally get that. However I have recovered to the point where I can manage to function fairly well; working, socialising and managing other daily activities but I need to work on my stamina and building myself up to do more fitness.  It has taken me eleven years to get here, building on my progress bit by bit. So for me GET feels like its happening at the right time and I believe the routine will help me set a baseline that I can build on rather than haphazardly taking on various challenges that knock me back!

So the goals...As a nurse myself I use goal setting with all my clients but they tend to be client led. I felt that my therapist already had these goals laid out before I`d even stepped into the room! However they did seem to be in line with what I had been thinking about. I think I would have liked to have felt more involved in the process though...

As I mentioned in my last post I was keen to try Pilates and so one of her colleagues came in and did some one to one work with me. Privately I'm sure this would be quite expensive so that was definitely a bonus. Here is my goal sheet of activities I have to tick off each day:

At the moment I'm managing a 10 minute walk to the bus stop 3 x weekly which I need to try and increase to 2 x day. At the weekend I usually do a 1\2 hour walk so I've to keep this up and 5 x days a week I have to try doing stretches and my pilates exercises ( I can vary the days). Also I've to aim for relaxation twice a day. On friday I actually managed 4 x 10 minute walks and on Saturday did the Pilates and stretches without any payback.  With having this viral infection I haven't managed to stick with the programme this week but its another three weeks until I see her and so hopefully I will be back on it in a few days.

In fairness she told me to listen to my body and not push myself so it didn't feel like there was any huge expectation, just to try and see how much I could manage comfortably. I`ll keep you all posted!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

ME clinic - 5th appt and The Big Move!

Appointment no 5 at the clinic wasn't a great success. I shouldn't have arranged to see my therapist the day before I moved house. I felt really stressed and she picked up on some issues that were quite sensitive to me that almost had me in tears. We talked about work and my caseload and my need to prove that I can keep on top of everything, again my perfectionist nature... She then went on to ask me about my career path and that hit a raw nerve, as understandably I feel like I probably would have progressed onto something more challenging if I hadn't been struck down with ME and it had obliterated all my confidence. Anyway we didn't cover much in the way of lifestyle management stuff except for her to say that she was hoping to get my exercise levels up to 1/2 hour a day five times a week! This freaked me out a bit until she explained that I could do this in 10 minute chunks which although seems daunting, it is far more realistic. I've been thinking since the appt about my work and career choice and I'm starting to feel more content again with where i am and what I'm doing. Of course extra cash and more autonomy would be nice but I enjoy my work and even after ten years I never dread going in. Its a challenging job and although a cliche, i feel like I do make a difference in some way to people's lives. Also although every day brings new challenges there is an element of routine to it which can only be a good thing for me trying to stablise at the moment. So I've managed to challenge a lot of my negative thinking and feel much more content :)

The move itself wasn't a pleasant experience and I hope to not repeat it any time soon! For some reason, I began to question the decision to stay in Edinburgh and wondered if we had done the right thing. On top of that I was trying to keep my stress levels down, feeling panicked at the amount of packing we still had to do two days before it and working out all the bank transfers and other paperwork stuff. I know I'm a perfectionist and it's my big issue but I don't delegate very well and this is why...My other half was given the job of organising the removals and although he did that, he didn't pay them, so needless to say I got a follow up phone call requesting payment. Not good and proof that I'm better off doing things myself....

When we stepped into the property my heart sank. When we were viewing, the owners had quite a bit of furniture in the lounge.Unbeknownst to us they had concealed the fact they had ripped out a fireplace and not replaced the skirting or carpet, leaving a square shaped hole in the floor... To add to that, there were pen marks on the radiators and wallpaper and the kitchen was rather grimy. Luckily my parents helped to clean and spruce it up and with our furniture in, its now looking a great deal better than it was. And I'm feeling more settled and am actually starting to love it. I have a ten minute walk to the bus stop in the mornings which means I'm starting to incorporate more exercise in and have been managing it alright. Both boys are also a lot happier in the house and are enjoying the extra space and garden.

ME clinic - 4th appt and our holiday

At my fourth appointment we chatted about my diaries again, a little about sleep hygiene and I was given some gentle stretches to try which I have been trying to incorporate into my day. The therapist also suggested that I see one of her colleagues over the next few weeks to look at some pilates exercises which I'm really keen to do as I miss my yoga classes.

The following week we went on holiday to Glencoe which was a lovely relaxing week. We rented a cottage which was pretty isolated but in a beautiful setting and did some walking, touristy things and even managed to go up the cable car to do some ski-ing. I was really pleased that although I didn't do a lot, just a few small runs on the nursery slope, that it was a big achievement and I didn't really have any payback over the subsequent few days.

Here are some photos of our week before the house moving chaos began!