Tuesday, 24 June 2014

What I've been doing #2


Last weekend it was our seventh wedding anniversary and we went camping with some friends. We go every year as they also celebrate their anniversary then too and it's nice for the kids to all see each other as we live over a hundred miles away. It was a full moon and the weather was pretty kind to us.

All in all it was a lovely weekend although it was quite busy!
It was also my birthday at the weekend and I turned the grand age of 35... I had mixed feelings about this. See my earlier blog post - becoming middle aged

However I am embracing it and had booked tickets to one of the Edinburgh Zoo late nights, which included; live music, a silent disco, different street food stalls, face painting?! and access to the Zoo enclosures at night to see the animals getting ready for their kip! It was a great night and I managed to get through it ok.


Unfortunately though after those viral infections that I'd had pretty much back to back, I didn't feel great in the lead up to it. On Friday afternoon, I had quite a high level of fatigue, itchy skin and burning eyes and as a result of not slowing down I have had the inevitable payback. The last few days I have been feeling more fatigued, irritable and have had to cut back on the exercise. I have had a terrible headache on and off, which fortunately is a symptom I don't get much now although I used to, and don't know whether it's due to the tail end of the virus or an ME symptom. Paracetamol has been working though and I have been drinking lots of water.

For my birthday I got a lovely picnic hamper from my husband and an anorak make up bag. From my friends, I got really nice jewellery, bath products and make up. Plus I got quite a bit of money - always a bonus!


I've managed to finish season two of 'Orange is the New Black' and I thought it was brilliant, far exceeding the first season. Can't wait for season three.

                                                                                             Image: Jill Greenberg 2013

I also watched the final episode of Fargo which I was a little bit disappointed with. I feel after the level of violence and 'on the edge of your seat' action, that the ending faltered a bit. Still worth a watch though.

                                                                                               Image: edgecastcdn.net

Wallender also came to an end this week. Such a great series, although I do find it requires a lot of concentration with the subtitles, especially watching it on catch up on the smaller computer screen. Apparently 540,000 people watched the finale though so I'm not the only one to have been enjoying it :)

That's been my week. A few ups and downs. but hopefully scaling the activities back means I'll be back to 'normal' soon! Hope you've all had a happy and healthy week.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

ME/CFS clinic appt 8 - Stress Management

Appointment 8 happened last week and focused on stress management and a bit of CBT - challenging thoughts.

The stress management was helpful and outlined what can cause stress:

Taking on more than you can do and not allowing yourself to have enough relaxation time.
For me definitely! I recognised recently that a lot of the time I offer to take on more at work than others just because I don't want my colleagues/ manager to feel like I can't manage it. I feel like I have to prove myself. And in terms of socialising, I don't like to miss out even if that means getting payback. I am however getting better at all of this and am prioritising what really matters.

Never saying 'No' to people.
Well I feel proud to say that I am also improving in this area too. After that assertiveness course I feel I am getting my needs met now and thinking more about consequences before I reply with a 'yes I'll do it!' 

Never being satisfied with what you have achieved.
This is an issue for me that I desperately need to look at. Using decorating the house as an example, we have only been in three months and have done quite a bit, transforming the living room and sorting out a playroom and bedroom for my little boy. However I still find myself driven to have a 'perfect home' and need to rein myself back a lot of the time and remind myself that it's a work in progress and it's all about the pacing!  The perfectionist element of my personality is really overwhelming at times! And discipline is not always my strong point...

Getting frustrated by my situation.
Yes I do. Especially when some weeks can be so great and then for a reason that is self-inflicted, or something that I just can't pinpoint, I slip again. I'm learning to be a lot kinder to myself though and more accepting of my situation.

We looked at unhelpful thinking patterns (again! I think it might be a lifelong process!) and the Worry Tree which I hadn't seen before:


During this session it felt like things were beginning to come to an end. We've covered all of the lifestyle management topics that the clinic offers and in terms of beginning to exercise, I feel I know where I need to start and how to build myself up slowly. So we are going to have a final session in a month's time and then there will be a follow up three month's after this. I think the co-ordinator for Action for ME in Scotland is looking for feedback on how people have found the clinic so I plan to get in touch with her, as overall I've found it a positive and helpful experience and hope that others can benefit from it.

Monday, 2 June 2014

What I've been doing...

Unfortunately I've had another viral infection/sinus infection so haven't been able to keep up the plan from the last ME clinic meeting, that I would do either yoga or stretches on a daily basis. I have managed to keep going to work though and in the main, do the walk to and from the bus stop (apart from a couple of times when I had to get a lift due to complete exhaustion...) It's been disappointing but I've managed to keep fairly upbeat and optimistic about the setback.

While I've been poorly I've had quite a bit of down time.  And I'm super excited that I now have a laptop. For the last few months I've been using my tablet to get online as a certain someone spilled juice on my last computer...


I've been reading this book for the last few months. I find I either race through a book if I'm really into it or I dip in and out for a longer period if it's a grower. This book was pretty gripping to start with and the title states exactly what it's about (if I went into any more detail I would give away spoilers so I'll keep schtum). I'm enjoying it but it has dragged a bit at times when the chapters have reverted to his past life. However I'm nearly finished so I'm hoping the ending will blow me away!


I'm signed up to Netflix and have watched a couple of good indie films. The first was Amour and set in an apartment in Paris. It focused on the relationship of an octogenarian couple who were faced with the emotional and physical demise of the wife, due to experiencing a stroke. It was very heart-warming and heart-breaking and probably could have ended 1/2 hour before it did but all the same I thought it was a good film.

Another film I watched was 'Breathe In' with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones. The theme was: American couple with a daughter, who are not entirely happy in their relationship, take in an English exchange student and Dad ends up having an affair with the student. Sounds a bit predictable but it was actually very tastefully done and the acting was superb. I liked this film more than 'Like Crazy' directed by the same guy that also starred Felicity. Worth checking out...

In terms of TV I'm enjoying this new series of Wallender (the Danish crime drama) and also Fargo (the American crime series based on the film of the same name). Fargo only has a few weeks to go so it will be interesting to see how it ends.


Although I've been poorly I have managed out a couple of times, the first occasion was to see my friend for an hour and since it was a sunny day, we headed down to the park and picked up a couple of healthy juice and sugar free cakes. Felt indulgent in a saintly way!

The other time was a short walk in the woods beside my house. Although Rhodendrons are considered a weed here due to not being indigenous to this country I thought the flowers were still very pretty.


I've been looking for a showerproof jacket. I have a 'technical' waterproof jacket that I bought a few years back but it's pretty fugly and although it's required for the Scottish climate, I needed something a bit more trendy for work/ wearing to the park so I opted for this. It hasn't arrived yet but I'm hoping it will suit. I liked the Boden wax jackets but this was half the price! And it came in Tall which is a bonus.


I've been listening to quite a bit of stuff on Spotify and am really liking Foxygen (although I'm quite late to the party I think) and also Parquet Courts. They sound a bit like an early Kings of Leon but cooler...

So that's been my week. I seem to be coming out the other side of this bug so hopefully will get back to downward dog soon...