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ME Recovery Stories - Christine

I love my new life. A bubble of joy rises in me every time I think of all the things I can do, big and small. I even laugh out loud to myself in public and get some strange looks but I don’t care. Every day is like a new beginning. Everything I do feels like I've never done it before. The elation I feel is tremendous. I take nothing for granted, it is all a pleasure. Catching a bus, walking down the street, talking to people, being aware of other people and their reactions.

I feel alive and alert when I wake up on a morning and can't wait to get out of bed. I take great pleasure in being up and ready before my boys get up. I can't wait to get going. The boys are delighted I'm better, most of the time, they don't like the fact I am well enough to be strict on tidying up, doing homework etc, but they'll get used to it! Secretly I think they are pleased even when I tell them off! James, my 16 year old said on the Saturday after we got back from Wales, "You're like you were when you used to be at work", he remembers me pre M.E. Michael, 13, was only 3.

My husband, Brian, and I now go out for walks for hours, I've discovered beautiful wooded areas with streams and waterfalls in my area, that I lived in for over 16 years and never knew were there. We spend a lot of time in the garden and I can help with the heavy stuff now too. We have trips into town together. It’s a big change for Brian, he has only known me with M.E. The rest of my family and friends can't believe the change in me. These are some of the things they have said:

  • seem my old self
  • conversation flows without the usual stumbles or forgetfulness
  • driving with confidence again
  • more energetic than me, (this from a friend constantly on the go)
  • you look well and lively
  • you look great and bright
  • your so full of energy
  • your movements are more fluid - normal
  • good to see you much more relaxed
  • Brian has a new wife and the boys have a new mum

What I've done or started to do:
All the normal every day stuff people do and I used to have to plan, I can do now:

  • caught a bus (several times now and gone to the top deck!)
  • Shopped in town (few times)
  • Ran (run) up stairs (first time I didn't realise till I got to the top!)
  • doing all domestic stuff without even thinking, change all the beds one after the other, hanging out clothes, vacuuming - stairs included.
  • Cooking more complex meals, all by myself
  • Exercising - started with small programme at home, now doing brisk walking, 2 miles, time reduced from 40 minutes to 30 in 4 weeks, joined a gym
  • Finished my assignment for my Awareness of Dyslexia Course
  • Started building a family tree - wanted to do this for ages
  • Put a ‘feeler’ in for a part time job that has become vacant, work I love to do
  • Made enquiries for an other part time job possibility

I am still getting used to this new me. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to be tired in the evening - it’s normal! It’s ok to sit for a few hours to read a book, it’s normal. It’s ok to show annoyance, it’s normal. I surprise myself a lot. After I’ve done an activity, like digging in the garden and look back at what I’ve done, I’m amazed.

I’m still working on my fear of dogs. When I’m with someone I’m fine which is great progress. Previously I would be terribly scared, go cold all over and panic. Now that only happens when I’m on my own. I go for a brisk walk 3 times a week which takes me through a ‘dog walking’ area. I bought a Walker’s telescopic stick, for ‘protection’, it just made me feel more confident. I have actually stroked two Dalmatian dogs, at the same time, my heart was in my mouth but afterwards it made me feel fantastic and I skipped the rest of the way home.

I’ve had two other close encounters and thought it would be good to continue to put myself in these situations to get used to being around dogs, but I found I was full of trepidation each time I went for my walk which eliminated the joy of the walk. So I have changed my route for now.

I’ve joined a gym and hope to gradually get fit and a bit trimmer and also enjoy the activities. I loved swimming pre M.E., so I’m looking forward to enjoying that again. I have joined where my friends go so we can have fun together.

Christine


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