I’m offering my next workshop in Westcliff on Sea, Essex at The Therapy Life Centre, which will look at your journey with one or more of these health conditions / experiences.
This is a chance to learn more about your experience and let me help you understand your journey of health rebuilding, both physically and psychologically. It’s also a great way to meet others who have experienced a similar path and feel supported and encouraged to continue evolving and caring for yourself.
You can book tickets online here. I would love to meet you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me or the Centre for help with booking.
In the last two years, I’ve slowly integrated more exercise than I did before my physical crash. I do around 50,000 steps a week, pilates at home once a week, exercise biking a couple of times a week and now swimming every two weeks. The art of rebuilding something as precious as one’s body, and healing the self, reminds me that we must be patient with ourselves, yet never give up. I’m far away from the wheelchair times, and I’m thankful for each phase of the journey.
I recently took a fun, yet challenging trip out to a local shipwreck, “The Mulberry” in Southend on Sea. I hadn’t walked out to this area for years before my crash, and it was on my goal list to see if I could do it.
A Poem about growth, and real life for all those who have had an experience with debilitating health, (CFS / ME, POTS, and Fibromyalgia). I wrote this to help inspire people who need it, and lighten up the subject, but be honest about how challenging it can be. Life is all around us, even when we may be being pushed beyond our limits. It’s at these trying times, that life becomes even more special. When everything slows down, and you are so in the moment, even in the midst of something terrible, there is peace, and connection.
If it resonates then please feel free to share it.
If it still remains hard for the general medical profession to agree on what ME/CFS is, then how are we supposed to comprehend it when we have it ourselves. Furthermore, if we are the one experiencing the horrid, life altering experience, then how are those around us to understand our experience, or find ways to help.
This is why, in my opinion, it makes having this illness / condition / experience, or however you wish to frame it, a real tough situation to tackle, because there is just so much ambiguity, and even, in some cases, denial and judgement about the seriousness and reality of the actual bodily experience. This can and often does, lead to worsening cases of it when diagnosis is not swift, as in my case, and when information and support is not available at the outset. This lack of firm recognition can lead to further denial of the bodily experience, a tendency to, “battle on” and therefore, a deepening of the severity of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.
Action for M.E., a leading charity suggests: “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is a long-term (chronic) fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems.
Defined by the World Health Organisation as neurological, M.E. affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide.
Many people with M.E. experience persistent fatigue associated with what’s called post-exertional malaise (the body’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy; sometimes also called ‘payback’) and chronic pain. However, M.E. is characterised by a range of additional symptoms.”
I haven’t needed to use my wheelchair since November, (well apart from one trip to Homebase in December to choose a Christmas tree), but that doesn’t count because it wasn’t from the ME/CFS symptoms, it was more a case of a physical boom and bust. I had got a little over excited after a relapse and really wanted to get to a supermarket nearby, which meant I extended a graded walk up to 75% one day. Therefore I busted my knees up for a week. The cartiledge and tendons obviously still need more conditioning, you live and learn. Re-conditioning of the muscles and internal structures, when you’ve been seriously out of action for a year and a half just takes a little time but I’m getting there now.
It’s such a great feeling to progress to walking to and from places again, of course these are very short distances at the moment, of around 200 metres or 500 metres and longer paced walks with breaks. I just couldn’t stand being pushed around any longer and due to working my way back up with physio, I was ready to release it to the shed! My husband always said that I had to push him around in it for fun when I was well, so he may get a turn soon.
My journey with the wheelchair has taught me so much. I didn’t want it at all in the beginning, but of course if I got to the car, which was down steps from our apartment and up more steps to street level, then I was still unable to walk around a shop or out in nature. There were times my husband had to carry me in a fireman’s lift to the car as I couldn’t even get up the steps. I’m lucky he is a strong plumber man, used to carrying heavy boilers up flights of stairs.