Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On being down, down, down in the deeps

So I have not been well at all since August.

I came back from our wonderful Port Douglas holiday in mid-July relaxed, happy and other than some leftover ear soreness from a cold, healthy. Within two or three weeks, though, I started feeling pretty off-colour, with non-specific but gradually worsening symptoms featuring low level headaches, tooth pain, tingling, loss of concentration, cold shakes, severe emotional disequilibrium (especially extreme teariness) and everyone's favourite ... extreme fatigue that was not relieved with sleep.

A warning siren was sounded as August ended, when I tweeted this:

Since then, each week has been a crapshoot, as I have dealt with sick kids, supported my husband to help his sick mum, and every day faced feeling like death dragged backwards through a hedge made of broken glass.

There have, of course, been better days and worse days - I have had a few shining moments of feeling basically really good for a few hours, and a few more of feeling just average rather than seriously bloody. It's fair to say, though, that the trend has been a downwards one.

I have battled on (mostly) at work for the five weeks since I first tagged my fatigue publicly on 31 August. I've interspersed a week of annual leave, just over a week of sick leave, and many working at home days with occasional appearances in the office I am the ghost in the machine now - not often seen, but frequently heard from. Indeed, I have only been in 11 days out of the possible 30 in that period, whereas normally I would've been in 25 after subtracting my usual work at home Thursdays, or 21 if you also subtract my planned annual leave.

I have two major dental procedures to go through now, and it's possible that getting those dealt with will help in time. My doctor, though, is coming to the conclusion that the likeliest cause of my symptoms is a thing I never wanted to hear in regard to myself - ME / CFS.

Only time is going to tell if this is what's going on with me. Only time will tell how severely this is going to impact my ongoing life and my family, and indeed my work. Only time will tell if our planned Tasmania holiday in January is going to be possible or not (definitely NOT if I am still like this).

While time does its telling, I am going to be extremely protective of myself and my inadequate energy levels. That means managing work, social life and commitments super carefully and building everything around rest and recovery time. It means probably not blogging much, but if I feel like it and I feel I can, blogging entirely to interest and taste. It means making me a priority so that I can maybe soon again make others the priority I want them to be.

I do know that there is no valley so deep that the sun can't find it. Even if it is a weak and struggling thing, that sunbeam; even then.

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