Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Special Day

Overcoming long term health problems is never easy, but the rewards can be great. And me/cfs is a rather mysterious illness with no definitive research, so understanding how best to live with it is oftentimes pure guesswork. When I first became ill, 13 years ago, I persevered in going to work, doing my best to meet performance targets. After only a week my boss told me to go home and recover, as I just couldn't do the job properly at all. I never did regain normal health even for a single minute; indeed I became even more ill. And then found partial relief. And then relapsed! Yes the condition is cyclical, but there always remains an underlying debilitation similar to the flu. You get used to feeling pretty grotty all the time, totally exhausted, suffering brain fog, poor concentration and short term memory loss. Headaches lasting weeks at a time are a nuisance, as is muscle pain that can occur almost anywhere. A common experience is that the initial onset occurs as a post viral complaint; others suffer shock, maybe an emotional fright or for some, chemical exposure. I seem to have a consistently moderate condition, so though unable to work I can manage to live a partially normal life. I know of others who become bed-bound without strength to move at all. And if I completely overdo things I end up housebound with complete exhaustion myself. Stress is a major ingredient affecting things for me, so I chill out, and have determined that no problem I face compares with the challenge Jane faced with terminal cancer. So I refuse to worry about anything. When I remember not to that is…

Anyway, yesterday was my attempt at living a normal life and I took my eldest daughter and her two children to London. To visit the Queen? Nah, I don’t think she was at home. But my photo was taken in front of Buckingham Palace, where we played the game of wondering who was behind open windows. But we certainly walked quite a way doing a mini tour on foot, and maybe my day out was reckless, inviting a serious relapse, but I don’t think so. So despite a long journey on a very familiar motorway, I had great fun initiating my family into the rock and rolling delights of the Tube where almost everyone had phones or even Kindles in their hands. Weird how life has changed over the past year or two isn't it? So first we visit the Science Museum, and they were all totally disorientated trying to engage with the vast collection of exhibits and activities, sufficient to occupy for a week, let alone a few hours. Eventually we left to begin our walk and immediately puzzled at the rather unfortunate clothing chosen for school kids playing rugby on Hyde Park. So glad we live in sensible Derby I'm sure. Then we took photos of Big Ben on the way to a rather damp and drab Downing Street. A Chinook helicopter clattered past at very low level as we watched armed police ushering a crowd of youngsters through the massive gates guarding our Prime Minister’s home. Theatre land looked splendid as the sun went down and eyes lit up as I mentioned Leicester Square and it’s red carpet for film premières  Of course the whole walk had really been spent on a search for One Direction, just in case they were in town! Yeh, all very different from my grandkids’ wonderfully sheltered upbringing.

I’m pleased to report that today I feel fine. A few aches from the long walk maybe, but actually my biggest problem has come from peeling garlic and chopping onions… yes I've been cooking again, and for sure my fingers are going nowhere near my eyes for a day or two! So all rather mundane in Dave’s world. And that’s exactly what I want at the moment. Just a normal life without illness.

Psalm 91:14-16 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”’ (NLT)

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