Monday, 2 March 2009

The importance of resting

There is so much to write about and a limit to how much I can do each day, but before I give you too much background information about my own condition I want to emphasise how important resting is.  

I am fortunate that when I moved back to the UK from the US this Christmas my sister and parents recognised instantly (much to their horror!) that I had M.E..  They said to me that it was incredibly important that I rested properly, they were concerned that I would 'fall off the cliff' as my sister had done.  It wouldn't take much for me to go downhill they said.  Basically this was a kind of intervention like you sometimes see on those American sitcoms and I am extremely grateful for it.

Resting does NOT mean watching TV or listening to the radio or even reading a book or surfing the web.  Resting means doing absolutely nothing.  Lying in bed and relaxing and trying to still your mind so your body can work on repairing itself.  If you do not rest effectively, particularly during the initial stages you will reduce your chances of a full recovery and certainly lengthen the time it takes.  If you don't believe me check out this link, it may scare you in to resting properly when you realise the consequences of not:

I must confess I did find this concept of resting rather hard to do to begin with - because it is so boring and so frustrating to be ill!  But if you do not give your body a chance you do yourself a disservice.  I limited my activity as had been suggested and rested every day for several hours but I still seemed to be slipping downhill.  

Then there was a job I particularly wanted to apply for (that doesn't start until Sept) so I worked a little on this application each day, conscientiously managing my resting and working time.  Unfortunately when I submitted the application I discovered that there were also aptitude tests I must complete that day!  This added exertion when I was already exhausted made me nosedive.  I could no longer go for short walks with my parents and I discovered that lifting things like saucepans, or the kettle were now impossible too.  My mum has ended up having to cook all the meals now as there was no way I can help, even by chopping up veggies.

Anyway, I made it through to the telephone interview stage.  By this time just this afternoon event was enough to send me through the floor.  The following day I was in a lot of pain and unable to do anything at all - I didn't realise how lucky I had been that I didn't have constant nerve pain until then.  That in itself is an incentive not to push things if you don't (or even if you do) have it already!  Since the interview we had to switch to plastic plates, bowls, cups etc. because I cannot lift the normal ones and I cannot tolerate the chinking noise of the cutlery on porcelain.  Certain lights are never switched on due to my continued light sensitivity and I have even been struggling to walk down the corridor from my bedroom to the kitchen.   All of this was despite me resting properly -now of course though I rest for longer periods than I did.

Thank goodness my parents live in a bungalow is all I can say!!

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