Been for a bike ride this morning.
I thought I should make the effort to get myself moving again.
All my working life I have been sat down,
and being a writer and browser of the internet I still sit down for many an hour.
This has made my legs unhappy with me.
I have disregarded this unhappiness though,
and just carried on with what I am doing.
For years I have had a health condition, or thought I had, but again disregarded.
ME, (not MS), Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Failure, all these names have been assigned to this condition, with the medical people not knowing what causes it, some even disregarding the symptoms as imagination.
There is no cure.
Anyway, in the back of my mind early on in my adult life, I thought that I had something wrong,
but carried on nevertheless with my hectic and chaotic life.
Years passed, the symptoms persisted, getting stronger but I still ignored them as my life continued to bounce along.
2008, and France arrived.
June 2016, and down I went.
Together with the ME/Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Failure condition, I had also gathered to myself the condition of Fibromyalgia.
So what happened was this:
If you are me, when life is difficult and hectic, you fight on, that is what you do.
You do not give up, you keep on striving to overcome whatever difficulty is in front of you,
and you do not turn around and go in the opposite direction,
never will you do that.
Whatever challenge is set you by the Universe, then you do your best to conquer it.
And if you are me, you would look back and marvel at the amount of life learning you have absorbed as a result of rising up to meet these challenges.
You feel the growth of self, of the fullness of self, of those long years behind which were full of things happening, some good, some not so good, but nevertheless done well.
The cost, though, it is the cost that brought me low last year, because if you were me you would have been too busy, and not had the time, to have listened to what was happening to the body.
Then finally your body gives up on you, and says 'Enough!'.
What happened for me was that I was consumed with a heavy tiredness of which there seemed to end, coupled with the chronic muscular stiffness of Fibromyalgia, which had me taking half an hour to get out of bed because nothing would work, then moving about at the pace of a sloth.
So I slept for hours and hours, and worried, because I thought that this was the end, that I was on the downward path, because at that time I did not actually know what was wrong with me.
I just knew I was sick.
And if you were me, you would refuse to run to the doctor, but instead would find out what was actually wrong and get it sorted out yourself, which is what I did.
God bless the Internet, because I embarked on hours of research, listing first all the symptoms I had, and then seeing if they fitted known illnesses. They did. It was scary. I now had names to put to the condition I had, and reality bit deep. As I say, this was a scary time.
But hey ho, if you were me you would refuse to give in, you learn to accept what is wrong with you, then you find ways to help yourself get better, but knowing in your heart that it is going to take many months before you can say that you are well again, and trying to stay patient when the dark days happen, which they will, when you feel like you have taken a dozen steps backwards, that this is 'it' for the rest of your days, that life is not really worth all this effort. But you get up the next day and fight on. Perhaps it will be a better day, perhaps it won't, but you give it a try anyway, that is what you do if you are me.
I am not going into the exact physical symptoms, nor how I put myself back together again, but I have gradually improved. What is a bother, though, is that this period of ill health has left me with less physical strength than I used to have, and I need to get some of that back. I don't suppose that I shall ever be as fit as I was ten years ago, but I need to be fitter than what I am otherwise I shall not be able to live the self sufficiency life I want to live, which requires all sort of physical effort.
If you were me, you would need a target to head towards, and the Market Garden Project has arrived at just the right time. Not for me the slowness of retirement, of watching the days dwindle away, and of allowing the illness to settle over me like a blanket, oh no, not at all.
So, two bits of me need helping along....my legs, and my upper arms and shoulders.
On Burns Night (25th Jan) we were invited to play for our supper at a friend's party, which needed me to start playing the accordion again if we were to respond to her request. I did, and we played. This has given me a thirst for playing the accordion again. I have trouble even lifting if off the floor at the moment. Not to worry, I can just about manage to do so, and the movement of the bellows in and out will stretch out my upper arms and shoulders. I would be satisfied if I could lift my left arm higher than the tope of my head. The right arm is happier.
As for my legs.....
I have got my exercise bike from out of its corner,
and have started pedalling.
100 light pedals
100 light pedals with upper arm stretches
100 pedals on the next level up.
Once a day, in the morning.
OK, so I have to do something gentle for half an hour afterwards, such as play exercises on the piano, or knit, or sew, but I definitely find myself moving better.
And here is the view I see as I cycle:
...out in to the courtyard, which is waiting to be made in to the first stage of the Market Garden Project.
... and here are my legs, waiting to be helped in to better physical shape.
I have another matching pair of socks somewhere,
probably snitched away by Blue, our sock and knicker stealer.
So if you were me, what you do now?
I would say 'thankyou' for reading this blog,
that if you have anything wrong with you healthwise, then you can always improved that condition if you want to, but that you need to have something to focus on to stop your head from moaning to you about how unwell you feel, this I know from experience.
And I did get to walk with the dogs round our Side Field last night,
which is the first time I have walked so far for months.
Bye for now,