Friday, February 20, 2009

Ups and Downs of M.E.

On good days I begin to feel like I’ve got this thing beat. “I’m getting better!” “In a few more weeks I’ll be back to normal!” M.E. is famous for it’s fluctuating symptoms that can vary in severity from hour to hour and day to day. I’ll wake up after eight hours unrefreshing sleep feeling groggy, my head full of mud, my legs made of lead and it will take hours for my brain to begin to function. I used to be a morning person – happy to be up by 6 am or even earlier to fit in some journal writing before going to work. Yet now I often have to wait until mid afternoon to feel some energy creeping into my mind and body.

I think the good days are there to encourage us, to keep us going, to give us hope. Not everyone with M.E. gets good days – happily I do. Right now I’m trying to figure out if my recent good days are just part of the usual fluctuating symptoms, or can they be the result of a significant increase in meditation time that I began about ten days ago? Almost every day I’m taking around 45 minutes in the morning and the same again in the late afternoon for meditation practice or relaxation exercises. A quick look at the topics “meditation”, “mindfulness”, and “autogenic training” in Wikipedia brings up the related (clinically researched) health benefits – whether you have M.E. or some other condition.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Going Shopping

If a trip to the supermarket leaves you exhausted, then you've got M.E. If you're looking for a place to sit and rest while you're wandering the aisles, then you've got M.E. If you feel like you're going to faint at any moment while standing in the check-out line, then you've got M.E. If the muzak makes you feel like hammers are raining down on your head, you've got M.E. (or maybe a migraine). If your brain goes fuzzy, your shopping list gets blurry and seems increasingly pointless, then you've got M.E. And after a trip to the supermarket you need to rest for the remainder of the day before unpacking and putting away the groceries, then you've got M.E.

And if you've got M.E. then you might want to get your hands on: "Recovery from CFS: 50 personal stories" compiled and edited by Alexandra Barton. Some of the contributors were diagnosed with M.E. and some with CFS, so the recovery stories are varied but all are interesting.