Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Cabin fever

I'm in two minds as to whether this illness actually gets harder as one becomes better...

There was a time, and there are still many days, when my cognitive function was/is so low that I was/am unaware of just how poorly I was/am.

I am much more 'with it' now. So much so that I am aware of my situation and its severity. I am also very aware of how sensible I have to be; how recovery is a full-time job that I never signed up for. Today, for perhaps the first time, I am aware that I am bored. I haven't felt bored for years. Not in this way. Yes I've been bored of feeling rotten but today I am bored of not being able to do things. I want to go and do something (anything!) but know that I shouldn't because I have plans for this weekend and I should be taking it easy ahead of that. 

This is what I mean by things getting harder as one gets better. I can do things now that I hadn't even dared to dream about...but I can't do them very often. It's very frustrating if you let it be. 

I am lucky that it's in my nature to seek out the silver linings but it is only natural and normal that on some days those silver linings appear faded or almost impossible to find.

I feel cooped up. Claustrophobic. The cabin fever has set in. I have to get OUT. This rarely happens but it's not a nice feeling when it does. On one occasion it got to me so badly that I ended up standing in the street crying, desperate to get out of the house. In the end I accompanied my mum on a trip to Sainsbury's to keep me sane despite barely being able to walk. 

I am lucky that after years of patience I can now go off on my little driving adventures. Not everyday. By no means am I well again and I am not recovered. But I am recovering. 

My baseline targets (the bare minimum I hope to achieve everyday) include showering, getting dressed, eating at the table and managing a little drive. I don't meet any of those consistently at the moment. I might manage one and not the others. I'm getting back into a better routine after Christmas time. 

There are days when I have to decide between my physical wellbeing and my mental wellbeing. On these days I tend to push myself physically more than I would usually like to just to save my sanity. I'll get in the car and just get a change of scenery. 

That's what I've done today. I've forfeited having a shower and sitting at the table, for getting out in the car. I don't go far. I can manage up to 20 minutes start to finish now though!

I can't have it all...yet.

Pascal, my noble steed

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dear Diary - I'm going on a date!

The venue

His house. Hear me out before you give me the third degree. There is a method to my madness.

It could well be too overwhelming to meet in a noisy, public, place. I would be anxious beforehand about whether I would find him in the crowd for example. I just don't feel I could fully be myself. He can't come here. My parents are here. Plus my two brothers. I'm 26, not 14. It'd be very much Simon and his parents from The Inbetweeners. I just feel, perhaps strangely, more comfortable doing it this way. I can lie on the sofa and get some peace while he cooks. 

I've spoken to him a couple of times on the phone. We've been texting a hell of a lot. I've seen photos. I have his address. His housemate will also be there. My friend lives in the next street. 

I've been feeling sick all week...I've hardly eaten. I think it's another case of me picking up a bug but my immune system being on such high alert that it's managing to keep it at bay. So the plan is to watch Arthur Christmas. Seriously. It's how I roll.

I'm trying to be calm but I'm excited! I don't think I'm that nervous. I have no real expectations or hopes - for me it'll just be fabulous to have left the house and be talking to someone new. I'm feeling confident enough to say when I need to just sit in silence. He can like it or lump it. It's what I need. I won't pretend for a person I've only just met! That is reserved for people like my grandparents, so they won't worry. It might not sound all that nice but he really will just have to take me as I am. 

If I'm struggling with anything it's finding the balance between being honest and not making it an issue/scaring him away.

(Written December 2014.)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Cloud 9

In October 2010 (I think it was the 8th) I was no more than two minutes into my journey to a friend's house when I realised I was no longer well enough to drive. I couldn't trust myself to turn right. I couldn't trust my brain to tell me if there was traffic coming... My arms were too heavy to keep them up on the steering wheel. I couldn't move my head fast enough to look left and right because it felt as if it was full of water. My vision was blurry and I couldn't tell if I was hallucinating or not. I went straight back home and got a lift. That was the last time I'd driven myself to a friend's house. 

That friend moved house about three years ago and I have never driven myself to her 'new' home, or the one she lived in before this one come to think of it. 

That October evening back in 2010 marked the beginning of the end of my independence. 

In December 2014 I reached yet another driving milestone though. I drove myself to her house. Stayed for a couple of hours. Then I drove myself home. It seems fitting that it was to the same friend's house that I last tried to drive to that evening in October. It rounds it off nicely. If there is no more progress after this I will be content. More than content. I will be ecstatic! I can't yet do it regularly or reliably but we can't have it all can we?! 

And do you know? I haven't had to eat upstairs in my bed, alone, even on Bed Days for a good few months...

I don't dare say that things are going okay...

Monday, 5 January 2015

WEGO Health Award Nomination

Thank you to whichever kind soul/s nominated me for a WEGO Health Award. I'm up for Best in Show: Blog, the same category as Our Hayley I believe! 

If you'd like to vote or just check out the other nominees you can do so by clicking the link below.

I open you've all navigated your way through the festive season okay. PJs and TV catch-up have been the order of the day here. Must try to get back into some kind of routine!