Over the course of the past few weeks, great steps forward have been achieved! What I would have considered minute shuffles, in pre-illness times, now seem like immense strides in terms of progress. Increased activity levels have been only moderately counterbalanced by achingly exhausted collapses; the all too familiar roller coaster experience has been transformed into little more than a kiddies replica of the real thing.
Perhaps the greatest advance was a walk into town, the first time I’ve been able to manage that in almost six years and, more importantly, being able to cope with all the audio-visual experiences a town centre throws at one. This comes in the wake of throwing off a chemical lifebelt of anti-depressants, which were supposedly easing my anxiety / panic attacks!
An early morning dose of tramadol hydrochloride (initially prescribed on a more intensive basis to cope with the pain caused by a herniated disc) serves to alleviate the muscular stiffness and spasms which have long been my faithful companions. As a result I have been able to manage more short walks, on top of carrying out various tasks in the garden and my regular culinary activities.
Somehow, the advent of my full pensionable status seems to have coincided with an upturn in my general sense of wellbeing. Perhaps part of it is the newly found freedom from guilt on my better days; the thought that I should attempt a return to gainful employment is no longer part of my agenda. The expectation that I could have done so was totally unrealistic on account of the unpredictability of this condition. Even the re-invigorated Malcolm is still subject to the whims of an achingly exhausted body and, it would be foolish to ignore the more insistent corporeal demands for rest (unless a sense of masochism longed for a painful relapse).
Meantime, I simply give thanks for being paroled from the ME – CFS prison.