Monday, 11 October 2010

One Year Old Today!

It's a bit of a special day today, exactly a year since the accident that was most likely the cause of my latest ME/CFS crash, which caught up with me about a week later.

My son and I were out on our pony carriage, I was having a period of OK-ish health so all was good. The edited version of events was that a large dog jumped out at my pony's head, so he jumped onto the grass verge to get away, taking the carriage and us with him. This would have been OK if the verge were flat, but it was very steeply sloped and so the carriage went over and we were flung out. My son was shocked and a little winded (they bounce at 15 don't they!) and I broke a bone in my back (didn't do the bouncing thing quite so well huh!).

A couple of days later I began to feel unwell, but as all I could do was stand or lie down, I was resting as much as I was able to in the painfull circumstances! Things started to really catch up with me about a week later and ended up in a full blown crash, hearing, eyes, brain, skin tingles, pain, stiffness, balance, energy, nausea, spaced out, etc etc, you name it, I had taken a delivery of it!

My usual pattern of crash and recovery has always been fairly good, usually a slow build up to a crash, feeling it creep up on me over a month or so, then 2 or 3 months off work and back to where I was before. The whole episode lasting about 5 months from crash to full time work again.

I was not prepared for the impact (if that's the most apt word) that this relapse would have on me.

I returned to work in December last year, and have had a year of illness and struggles to keep my head above water at work, starting on just 2 part-mornings a week, and building up.
A whole year later and I am still struggling with hearing issues, skin sensations and aches and pains. I am stiff and a bit clumsy, but not nearly so bad. 'Concrete-brain' and word finding are horrendous. My stamina and energy are still much reduced compared to 'pre-carriage stunt' levels, and I have come to the conclusion that I am probably going to stay like this, certainly for the time being.

If I had taken more time off work would I have made a better recovery? Has pushing myself this year taken it's toll? Is this why I'm still this ill? Who knows, we all do what we think is best at the time and that's fine.

It's been the most life changing year so far, I have had to reduce what I do for the longest period since I was first ill, in 2000. I've done a lot of accepting!
Not meaning to sound cheesy, I am more settled with my illness and state of health than ever before. My husband is more accepting, which makes a huge difference to everything, and I've stopped feeling so guilty and trying to deny it all the time. I now have friends with ME/CFS too, it's all made a much happier me!

I know I moan and grumble but just imagine what I WOULD have been like!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A Very Yurty Autumn!

Hello again, long time no blog! I've been having a somewhat cruddy time of it and really couldn't begin to think about blogging. I think it would have turned into a moan-fest so I saved you all!!!

You'll be pleased to know I'm not moaning, just bringing you up to speed with life in my little bit of the world.

I have spent a couple of weeks living in my yurt, well, to be more accurate, sleeping and spending much more time in it. I have this wonderful yurt, but neither my husband or son would come sleep in it with me, so I finally decided to move in, and if they wanted to be with me they would join me eventually! It is a lovely relaxing little space, and so cosy that I haven't yet had to light the fire!

I love waking up in there, listening to the dawn chorus and the sounds of the morning. But let's not forget those often unheard sounds of the night! The foxes screeching and running around outside the yurt, cats fighting, badgers snuffling and our resident owl hooting and landing on the roof every so often. The yurt is next to some high vegetation and often suffers from mouse-invasion in the winter so I think the owl sits on my roof looking down for his dinner!

When I can't sleep I often lie on my bed with the door open, watching the foxes, badgers, bats and the owl. It is truly a calming and comforting experience, and Autumn is my favourite time of year.

I'm always excited by the change in the weather, the pony growing his winter coat, the squirrels raiding my hazelnut trees, and the abundance of free food out there, ours for the taking! (Although maybe not the hazelnuts, squiggies got there first!) It is time to get firewood in, to sweep the leaves from the hen house roof and collect the apples from the orchard. Anyone want a ton or two, I'm inundated with Bramleys!!!!!

I can't get out to do the garden jobs I used to, I have to frustratedly act as 'foreman' now-a role I'm not at all comfy with! I long to be out there mucking out the hen house, digging manure into the veg-plot, tieing back the brambles and much more. I TRY SO HARD to be the outdoorsy girl I was even just this time last year, but not possible at present.

Instead I boom and bust, when I get down to see the pigs in the orchard (maybe once a week) that turns into frantically using the last dribble of energy whilst there, to collect as many windfall apples as possible as I can't stand waste! Then I'm trying to decide whether I'm able to carry them up to the house, or just leave them in a prominent position for hubby to see and do the donkey-work.

This ME/CFS really messes with your day, week, month and in fact your year! Or years!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Reconcilliation and Rosehips!

After a somewhat unsettled time here, there seems to have been a shift. A long held attitude of indifference seems to have been chipped away a little, and the 'chap' concerned is much more, erm, well CONCERNED!

It has been a revelation for me, I can now see what I have missed out on all these years, but never mind. Maybe I wouldn't have been the strong(-ish) person I am now if I had always had a crutch to fall back on, and not just my own resilience. I am not at all bitter, just blooming pleased that it happened now!

Anyhoo- Reconcilliation there has been, and one which will last I'm sure. I won't go into what and how it happened, too boring and far too unbloggable!

And Rosehips-Now there's room in my concrete head for other stuff, it's Autumn again and time to get myself out in the fresh air to collect the free food that is ALL OVER THE PLACE just now. Now is the best time to make Rowan Jelly (great with all meat, hot and cold) and Roship syrup, which has helped keep the family fairly sniffle free over the last year, as I'm told it has 20 times the vitC content of oranges. But all I know is it's darned easy to make, and tastes gorgeous! There's some on the go right now, it's an M.E. friendly thing to make as it takes no stirring, no pot watching and very little energy outlay. The end product is yummilicious and very good on all puddings and cereal etc.

I have made all sorts of jam so far, and pickled beetroot like it's going out of fashion! I hate to think of anything going to waste out there, and feel compelled to pick what I can. I have to admit that it can sometimes be a bit of a chore when the energy isn't there for the essential duties of the day, and to find extra to stand next to a bush with your arms up is not always easy! (I mean picking fruit, not just standing there displaying my armpits to the world!)

In case any of you are interested in the Rosehip Syrup recipe....

2lbs or 1kg of Rosehips
1 and 3/4 lbs of sugar

Put the hips in the blender till they're coarsely chopped then put them into a pan containing 1.5litres or 3pints of boiling water. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes (you don't have to, you can take a break just now).

Pour into a linen Jelly bag (or linen shopper from the co-op supermarket, much cheaper and just as good!) and allow to drip till it stops (another little sit down!).

Put the residue back into the pan with 750ml or 1 and 1/2 pints boiling water. Stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes (again, you don't have to)! Pour back into the jelly bag and wait till it stops dripping. I usually have another 60p shopper ready to pour the whole mixture back through, as you need to remove ALL the little hairs as they can be an internal irritant.

Put the juice into a clean pan and reduce till it measures about 750ml or 1 and 1/2 pints liquid. Add 900g or 1 and 3/4 lbs sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.

Pour into hot, sterile bottles or jars and seal at once.

There you have it, enough vitC to see you through the winter, and you've had some pretty decent sits down along the way!