From bed to chair
Those of you who are reading this and suffer with M.E. , CFS, Fybromyralgia or similar complaints, will truly understand my dilemma.
How the hell do you break the cycle of extreme fatigue, bed bound, wheelchair bound, walking stick, shower seat, blob that exists on the sofa, can’t even manage to watch your favourite TV programme as the sound and light are too much for your senses??
Well, I’ve done it!!
If I’m honest with you, shear determination, although, my journey still isn’t easy, and yes I still have to jump the next hurdle. I’ve become creative in my approach, and before anyone says it, It’s not as simple as ‘positive thinking’!!
I have had to change my belief and thought process. This is a really tricky one to tackle, especially as the ‘professionals’ we learn to trust, tell people in our position to, ‘take it easy’, ‘don’t push yourself’, ‘pace yourself’ and to ‘understand how your energy is spent in daily tasks’.
Yes, I agree to a certain extent. Resting when your energy levels are at an all time low seems a plausible and sensible piece of advice, but how did we get to that point in the first place? What have we done to our bodies? what is happening inside of our bodies?
While I absolutely don’t claim to have the scientific answer to all those questions, I can share with you the understanding I have about what has gone on in my body, what changes I have made, and how it has effected my symptoms. I have quite a bit to share, so will do this in several posts.
I Strongly feel that others would benefit from me sharing my learnings, I completely understand that what has worked for me, won’t work for everyone; However, There must be someone out there, with some research and studies of various people with similar symptoms and a ‘common ground’ must pop up from time to time?
I also strongly believe that there is no magic pill that has yet to be invented, that would be a blanket cure all for people that suffer with M.E/ CFS/ Fybro.
The Key to my ongoing recovery?
It’s simple, Cleansing my body of all toxins, and eating Organic, Whole food. I choose to be Vegan, I believe that Meat and fish are toxic to are bodies along with Gluten, wheat, any processed food and most importantly any chemical additives. Alkalising my diet, so my body has the right balance of Acid/Alkaline to optimise health.
For some, this may have made you take a short sharp breath of shock and horror! For others who are already on your search for recovery, I know that you have tilted your head in interest and are now giving this some serious thought.
I will go into more details about food in another post, as for us M.E. sufferers, the thought of food prep is an absolute joke!
For now, lets start at the very beginning, before I tackled food, where and how did I start?
Back in March 2015, I knew, that to change my current state, anything I did needed to be radical. I felt This wasn’t a choice, I felt it a necessity. I was sitting in my Hospital bed, admitted with Pneumonia, That if I didn’t change my life I was dying a very slow and painful death. It’s not something I had planned for my Husband and two boys. I had planned Life for living, days out at the beach, running in football fields, dancing, swimming, jumping and all things that make me feel alive.
Trouble was, with already 4 years of suffering with M.E , being sedentary for so long I had piled on the pounds. At 22 stone and 5lbs, no energy, a diagnosed binge eater, addicted to sugar and carbs, I really didn’t have a lot going for me.
I started to look for alternative ways to change my weight, my general health and quickly learned that it wasn’t just the physical that was going to help my transformation. It was the mental/ Physiological issues that had to be dealt with first.
Now I am already hearing some M.E sufferers screaming at this article, ‘M.E. isn’t Psychological!!’ and I completely agree, it isn’t! it’s a group of very physical symptoms and very debilitating too. However, I’m not referring to the M.E. here, I’m referring to my internal self that real’s negative thoughts, that stop me from believing in myself, loving myself and my general self worth. How many sufferers sit in their chair/ bed and tell themselves ‘I am useless’ or ‘I used to have a job that made me feel useful’, ‘i’ll never get the feeling of self worth back, how can I just laying here like a blob’ ?
These were mantra’s I told myself everyday, especially being home alone for a lot of the time, while my husband worked and my children at school. However, I needed to start appreciating very small things to lift my mood. I needed to have gratitude for the world around me.
I started ever so small with, ‘the warmth of the sunlight through my bedroom window gently warms my skin, I am enough’ or ‘ My Children’s smile warms my heart, they need me, to share their day, I am interested’ moving onto, ‘I am alive and life is worth living’. I then moved on to posting 3 reasons for being Grateful on Facebook everyday, grateful personally, grateful to my friends and family and grateful to nature. The posts were so popular, it really made me feel listened to and worthy of friendship.
For some, these mantra’s feel a million miles away from a reality, for many reasons, all of which will be personal to you. My advice is, start to think of life without any blocks in the way, start to think of how you would like to be living your life if there wasn’t anything in your way to stop you. What would your life be like if you had your health, enough money to be comfortable, a support network around you, no illness physically or mentally?
Paint that picture in your mind, really visualise yourself in full health, physically fit, what are you doing? what are you wearing? what colours are around you? sounds? smells?
with a ‘virtual’ fit and healthy you in your minds eye, what will your mantra be?
Mine still is ‘ everyday, in every way, I’m feeling healthier and healthier, YES!’
This Mantra I have pinched from Tony Robbins Hour of Power. It’s where I started to begin to make a very small change in my daily routine, or should I say, getting a routine!
Every morning I make Lemon and ginger tea (with fresh lemon and ginger). for those who find getting out of bed a problem first thing, ask a carer, or your spouse, or anyone who helps you in your day, to make a flask of this tea to keep by your bed for first thing in the morning. This drink cleanses the gut, get your insides ready for the day and the ginger will help take the edge off any nausea. Then, a breathing technique taught by Tony Robbins, in ‘Hour of Power’ that helps your lymphatic system get going, wakens the whole body and for anyone who is immobile, I believe it begins to strengthen the core stability, to gently get moving again.
four staccato breaths in through the nose –
One, Two, Three, Four
four sharp breaths out through the mouth –
One, Two, Three, Four
Keeping a steady rhythm, repeating this for 3 minutes.
To start with, you may feel a little light headed, this is NORMAL, and with practice, will subside. The reason for the light headedness is we don’t breath the way we should do, and don’t always get oxygen to all parts of our bodies, so your body gets a bit of an oxygen rush so to speak!! (or that’s my explanation anyway!)
you can add your mantra to the breathing technique:
|Word||I’m Feeling||Healthier||And Healthier||YESSSS!|
Yes, It’s quite tricky to breathe in and out and physically say words, However, with practice it is totally possible!
For starters, just say in your head while you physically breathe.
Now this is not something I have started and stopped, it’s part of my life. This isn’t a trick to fix you temporarily, it’s a technique to change your life, and definitely not to be stopped! build it in to your routine, or if like me, you have no routine, start your new way of life with this. It will give you purpose to breathe, think normal, positive and kind thoughts about yourself, it’s private, no one else even need to know you do it or even trying it!
notice how you feel after a couple of days ? or even after your first attempt of trying it?
Obviously, you can make your mantra suit you, my example above, is my own personal favourite, you can change it to anything you like as long as it fits with the rhythm. It could be something like, ‘everyday, in every, way – I’m feeling, happier, and Happier, YESSSSS!’
get a rhythm going, and really have conviction when saying ‘YESSSS!’
For me, this Technique was the start of me getting my life back. I progressed from just breathing sat in bed, to on a chair, to on a gym ball – bouncing and holding onto a windowsill (for dear life!) eventually progressing again to simple chair exercises, all in the space of eight weeks. Again I can hear you all screaming at the page, ‘NOOOOOO! graded exercise can kill!’ and yes that was a very big fear of mine. My answer to that is, 6 months down the line, I’m still here! I haven’t overdone my progression, I believe I have a future, a healthy one, I’ve wanted and still want a healthy and active future and each small step is a milestone towards it.
Fresh Lemon ginger tea, and a simple breathing technique, with a whole lot of gratitude thrown in. Who knew, this was the beginning of the new me?
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