Hello there! Long time no see. I've been having proper time off. It's been tough, it still is tough. Some days, like the past two, I've pretty much just slept, or fought the urge to sleep, and ached. A delayed consequence of a night out celebrating a friends birthday. Other days, I'm OK and can manage to get out and about and do things...slowly.
I believe it was not long after my last post that I finally gave in and didn't return to work after my break. I visited the doctor and demanded the doctors take note of how awful I was feeling. I saw doctor after doctor, and had blood test after blood test resulting in nothing. I was sent for scans, nothing. They dismissed me and said 'these things tend to get better by themselves'. Thanks, thanks for that. Needless to say they didn't. I had no idea (actually, probably a lie there, I had a vague idea) of what was wrong with me, or how to manage how I was feeling, or the effects of doing things. After an ovarian scan I finally gave up with the doctors, they were (in my opinion) completely looking at the wrong thing. Maybe it was required to rule things out, but to me it just seemed unnecessary - but, on the positive side my ovaries are fine!
I returned to the doctors eventually, I wrote it all down, a little list/story about how I felt, symptoms, how it had affected me, my life, my business over the past few (six at this point) months. And finally they took notice! I'm not sure whether it was a help or hindrance that I saw a different doctor on pretty much every occasion I visited, the perils of a shared practice with a less than fabulous appointments system. I could see somebody new tomorrow (if I phoned at exactly 8am), but would have to wait 2-3 weeks to see the same doctor. But, this one actually listened to me, didn't try to tell me I was just depressed/stressed or focus on one tiny symptom, or tell me it was nothing, she refused to take any more bloods (thank goodness!). However, she also refused to diagnose me. She said something along the lines of 'it sounds like post-viral fatigue syndrome, but due to the connotations of that label I'm not going to diagnose it....Lets focus on getting you better rather than why you're ill' She then told me briefly about pacing as she stood up and ushered me from the room. Sorry, times up! Yeah, thanks again.
So, over the past couple of months I've been self-managing with information I've found on the internet about post viral fatigue, pacing, diet etc. Not the most ideal situation really, but I really needed a little time off from doctors surgeries. I'm obviously being rather choosy about which information I follow, there's a lot out there, most of it completely over the top, panic-stricken nonsense. But then, if everybody has received the same amount of assistance as me, then it's not really that surprising...
Anyhoo. The prognosis is good, I remain upbeat and positive most of the time, although obviously my entire life pretty much collapsed for a moment there, so you know, I've not been smiling the whole time! I've been managing to do more over the last month or so, even though some days, as the last two I can't really do anything. It's all part of the learning process however. The next big hurdle is working. I've been managing little bits and pieces over the last few weeks, but in 2 weeks I start an actual job. It's only two days a week, and they know that I have this 'condition', they've been very supportive throughout the application and interview process and have said they'll make adjustments if needed, so we'll see how that goes! Hopefully well, and hopefully I'll start having good days more often, good days that feel like I used to would be amazing, but lets not get ahead of ourselves!
I've just read back my last few blog posts and think I've repeated some of what I'd posted previously, however, it's quite nice to have it all in one place, for me anyway. I've also noticed they're all quite miserable 'ugh, I'm ill' posts. And this will be the last hopefully. Normal service, or maybe even improved service will resume!
All change! You may notice I've had a little mess around with the design of the blog, with the help of puglypixel.