Two steps forward, one step back

Tuesday was fairly good.

I did a few things first thing and even got myself downstairs and put the television on. ¬†I hadn’t wanted any form of sound or external ‘input’ until then, but then admittedly just found it slightly irritating and went to switch it off again. Then my colleague arrived unannounced as I described previously and got me talking and out in the garden. I wouldn’t have done this voluntarily; I seem to just want to run back to the ‘security’ of the duvet and the bedroom whenever I can. She pulled me out of my comfort zone; but this was a good thing. I need to make progress somehow.

By the end of the day, I felt almost normal. I helped get the boys to bed for the first time since this happened. Although, the toddler managed to suddenly turn the volume up on his little music player and it completely overwhelmed me; poor thing had me yelling at him and snatching it off him to switch off. ¬†Tolerance is very poor at the moment. Then I managed to change the bedding on our bed; probably ranks as the most hated chore for me; why are duvet covers such a nightmare?! But then the relief; I can get back in it now…

Wednesday was a wipe-out. Absolutely no energy at all. Didn’t even write a word; just lay vacant almost all day. Apart from one thing I knew I had to do…

I already seem to have developed an issue from immobility; rationally I know I need to move around and get fresh air, but easier said than done. The tail end of a virus I already had has now turned into a chest infection. With a raging sore throat that will not go away; really not helping my lack of desire to eat. Because of my usual medication, I knew I had to get a blood test done. And I also knew that I wouldn’t get away with not doing it as I was getting kindly ‘nags’ from various directions.

I phoned through and got the appointment. 3 hours away. Only 3 hours away. I hadn’t left the house since last week. Never has this ever been a daunting prospect before. But it was now. I didn’t want to go out and I didn’t want to be around other people, especially a lot of them in one place. I continued to lie there in my nightclothes in bed considering how to get myself motivated to get up. Half an hour before, I summoned all the energy I had and got washed and dressed. Out to the car and started to drive. It felt alien and scary. My heart was racing. How bizarre.

The job was done. Straight back home and back to bed. A very flat day. Frustrating and disappointing. Did I do too much too soon the day before? Or is this just the nature of the beast?

I am starting to understand better what happens when patients get stuck in a rut. Being afraid of the outside world and the people in it then struggling to leave the house; it is a vicious cycle.

I always remember wise advice from my best friend initially said half a lifetime ago when we first met at university. She said it was important to get out every day even if it is just briefly or for something minor. I have quoted her many times since then, including to patients, and have always tried to follow her advice myself. Until now, when I seem to be stuck. My own life is now demonstrating perfectly the validity of this concept. Maybe I’ll try again today. But the irony; for the first time since last week, it is supposed to rain all day. I know I will instinctively use this as an excuse. Can I balance that with giving myself a kick up the backside?

I know that the only person that can help me is me…

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