Tag Archive | Christmas

Too tired

There is a very good reason Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is labelled as chronic. That’s because it is unceasing and relentless in its vicious and pervading attack on your physical and mental wellbeing. It is ever-present, long-lasting and, even if you are lucky enough to get a remission, it usually returns. With a vengeance. It is unwelcome and, like a bad penny, it keeps turning up despite your best attempts to fend it off.

If my fatigue and related symptoms were just a flash-in-the-pan, over and done with in a jiffy leaving me to return to normal energy levels within a few weeks or months it would be called Acute Fatigue Syndrome. But it’s not.

This time of year is particularly difficult for many people I’m sure with invitations to Christmas parties, meals out and shopping trips dripping from the calendar but if you are like me, you really don’t have the energy to spare on these “optional extras.”

The extra energy required to cope with overcrowded public transport and supermarkets, busy roads, presents to buy, cards to send and people to see is just too much and I therefore have to bow to my enforced lethargy and say “No, thanks”. It can be seen as Bah! Humbug, but so be it. The most frustrating aspect for me however is the assumption that after months of being “in recovery” I should be “better” now and able to join in the merriment along with everyone else.

Sadly, this is not the case and my “recovery” will continue for many months and years. There is no quick remedy for CFS. It is an illness that must be managed constantly if a relapse or crash is to be avoided. Most people don’t understand this and look at you as if you have turned into a Couch Potato by choice. I can’t imagine anything worse and the frustration that being so inactive brings cannot be described. I could get really angry about it but that would waste yet more precious energy so I try to accept my new limitations with good grace. This has never been a strong point of mine so I am on a steep learning curve.

All I want this Christmas is to step aside from extra activity and stress, to avoid being out of routine and being late to bed and to spend the few days that I have off work with my family and not tucked up in bed exhausted by the build-up of extra effort.

So if I say “No thanks” to the department Christmas outing, the office Christmas meal, drinks on the last day before the holiday and anything else in-between, please don’t think I am unwilling, uncaring, selfish, lazy or unsociable.

I’m just too tired-really.

Don’t fight it

Everything I have read about CFS/M.E includes the advice “don’t fight the fatigue.” That’s assuming you have a choice.

This weekend, I had no choice, and I have spent many many hours in bed asleep or just too exhausted to move. It’s a while since I felt this lifeless but looking back over the last few weeks, I suspect this is a classic case of delayed fatigue after some exciting and stressful events and increasing pressure at work during our busy time of year.

To summarise, I had 11 hours of sleep on Friday night. I followed this with a 4-hour “power-nap” on Saturday afternoon, 14 hours sleep last night and 3 hours of “rest” today. I have no desire to do any craft work, to cut pieces of material ready for my daily commute quilt or even read a book. I am totally drained and my mood has plummeted. I wish I knew what really causes these relapses as I have been trying really hard to avoid over-stretching myself apparently to no avail.

Luckily I see Doc Fraser on Thursday and will be able to chat over the last few weeks with him and try to get back on track to recovery. Perhaps this is a one-off strong reaction; perhaps I still have the cough/sore throat virus lingering longer and outstaying its welcome. Whatever it is I don’t like it so in addition to increasing my rest periods, I will be a lot more diligent about eating more healthily and avoiding unnecessary activity and sadly this will have to include the Christmas parties. I can’t stay out late in town worrying about catching the last train home and still turn up for work early next morning. It’s too much when it takes me 4 hours a day to travel to and from work.

Alcohol is not conducive to recovery from CFS/M.E and it’s no fun being out with a crowd who are gradually getting merrier when you are the only sober one there!

So I will continue with my normal daily routine up to Christmas and into the New Year. I have some wonderful things to look forward to in 2014 and I want to be in the best health I can be to enjoy them.

Applique Afternoon

I’ve run out of black cotton material for my hand-sewn quilt and I’m not in the mood to start my machine quilt today, too tired, so I thought I’d do something a little different instead. Applique.

Owl and Moon

Owl and Moon

I haven’t sewn it on the background yet, that will have to wait for another day but I’m quite pleased with it. I love using up my scrap stash and this is perfect.

It would make a nice Christmas present…..now there’s an idea 🙂

Patchwork bags & baskets

My latest wheeze is making patchwork tote bags and mini-baskets. A girl can never have enough bags and they are an easy thing to run up quickly when you see some nice material. Sometimes you don’t really want to make a huge family-heirloom quilt which take forever (well it does me) so bags are good.

The little baskets are made courtesy of Ayumi, Pink Penguin, who very generously makes her Fabric Basket pattern and instructions freely available on the ‘net. I love these and I can see myself making a few for Christmas presents to hold bath bombs (Lush, Rose Jam Bubbleroons!), or nice chocolates.

Fabric Basket-Moda fabrics "Padstow"

Fabric Basket-Moda fabrics “Padstow”

Last year I made  patchwork tote bag which I was pleased with, but as I made it completely with scrap fabric, I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the colour scheme. I saw some gorgeous, gorgeous new material in the fabric shop at the weekend and so I decided to make me another bag but this time choosing my fabric and colours. I use the instructions available from Teresadownunder as I find the pattern and instructions easy to follow and the end product is both lovely to look at and practical.

Here is my latest make;

My new patchwork tote bag

My new patchwork tote bag

Autumn is here

 

Definitely influenced by the autumn equinox and the new chunky knitting wool in the market.

In between welcoming our new neighbours, who are setting up a gin distillery just in time for Christmas 🙂  and performing surgery on  Tom’s eyelid (removing a tick) I managed to make this little beauty.