I had my last ME clinic appointment two weeks ago just before I headed off on holiday for a week.
We basically reviewed all the topics we had gone through since first meeting in January and designed a basic self management plan:
Sleep - go to bed at a set time every night and get up at the same time. Also setting myself an alarm to prompt me to get ready for bed.
Computer time - setting myself an alarm so I don't stay on too long.
Diet - pre plan meals and prepare food to take into work so I'm not just grabbing and eating unhealthy food at lunchtimes. Reducing sugar and caffeine. I need something nutritious and healthy to see me through the afternoons!
Exercise - to be consistent and find something I enjoy doing which at the moment is really the stretches and a bit of light yoga.
Managing anxiety - using the techniques I have to manage stress and to cope with anxiety provoking situations.
Looking out for warning sighs of lapse/relapse - Listening to my body and noticing any symptoms that indicate that I might be slipping. For me difficulty finding words, slurred speech and feeling itchy are red flags that I may have overdone it and need to scale activities back.
Thinking - stopping myself thinking in 'all or nothing' terms and not worrying about what other people 'might' be thinking of me. Continue to work on my mood and thought patterns.
Relaxation - doing regular relaxation/meditation.
Pacing - to ensure I don't adopt the starter/finisher approach. Jobs can always be left till later!
I'm due to see the physio again in October for a three month follow up. Hopefully when I go back things will have remained stable or may even have improved a bit. I stay forever optimistic!
Anyway the holiday we were on was slightly bittersweet for me. It was a camping trip to the North West of Scotland near where we had stayed almost twelve years ago, just prior to me getting unwell.
We went back to the beach that we had stayed at in 2002. I remembered cycling up the steep hill and a good few miles to the local shop nearly every day for provisions. Not a trip I would manage now without a good bit of payback!
However we had a really nice time reminiscing and the day we were at the beach was gorgeous weather. We had a barbecue and went rock pooling and paddling in the sea. I feel blessed to stay in such a beautiful country!