It always surprises me each year how much energy Christmas and the lead up to it take and how long it takes to recover. I know I did a post or two in December about how to reduce the after effects but it seems like no matter how hard I plan, how careful I am, I always end up in bed for longer than I expect afterwards. It’s only about a week ago that I realised I hadn’t had a proper rest day since the beginning of December which has ended up with all the little things building into one big one.
First my little update, though it isn’t really much more than what I said in my past couple of posts. I haven’t been posting so much recently because of my after Christmas recovery but I am trying to get back to full health before I go back to a five days a week posting so it may be the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting two or three times instead. I’ve been organising myself more and have a list of posts and goals for this year so I think I’ll be posting on that, I’m not sure I’ll be doing a 2015 favourites or my what I got for Christmas post as it seems to be getting a bit late and I’ve got so many other posts I want to do reviewing my Christmas bits and my sale buys. I’m going to do the organisation and goals post next Wednesday and probably one on all the little things I bought for my diary and planner early next week too. I’m having another go at stickers and washi tape to see if I can get better at keeping my FiloFax organiser up to date rather than sort of giving up a month or two in.
It seems weird to say that 2015 was my first full year of blogging, I hope I’ve got better at it throughout the year and I’ve gone from posting twice a week to five times a week with a better schedule that I’ve kept to, most of the time anyway. I’ve finished my degree, finally managed to get a POTS diagnosis and help with that and feeling more positive about starting a business and where I’m going or how I’m dealing with my ME. Overall it was a bit of an odd year but I think overall it was generally positive and it’s set me up for what’s hopefully going to be a good 2016. Now I just have to hope they sort out the side effects from the new medication and I’ll be able to get rid of the light-headedness (is that a word) so I can actually get out more.
I know a lot of other people with ME, and other chronic illnesses, have been hit after Christmas so I hope you’re all recovering well and resting if you can. My main problems, or maybe symptoms would be the better word, tend to be fatigue, muscle and joint pain and brain fog and concentration problems and each of them gets worse on bad days. I wasn’t sure what I was going to post about today and I know it’s the wrong day for an ME post but I thought I’d post about things I’m doing now to get over Christmas. It’s probably not much help and I have a feeling some things will be repeated from past posts about recovery but I wanted to post about getting over Christmas somehow and it seemed the best way.
I find that hot baths tend to be a good way to help with the muscle and joint problems, plus they’re nice and relaxing, but I’ve recently found that I get too dizzy and light headed to have a long bath so I’ve ended up going more for hot packs and hot water bottles. If you can have a bath there’s a lot of bubble baths and oils that help muscles. As far as individual products go the only one that I can name that I know has helped me in the past was a Lush bubble bar called Marathon that was a warm spicy orang one which felt really nice but did have a fairly strong smell. In general ones with spices in seem to help me the most, or to go down the relaxing route then lavender scented products are supposed to help a lot. Another Lush product I have found helped is the Twilight shower gel as a bubble bath though it’s very limited when they do it in the kitchen it tends to run out, they do a permanent product in this scent with the ballistic but it’s more malt than lavender to me and I just don’t like that. The muscle soak I got in the advent calendar was a bit of a let down, to me anyway, as it was very strongly scented and less relaxing but I’ve tried some Kneipp products in the past and so far they’ve all been relaxing and worked for my muscles. I definitely had the lavender and the more citrus one but I can’t remember the name of it, there are a couple of others I’ve used but I can’t remember what they were.
I got a heat pack for Christmas, one of those ones that you heat the wheat bag in the microwave, and although it doesn’t last as long as hot water bottles heat wise it’s quick and easy to heat up and you can lie on it if you need to have some sort of heat on your back. At the moment to sleep I’ve ended up with a heat pack thing on my back as well as the hot water bottle that helps keep my arm muscles warm if I hug it. Another great heat source for small areas are those small ones where you snap a small metal circle inside and it sets off a reaction that solidifies the liquid inside and gives off heat. They take more to reset back to being liquid as they need to be boiled in a towel rather than just being ready to reheat. These are great if you go out as it’s easy to put the cold version in your bag and just click it to heat it up.
Fatigue is one of those things that the only way to get over it is resting, sleeping as long as your body needs and not doing much in the day. This can get very boring though, I’ve ended up spending days watching DVDs of TV shows I know well because I can doze while I half listen without it taking up energy. I’m not sure how to make this less boring, over eleven years I haven’t figured this out as trying something new like watching a different movie just takes more energy so I end up sticking to the old TV shows, movies or radio series that I know.
Nothing to do with the symptoms really but I always find that this time of year I catch every little thing going around so I have a little first aid kit kind of thing with Lemsip, throat sweets and cough medicine ready for if I need it. I keep meaning to do a ‘bad day’ box to keep low energy things in too but I still haven’t got round to it yet. I think I’ll do one soon and have low energy activities, medicine and the heat packs in it, they seem like the main things that have been helping me the past few weeks.
This did end up being longer than I meant it to, it’s a bit of a wall of text. I should start trying to take photos of things to put in these posts and break them up, maybe that should be something I add to my lists for each post.
I guess that’s all I can think of, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and it wasn’t too draining and fairly relaxing, or as relaxing as it can be! I know just having meals with everyone at a table takes more energy than you’d expect so you can’t completely avoid things that need energy unless you stay away from people. Hope you had a good new year as well and that 2016 is a good one 🙂