Last week was one of the worst weeks yet. I had a migraine everyday, the dizziness was so bad that even when I was lying down the room was still spinning, I was very fatigued and constantly out of breath, and more. But not only that, I was incredibly low and couldn’t seem to pick myself up no matter how hard I tried. I think one day last week I cried at least ten times in one day.
I go through phases in terms of my mental state, some weeks I am calm and feeling really positive and the next I can be very tearful and stressed. Like the weather, these moods blow in and they blow out. They arrive, stay a while, and then pass. I’ve tried in the past to try and force them out, but that almost intensifies them. Instead I like to disarm their sting by surrounding myself wit the people I love most and wait them out – like you wait out a storm – perhaps by cuddling up to them while watching a feel-good movie, or having them cook me my favourite meal, or by listening to them tell you a funny story about what happened at work that day (or all three at once!).
I think this particular low was because it was so sunny last week – which seems crazy right? I have always absolutely loved the sun – I’d say I am a sun worshipper – it used to always make me feel happier and healthier. The sun brings opportunities to do lots of really nice things e.g. share a jug of Pimms with friends, days at the beach, long evenings chilling in the garden, barbecues, bike rides, etc, all of which I really enjoy!
But the sun and heat in general make my symptoms worse. My body is unable to regulate my temperature very well so my body overheats very quickly. I am also very sensitive to light, and even with sunglasses on it is far too bright for me – my eyes ache and it makes my headaches even worse. I tried sitting out in the sun last Wednesday but after ten mins it was unbearable and I had to spend the rest of the day in bed after that. Having to sit inside and in bed is very depressing when its so lovely outside. And last week all I could think about is how much I wished I was ‘healthy’ so I could join everyone else enjoying the sunshine!
Another huge downer on last week was the realisation that I wasn’t going to be able to go home for a while as I am not well enough. I am currently staying with my parents in Gloucestershire, 4 hours away from where I live with Paddy in Cornwall due to there being better medical care here. We had planned for me to go back home for a week at the weekend as he has some time off work this week so we could spend some quality time together. But on Friday I made the decision that I wasn’t going to be able to go as I am far too poorly at the moment. The journey would destroy me and then I wouldn’t even enjoy my time there. It was a rubbish end to a rubbish week. Instead Paddy was to come to me for the weekend.
Things changed around almost as soon as he arrived. Although the first day he was here I was an emotional wreck because I felt so awful, he quickly raised my spirits and I had a really nice few days with him despite everything. Paddy is a very understanding, caring and loving boyfriend. He is my rock and I really don’t know what I would do without him. Every time I see him (usually every few weeks), he picks me up for a good few days – I laugh, I smile, and I just forget about things for a while. He makes me feel strong again and that I can get through this! A small dose of him really helps me get through these tough times.
Because I felt emotionally stronger and able to cope a bit better, we managed to do a few really lovely things. On Sunday, Paddy set up the parasol in the garden, and I was able to sit in the shade with my book (A Twist of Lyme) for a little while. I also managed to get out yesterday to the park in the wheelchair and got an ice-cream …such a treat! I believe that having a positive mindset really does affect how you feel physically – I’m not saying it reduces symptoms or anything, but it means you are better able to cope with those symptoms. So although I felt just as broken as I did last week at the weekend, I was able to do a little more because I was in a better frame of mind. And what helps you get that better frame of mind if sometimes you are unable to snap out of feeling low?? LOVE!
Its not just Paddy that does this to me, when my friends come over for a chat, I always feel better for seeing them. And spending time with my family is the same – especially my Mum and Dad – they always had the ability to stop me from worrying about things and would do anything for me! So my advice to fellow sufferers… when you are in need of a boost, surround yourself with the people you love, they may just be able to make you smile again