After a week of toing and froing about whether to join Paddy’s parents on their trip down to Cornwall (for a week) to see Paddy, I made the decision to just go for it! Despite knowing I wasn’t well enough to travel as I’ve been particularly poorly recently due to my symptoms intensifying with very little let up – spending most of everyday in bed – I decided that it couldn’t possibly get much worse, and after a horrible doctors appointment the day before, I just wanted a break from it all; from all of the stress and worry about the appointments and tests I have coming up, from not knowing for definite what is causing me to be this poorly, and from spending every day alone in the house. Seeing Paddy always lifts my spirits, and I definitely needed a little lift!
The journey was tough to say the least even though I wasn’t the one driving (Paddy’s Dad drove). Anyone with a chronic illness knows how hard travelling is! There are so many things you need to think about; what’s the best time to set off to optimize energy levels? how many cushions do I need? how can I block out the noise from the road? how can I reduce pain levels? etc etc! In my case we set off around mid morning as I function best in the mornings, took a mound of cusions, had my hot water bottle at the ready to minimise the pain in my legs, took my industrial ear plugs and ear phones to reduce the noise and my sunglasses to reduce brightness (as I have really bad sound and light sensitivity). The journey took around three and a half hours not including stops. What I found the most difficult was the noise. The ear plugs didn’t work too well and I found the noise very overwhelming at times. When I arrived I felt extremely poorly and immediately crashed in bed!
It was amazing to see Paddy! We spent the next couple of days switching between the bed and the sofa snug as bugs in rugs – I was beyond exhausted and suffering from major PEM (Post-exertional malaise)! But it did’t matter as much as I was surrounded by Paddy and his parents who are wonderful – See my post on surrounding youself with the ones you love! We are all big foodies so there were lots of yummy treats! On the first night we made spiced turkey meatballs with a thai broth – A recipe from BBC Good Food. It was delicious.
Going out for lunch for an hour or two is a real challenge for me at the moment but I pushed through despite how horrible I felt as I’m not in Cornwall often at the moment and I deserved a treat or two. So while paddy’s parents were off exploring Cornwall most days, me and paddy made it out for lunch a couple of times which was lovely! I swear my life revolves around food at the moment haha! One of the days we went to a little cafe which overlooks the harbour where I had Spinach, brocolli, walnut and Goats cheese soup with gluten free bread. On another day we went to a wonderful authentic little family run tapas restaurant where we shared lots of scrummy things including frittata and lemon chicken skewer!
As lovely as going out for lunch was, I suffered afterwards each time and had to have a big rest in bed from about 3 onwards as my head would be pounding, I couldn’t focus on anything, my head was heavy an my arms and legs were weak and achey. We purposely chose very quiet restaurants as I get very overwhelmed in noisy situations, but the cafe we went to had a coffee machine which when it was on felt like something was exploding in my head, it was unbearable. I never realised until I became poorly how loud being out and about was – every shop, every cafe, every supermarket has music on, there are people talking, babies crying, chairs scrapping etc. I found it hard at times when in the cafe to concentrate on what Paddy was saying due to the background noise. Luckily the tapas restaurant we went to was very quiet as we were the only ones in there and the music was very on very low
My favourite day of my week away was the day I managed to get to the local beach. Paddy and his parents pushed me in the chair around the lake next to the beach where we saw swans and absolutely adorable baby cygnets! If you know me, you’ll know I am borderline obsessed with ducks (especially ducklings) so seeing the signets made my day! There was always one thing I wanted to achieve from the trip home – to put my feet in the sea. And that is exactly what I did…it was freezing but such a great feeling!!! It was then I truly realised just how much I miss Cornwall!
The whole week was very chilled out and relaxing. Paddy and his parents were so helpful – constantly in picking things up from the shops that I needed, bringing me gluten-free treats, helping to cook, and they kept spirits high. It was wonderful to spend some quality time with them … as always The week went very quickly – which makes a change as every day seems to pass at snails pace when you have a chronic illness and are housebound – and I didn’t want to come home! But reality beaconed and I made the long journey back yesterday. I felt very emotional as once again I was leaving my home and Paddy behind. I am more determined than ever now to get to the bottom of my illness and begin my healing journey so I can move home again!
It’s my cousin’s wedding today but I am missing it due to extreme PEM. I kind of knew I wouldn’t be well enough a few weeks ago but it didnt stop me ordering a dress from Zara – trying to convince myself I’d feel a bit better and be able to go. But after a week of small trips out and travelling there was no chance I was going to be able to go. So today and the rest of this week is going to be filled with lots of self care in order to help my body recover – water, healthy smoothies, hot water bottles, extra pillows, naps and bed rest! It was worth it pushing myself to have those nice moments last week as those memories are going to get me through the bad days to come! I am really proud of myself for everything I achieved last week, I think I deserve a huge pat on the back! Take that chronic illness!!
Bye for now x