Again, it's a little while since I updated. This time it wasn't just down to feeling crappy, I'm glad to say. I actually had a couple of 'good' days and it was great to be alert and well enough to spend them just chilling out with my girlfriend. She had taken the day off work on Friday to take me for my MRI so we were able to have a pretty relaxing weekend after that, watching movies etc. Of course, I also managed to fit in some footy matches, haha. Unfortunately I'm back to feeling bad again now but I'm grateful for those few days of having a little bit of energy and of my mind being alive again.
The MRI results can apparently take 2 or 3 weeks to be available. Seems an awful long time but I'm assuming they will contact me quicker if there is a tumour the size of a cricket ball in my head! I'm expecting everything to be fine though. Even if I've got something completely unrelated to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. I very much doubt I have MS or a tumour or anything that will show abnormalities on an MRI scan. The ECG I had on Friday was fine and I was confident it would be. Although my heart-rate is worryingly elevated when I'm walking around, I have had my heart checked a great many times due to developing a heart murmur after childhood meningitis (healthy sort, aren't I?).
Another positive I noticed over the weekend was in my breathing and capacity to stay upright. On the Friday, the short walk from the hospital car park to the relevant department was accompanied by me breathing very heavily. Pretty much like you'd expect an 80 year old to be. My girlfriend said I sounded like a dirty phone call. On the Sunday, the same walk from the same car park was less effort and my breathing was much less of a problem. Again, I'm back to finding the walk up to the bathroom a struggle but those couple of days where breathing was easier were very much appreciated.
One of the key changes I'm trying to implement, hopefully with a degree of success is already, is to accept my limitations and also accept I am very likely battling something that will not be cured by any miracle pill. Although this sounds like resigning myself to being unwell (and the positive thinking brigade sure do hate that!) it actually makes my life more positive in many ways. Rather than researching like crazy every potential cure I can find, I am accepting of being ill and am trying to manage the symptoms and my new lifestyle as best I can. So, whether it be taking a year away from University or admitting that a weekend away with my girlfriend at a riding event is too much for me, accepting the realistic truth allows me to make life easier on myself and not get upset about how life has changed.
This also includes an acceptance of the fact that I need to care for my body as best I can. So, whether it be removing processed foods and artificial ingredients from my diet, looking into a gluten-free lifestyle or supplementing my body with vitamins and minerals, all of these practical changes have the possibility of easing my symptoms somewhat. If this doesn't turn out to be a temporary illness I need to learn to live with it and to give my body every help I can in not falling apart. I stopped comfort-eating last week and that has shown instant results as I lost 3lb. I am by no means starving myself or eating a wholly virtuous diet but stopping myself from grieving with the use of junk food has definitely helped.
So, that's the immediate future for me. Be realistic, look after my body, stop feeling sorry for myself, avoid finding comfort in food.
I also want to post a round-up of some interesting articles I have read lately but this post has already become rather long so I will add a new one later.