Today has been a very teary day and all because of a pair of yellow shorts.
Yesterday, as I was sat in the garden with my mum and sister, we laughed about my outfit, as usual. I have, and always have had, strange taste apparently. But then we realised that the yellow shorts i was wearing had been bought nearly two years ago, when I was deep into my full blown, serious and horrific relapse. After only a few months of being back in my beloved bedroom and starting to get a bit of control back from the M.E, it all came crashing down and I found myself back in the dining room. This time my parents went out and bought me a proper bed because it was obvious that I’d be there for some time.
|Christmas Day 2010 during my first stint in the dining room. Second time around it was converted into a proper bedroom with a bed, drawers and all that! It was during my second stay in the dining room that I had to have my hair cut very short
|The activity diary entry from that fateful day. Those of you who know me will know that that isn’t my real handwriting…
|It wasn’t the first time I’d had to move downstairs. In The Beginning I set up camp on the dining room floor but I can’t remember how long I was stuck in the dining room then. October 2010 until ? – It’ll be written down somewhere but those diaries are too painful to read and whatever is written is mostly illegible because my arms were too weak to write properly.
Anyway! The yellow shorts.
I remember that day very clearly. Saturday 6th August 2011. I‘d been able to use the stairs and sleep in my room for a couple of months which was fantastic! I’d come downstairs to find my brother had had friends stay over so I hid myself in the dining room (which was actually a dining room at the time, not a bedroom) and shut the door. I didn’t want those visitors to see me when I couldn’t string a sentence together. I used to work with them and it felt embarrassing for anyone to see that new version of myself.
I started to feel really poorly all of a sudden and tried to shout for help. I felt like I needed to be in hospital. Nobody could hear me because I wasn’t able to speak louder than a whisper. Instead I tried to knock over a pile of DVDs that happened to be on the dining room table to attract someone’s attention. I wasn’t strong enough to push them over though so just kept trying to shout loudy enough for help. I’m not sure what I wanted them to do if they heard me but I honestly felt like I could be dying. After an age my sister heard me and help came.
I’d been umming and ahhing about moving back downstairs again but the decision was made for me that day. It was the scariest day of my life.
This second stint in the dining room was perhaps worse than the first but I have little memory of The Beginning. I spent my days in my dining room bed, often being wheeled to the bathroom, rarely being able to shower and having to use mobility aids when I did, not being strong enough to pull my own knickers up my legs and so needing help to get dressed, being spoon fed and even having my teeth brushed (a rather messy but highly amusing experience!) I lost track of how many times I watched Despicable Me on DVD…
And now here I am, nearly two years later, laughing about it. Those days are very much a blurr to me. I was too ill to realise the severity of things and I’m glad it was that way. But for my family…I can’t imagine what it must have been like. I stayed in the dining room until the end of November 2011 and I’ve managed to stay back upstairs in my beloved bedroom ever since. The CFS/ME clinic had predicted that relapse because I was so severely affected by M.E (they didn’t tell me though so I hadn’t seen it coming!) They’re confident things will never be that bad again. How they know that I have no idea…
Writing this post made me sob my little heart out. I haven’t thought about those days properly or analysed them before. But those little yellow shorts brought it all back. My mum and sister had had to go out and buy some extra comfy and easy to put on clothes. They were two sizes too big at the time, as were the other rather unattractive collection of items they bought. (All of which now actually fit a little too snugly…) Those yellow shorts reminded me of The Dining Room Days. I feel sad for me and sad for everyone else affected by this dreadfully misunderstood and horrendous illness.
Looking back to two Summers ago I can see how far I have come. I have come SO far. I’m not even half way through my M.E journey but I mustn’t forget about the incredible progress there has already been. It hit me that here I am today, not only dressed but sitting outside and managing to read a book! What a difference! What huge progress!
So I have a long way to go? But if I can keep going and pick myself back up after such a serious relapse then surely I can keep going through anything?
Bring. It. On.