|Anna vs. The Stairs|
Today (apparently) marks two whole years since my last stint in the dining room.
If you’ve only recently joined my ‘M.E. myself and I’ journey this may well mean absolutely nothing to you, but quite simply, there was a time during the last few years when I was too unwell to walk up or climb the stairs. Crawling was beyond me too. I just did not have the physical strength to do it.
And so a bed was set up for me in the dining room. More than once.
The onset of my M.E. was incredibly quick. How ironic for an illness that essentially turns you into a sloth and leaves you living life in the slow lane. The first time I found myself setting up camp next to the dining room table was way back in October 2010. In ‘The Beginning’ as we’ve come to call it. I was there until Christmas time I believe and then I was able to return to my lovely bedroom upstairs.
In the Summer of 2011 however I found myself back downstairs and for much longer this time, although the dates escape me. It came as a crushing and disheartening surprise, although I know by now that there is often no rhyme or reason for the things we must endure with M.E. It was at this very poorly time that we decided to cut all of my hair off to allow me to keep a tiny bit of independence and not have to have someone wash my hair. Anyway, I digress.
The third and final time I needed to be in my makeshift dining room bed came it August 2014, almost four whole years into my recovery journey. Looking back at my own blog posts of these times I can see a change in my attitude and how much I had already learnt about myself and my ‘new’ ill-heath.
It is not a case of being proud of oneself, although I can’t deny that I am. It is not a case of grit and determination; at keeping myself from using my dining room bed. It was essential. It may well happen again. For now, though, I shall celebrate having two whole years of being able to use the stairs in whatever way I need to – crawling, shuffling, sliding, hoisting myself up, being pushed or pulled or carried, or simply climbing by myself with the help of the handrail.
Some days it is still incredibly painful to do so. Some days it takes hours to build up the energy to climb that wooden hill. Some days I can’t do it on my own. Some days my legs cave in half way up. But I must look back and remember that there was a time when it was actually impossible to even get onto the first step; for my legs were too weak to lift my feet to the height needed to do so.
Progress is possible. And I am continuing to make it.