At times (or most of the time actually) I find these things counterproduct. Symptom trackers, baseline targets, activity diaries… They require energy and concentration and wherewithal to fill them in. They require a certain amount of strength in holding a pen and making a mark on the paper.
But I’m testing the water to see if I’m able to identify what my new and current baseline might be within this relapse. Now that there is the ability and choice to get out of bed and now that my mobility is ever-so-slighlty improved, I feel able to do this. From September to December it was impossible and pointless to try to track anything. I was so ill; my sole aim was getting through each day.
But at the end of January, I think I can give this a go now. I am still very restricted. More so than is my ‘normal’. But less so than the past five months, when this relapse started.
You see, you reach a point where you have to remind yourself that waiting for improvement can be a complete waste of time. This is it. Things have lessened just enough that I might be able to start to make something of what little energy I’m given each day.
These are my current aspirations, then. Life goals of someone with M.E. who needs a sense of achievement and will welcome it from wherever it comes; however small the accomplishment may seem.
Make my own coffee. Wash my face. Brush my teeth twice a day. I know I’m not yet well enough to do these things daily but I want to see how many days I do manage them. Be it all of them or just one. And whether I manage it with or without suffering for it afterwards.
I hope for more than this. I hope there will again one day be showering and dressing on my tick list, be it in paper form or just in my head. But this is where I start. Again. For the goodness-knows-what time over. It’s not starting over from the beginning, but it’s close enough to feel overwhelmed at how far there is to go to get back to where I was in August. If getting back to where I was then is even possible.
But I’ll go one day at a time. On tick in the box at a time. It might be too soon. It might not be. We shall see.
NB: As ever, this is not an invitation to offer suggestions or advice. As ever, I am merely sharing my own experience of my own case of M.E.