Something I have felt for the duration of my time with M.E. is how childlike having to live with these restrictions makes me feel
Not only is it a lack of independence and the reliance on other people, but the effects that cognitive impairment have, mean that most activities associated with no longer being a primary school age child, are now out of reach.
I have lost the ability to do basic maths, even with the help of a calculator. Somebody must always double check my calculations. Following even simple instructions can be impossible now; my brain becomes overloaded with even a small amount of information and seems to just stop in its tracks.
I taught myself to sew a couple of years into my new life with M.E. but it’s been a long time now since I’ve been able to use the sewing machine. This is because of the cognitive function needed to do so. Only driving a car came close to draining my energy battery as much as using a sewing machine did.
So here I am, daring to see if I can complete a children’s hand sewing kit, plastic needle and all.
This is not straightforward for me. Concentration of any kind is taxing and there is a price to pay for using my brain in this way. Despite the pre-cut material and pre-made holes for the needle my brain will struggle. As will my arms.
And I’m reminded of how this illness has removed me from my peers. I turn 34 next week and am struggling to complete a kit aimed at those aged 8 and over (which I suppose I am 😂)
At the time of writing this, I have done 8 stitches (someone should check my counting though) and I need to stop. The back of my head is doing its whacked-with-a-shovel thing and that feeling of insects crawling under my scalp has started up; sure signs that I’ve perhaps asked too much of my body on this particular day. My arms are screaming from pulling the thread through the pre-cut hole.
One could despair at the ridiculousness of these restrictions. It’s so frustrating. But feeling frustrated also uses energy. It is what it is. I’m able to find it all quite amusing today. 8 stitches in one sitting! Good grief Anna. What next?! Another 8 stitches next week?