Friday, 19 December 2014

'DOMS' - A bad day...

Hello everyone,

I seem to have phases, one minute I update a blog a few times in a week and the next I haven't updated it in months! I guess I just update it when I feel I've got something mildly interesting to talk about...

Today has been a very bad day and it's followed a very particular pattern. I'm experiencing what is called 'DOMS', also known as delayed onset muscle soreness. I've not heard the term used much when relating to M.E. but it's a term I use a lot when talking about Personal Training though M.E. 'DOMS' is totally different...

For a start, the muscle pain is much more intense and to an extent, crippling. 'DOMS' experienced after a weights session at the gym doesn't mean you have to alter anything in your routine. You may feel a little sore in places but it's a good soreness and something you can work through.

When I experienced 'DOMS' after a weights session (before I had M.E.), I could still attend university lectures or an 8 hour shift at the pub shortly afterwards with no problem. Today, I've felt almost paralysed. The fatigue and muscle soreness has been so bad that I've not left my bed all day other than eating food.

Wednesday, my car wouldn't start which was very unfortunate. It's a mobility aid for me, I can't walk very far at all so this is the 3rd day I've been housebound now. I've been walking more without mobility aids but the after effects haven't gone away. There is still stiffness, pain and fatigue after any amount of walking. Anyway, my neighbour brought her car over on Thursday morning so I could use my jump leads and hopefully get the car going. The only problem was that for it to be possible, I had to turn my car around completely to get it in the right position. I knew I was doing far too much but there was no way round it, my mum wasn't strong enough to move the car and I could run off adrenaline for a short time. It took well over an hour and I could hardly walk afterwards.

I knew it was a silly thing to do and I did very little on Thursday, I still didn't feel 'terrible' but I wasn't well enough to be doing any jobs around the house, I took it very easy. Today however is a completely different story. I had a good 8 hours sleep and woke up with tingling pains all over, I've felt like this all day even after taking pain relief (don't think they've ever really had an effect) and even typing this is hurting the joints and muscles in my arms.

I've not been able to write any more on my new book and it's definitely going to be the new year that it'll be published. I want to make extra effort on this book as my grammar has been criticized a little in my last book and deservedly so. It's the content that matters after all though... my writing may seem disjointed but then so is my mind so it's a true reflection!

Anyway, I have to endure a 40 minute bus journey tomorrow to go and get my car, then it's a 20 minute drive home. Not good. My great great aunty is also in and out of hospital and I will be visiting her on Sunday after the church carol service. The overloaded schedule can't be helped but this is all a prime example of why I struggle at Christmas. Too much to do when you're limited.

Happy Christmas and bring on the New Year! I think...

Barry x

Saturday, 13 December 2014

New Year, Big Plans!

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend so far...

The past few months have been pretty up and down for me but I'm going to focus on the ups...

  • My mobility has improved a lot over the past few months, my walking stick isn't being used as much though I've only been keeping to very short distances. Any more than a few minutes walking and my legs start to stiffen and ache quite rapidly.
  • Overall, the mid-day naps aren't occurring as much. Since Winter has arrived, it's been very difficult to keep that up as the colder weather is having a great effect on me fatigue and pain wise.
  • I've managed to stick to routines more. Having Asperger's means that routines are a must. This includes things like meals, cleaning, hobbies and anything else that needs doing.
Ok, so they're the main points. I won't mention any negativity in this post as I want it to remain positive which will hopefully reflect on anyone reading this!

What am I doing at the moment?

Well I've been writing my 2nd book, it's been a lot more difficult than my 1st book. There's more content and my M.E. symptoms have fluctuated a fair bit since I started writing. However, there's not too much more to do on it. I'm going to have it done hopefully before Christmas but the I will be promoting it more in the New Year. This has been my main focus. I've also been practicing the singing when I can, it must seem forever but these things take time. I've also been pretty tied up with my little ratties. I adopted Gracie, Mags and Pumpkin around a month ago and within days I discovered tumours on all 3 of them. They've been operated on now but they've pulled the stitches out of their wounds. Gracie had staples and they came out too leaving a gaping hole in her tummy, she's required extra attention as 2-3 times a day I have to bathe her wound, put gel in it and give her antibiotics. I guess it's good preparation for when I have a kid of my own, I'm talking more about the caring and not the bathing wounds...

What are next years plans for me?

Well this part of the post is the focal point. The most important point. I'm going to briefly summarise this year and then see how next year can be a better one.

Positives gained from this year:

  • It's given me more time to adjust to my bodies needs like how to pace and how far I can push myself without receiving too much payback.
  • I've become more independent and found it easier coping with others lack of understanding towards the condition.
  • I wrote my 1st book which I would never have dreamed of just month ago.
  • I've had a year practicing singing and made big improvements thought still a long way to go.
  • It's become more clear in my mind what direction I want to go.
New Years Targets:

I'm calling these targets as I don't like the word resolutions. I've never known anyone who sticks to them! These targets I've set I see as doable and I really feel that 2015 is the year big changes will occur.

Exercise - this has been difficult this year but I'm finding what's working for me. I'm finding very gradually I can do more than I could a few months back though still a long way from the "average" person. I've worked the legs which I couldn't have done just months ago even if the weights are light.

I may sign up to a gym and see how it goes. Getting it done in the morning, getting past that "feel like I've been hit by a bus" feeling in the morning and strengthening my body. It may not work but I feel I'm at a point where I can give it a go. I've also decided I'm going to lose weight, get rid of the excess fat and build the weight back up gradually.

Study - this has been difficult to do during the past year but I'm determined that it needs to be done in order to progress with the things I want to do. I'm currently enrolled on 2 courses. A theology course, the aim is not to put back the deadline like I've been continually doing and dedicating certain times of day to do this. The same goes for the nutrition course I'm signed up to.

Personal Training - those who know me will know that this is something I'm qualified in. I also have a degree in business and management and feel the 2 combined can be a real bonus for me. I purchased a web name a year ago and have never done anything with it. This year, I am determined to actually get the website underway and gradually building it up.

Music - Singing is something I've stuck to and I aim to keep on doing it. I've been lacking with piano practice however and this will change next year. I'm working towards writing my own material which won't be possible if I don't keep practicing the 2 so this is a big target for me.

Writing - Well this is secondary to everything above. I've never considered myself an author yet will have 2 books out by the end of the year. It's been great to get my thoughts out onto paper and help raise awareness for different causes. Blogging also comes into this category, I aim to keep my 7 blogs updated even if each blog has 1 update per week. It's doable with a little organising.

Modelling - again, this is secondary as I can't do this without getting back into shape! When I previously modelled, it was a confidence boost and I met some great people whilst making some friends. It's something I'd like to continue doing which can help with my other targets like website promotion etc.

Fresh air - I say this because I've certainly lacked it this year. I've felt at times I've been turning into a hermit which of course I don't want to happen. I always feel better after I've made a trip out of the house so it's a doable aim which will be beneficial for me. 


I always like a conclusion, I feel I've ended something well if there's a conclusion!

You may look at the above and think that this is not possible for someone with M.E. but this is the year I push myself. I may have setbacks but you don't know until you try. I've had 2 years experience of being cautious and listening to my bodies needs, I know when to stop and when to push myself. It's taken time but I've found roughly the right balance.

This time next year I want to view this blog and see the progress I've made. I never break promises and progress WILL be made.

Post any thought underneath, thank for reading!

Barry x