Thursday, 6 March 2014

Turning a corner

In the words of James Brown, "I feeeel good, I knew that I would now... I feeel goood, I knew that I would now, so good, so good, I got you (you - you bastard Lyme!).

That just about sums it up. I had an inckling that this gallbladder hoo-hah was all that was holding me back from feeling almost normal. Well, this week, I'm smuggedy smug wifey, I was right!

Last month, three days after my rancid little ball of pus was exorcised, I turned 40. I had told myself that I'd wanted to be symptom free by the time I was the big four-O but y'know, shit happens, and I'm not far off. So I have a few weeks of being sore from the op and then decide to throw a PAAAAARTTYYYY!!. For a start I can eat fun food again and I feel that 40 is a bit of a milestone. You can either hide in a corner with a bottle of Scotch, some industrial strength wrinkle cream and blub about your advancing years, or you can go, 'screw it, I want pizza and cake and friends to share it with'. Guess which option I chose?

The downside to this is that it did involve unusual levels of spoon expenditure (see spoon theory, here). I'm pretty well off for spoons these days, so I wasn't too worried. The couple of weeks before the party, I started 'operation anti- entropy'. The months of being an anorexic smackhead (slight exaggeration for comedic effect there), had taken their toll and the house was something of a pigsty. So the piles of doom got sorted, some cupboards of dissarray got sorted, some photo frames got painted and hung, bathrooms got cleaned, and the house was again habitable.

The week of the party involved having a stinking cold (two days on the sofa), baking of two lots of cakes, an ultra-shop at two supermarkets (on my own with a toddler, in one day), baking of lots of bread and even, duh-du-duh- tidying the dreaded playroom. My two lovely sisters were coming to stay, which meant washing of bedsheets, towels and removal of the laundry Himalayas (not merely a laundry mountain but a whole mountain range) from the spare room.

Day before the party, the other playgroup mums had organised a fundraising cheese and wine do. Now, of course I had the option of being sensible and not going in order to conserve my energy. Instead, I took the not so sensible option of attending, drinking unknown quantities of wine (they kept topping up my glass!), talking nonsense, munching delicious cheese, then eventually staggering home at midnight, absolutely haddocked/mullered/wasted/battered/other made up adjective. MAN, I was hungover the next day!

Still, the party went with a swing, I made pizza for 14 adults and didn't maim myself in the process. We had a great time and I got to spend some fab quality time with my sisters and nephew. We even went for a woodland walk the next day. Surely, there must have been payback for this ridiculous level of spoon expenditure, you're thinking? Well, yeah, some post exertional malaise, but not as much as I'd feared. Three days of being unusually tired and needing daytime naps and early bedtimes. Bit of increased insomnia (adrenal fatigue?) and a wee bit of C3PO-style stotting with my legs. Seems I just about got away with it. And no, the cakes and pizzas weren't gluten free or low sugar- don't be daft! ;-)

Nigel Slater's pistachio cake - very yummy.

Overall, I am doing brilliantly well. My remaining symptoms are insomnia - difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and need to nap during the day. I have a slightly altered gait sometimes (the plexitis) and occasional weak legs. Inability to multi-task (can't have TV or radio on and speak to someone, can't drive and talk, complex meals are difficult to cook). Poor memory, I have to write everything down and even then, I forget appointments or what I'm mean to be doing that day. I have poor word recall-  I substitute words without realising and can't remember the right word or it takes a long time to remember it, making my sentences a bit stop start. Some fatigue, haven't got the energy in the evenings to do much, if anything. If I get childcare, I nap as I know sleep makes me feel so much better and lack of sleep makes me really sick.

Really though, that is a loooong loooogn way from where I was. I'd say I've gone from 40-50% normal functioning to about 80-85%. Pretty darn good progress! My new goal is to be symptom-free by the end of the summer (apart from maybe the memory/word recall/multitasking- brain damage?). I resume the hardcore schedule in two weeks, so I expect to herx then.

In the meantime, I shall lay off the pizzas and booze, resume healthy eating, get back on my bike, have fun with tiddler, continue my Lyme activism (including a talk to 70 forestry workers- eek!) and LIVE LIFE!!!

1 comment: