Day in the life of a mild M.E. sufferer……at a rugby event

Foggy is upset and not talking to Sally as he is DESPERATE to go to a rugby game and Sally went to one without him yesterday. Foggy thinks people need to know just how tiring fun days out can be for sufferers so has allowed Sally to write another blog post. He (the original) is still in the ether somewhere and Sally has had no luck SO FAR in tracking him down. Foggy’s stunt double was still on the way back from Iceland so Sally was Foggy free for her rugby exploits!

Here is Sally’s blog post…

I went to Twickenham (sacred ground…home of England rugby) yesterday with friends. I woke up tired and my battery was never more than 5/10 full all day. I took the train to meet up with my friends at Waterloo station. The vibrations of the train made me feel unwell – heady and out of sorts. I was looking forward to the day ahead though so tried to ignore it. Anyone who has ever been to Waterloo knows how huge it is, brightly lit, hectic and very busy. Sensory overload!! My friend was running late (train delay) so I was loitering in the station for an hour and a half. There is very limited seating in the station but I managed to find a seat. It was designated for disabled people and those with difficulty standing. Now, we all know that this label applies to me but I still felt guilty sitting there!! I was receiving glares and ‘you have no right to sit there’ looks. If only they could see how drained/unwell I was feeling.

I had a lovely birthday treat (belated – thanks Yvonne) for lunch and then it was back on a train to head to Twickenham. It was only supposed to be a quick trip to the stadium, but the train was delayed due to the large crowd attending the game. The train was overcrowded, very hot and stifling. It turned into a 45 minute trip in a sardine can …in a microwave! By the time we got there I was wilting. The station is a good 10 minute walk (in a crowd) away. Trying to be sociable, chatty and ‘up for it’ with friends while feeling rough is incredibly difficult and draining. We made it to the stadium (yay!) and sensory overload was doubled. 55,000 people are a little bit noisy and busy! Standing in queues for drinks/toilet/access was uber tiring and I will admit I was flagging by this point. I stayed at a 3/10 energy level point for the game. I sat down for most of it and although my senses were being assaulted I enjoyed the game immensely. For those who care, Barbarians lost narrowly to the Australians 36 -40.

The trip back to Waterloo was ………. there are no words! 35,000 of the 55,000 all queued to get the train so we decided to take the bus instead. After a 10 minute slow walk in crowds we managed to get on to a packed bus. The bus was hot and crawled slowly towards Richmond where we had decided to attempt to get on the train to Waterloo. I was stood up for most of this, brightly lit, bus journey and my legs felt numb. I was starting to feel empty and I had lost the ability to speak coherently. I think my friends knew because none of us made an attempt to chat. There was an unspoken, mutual need for silence!

The original plan was for me to stay in London for the whole weekend but I was so wiped I made the decision to go back home to Portsmouth. I would be zero company that evening and I knew I would be exhausted this morning and unable to do the things we had planned to do. I wanted my OWN bed and home comforts! The 2 hour trip home was bearable; the carriage was full but not crowded…it was also quiet….bliss. I was finding it tricky to keep my eyes open by this point and sat for most of the journey just resting my eyes. The fluorescent lighting wasn’t helping and the shaking vibrations of the carriage were going right through my body.

I arrived home at 9pm……more than a 12 hour day all in

all and I was absolutely exhausted. I was in bed, asleep within 30 minutes of arriving back in Portsmouth. Let me clarify, the day would have been tiring for anyone, even non sufferers would have found it draining. However, the sensory overload for 12+ hours has left me feeling like vapour…I have no oomph left!! Today my brain seems to be ok but I feel like I have been run over by a freight train! Struggling with words a bit though… dad has been my own personal dictionary and grammar checker for this blog post!! (So if there are any mistakes it’s his fault hee hee).

Live and learn, I will never stop attending rugby matches…LOVE RUGBY! But, in future I will go by car/coach where there is less need for walking, swapping trains, standing about queueing. I have no idea how I managed it but…I had no choice…once I was in London I could hardly just stop. I had to do whatever I could just to get about and in the right place at the right time.

I wont be going to another game for a while now (unfortunately) but if any of Foggy Followers want to help with Foggy’s Bucket List please volunteer to take him to a game *Foggy – PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!*

Sally xx