Well, it has certainly been an eventful 36 hours! I would like to apologise to my parents for wrecking their Sunday afternoon. We were all cosied up in our living room, all set for an afternoon of Christmas movies. I was having a payback day so was in the mood to be a sloth with very little activity. I fancied fish finger sandwiches (gluten-free of course…not quite as nice as it sounds) and was just waiting for the fishy bits to cook in the oven. I sat back down in the living room and thought ‘oooh, did I put it at the right temperature?’…jumped up to go and check and promptly walked into the kitchen door frame. It was a fight between the door frame and I and the door frame won. I was stood motionless like a Flamingo for a couple of minutes while I waited for the pain to subside to be brave enough to take a look under my sock to see what damage I had done THIS TIME. My middle toe was bent in a weird position and the bruising had started already. Uh oh. This was not just a stubbed toe. @&$%! I had to have THAT conversation. You know the one. The one where you have to ask someone to do you a favour that will mess up their plans for the rest of the day! Non-UK people, our NHS is struggling to cope at the moment and it is well-known that the waiting times at emergency departments around the country are at dreadfully high levels. I REALLY didn’t want to trek to our local hospital and sit in a waiting room for hours, and hours…and hours. So, I called 111, which is the UK non-emergency number to phone for advice. Was there anything I could do at home? The call handler was very helpful and sympathetic, I explained about my M.E and that I was having a bad payback day. He understood the predicament but said I needed to go to A & E because I had broken the same foot last year and the damage could be worse than I expected.
Note to self – DO NOT THROW AWAY THE CRUTCHES ONCE I AM HEALED!! This is becoming a running theme, I may as well keep the equipment close to hand for WHEN it happens again!
Anyway, long story short, we arrived at 1.33 pm and walked into a packed waiting room. We were surrounded by people who were vomiting and coughing. If my family and I managed to get out of there without catching a bug it will be a miracle. Lots and lots of handwashing – OCD style! I hobbled out of the hospital at 4.06pm (I was surprised, I had expected it to take much longer), post x-rays and excellent treatment from nursing staff. I have a fractured toe. I am amazed at how my whole foot is very painful though. Yet again, I have to spend the next 6 weeks resting my foot and getting around on crutches.
How does this relate to M.E? The accident was caused by my payback day. I was feeling unsteady all morning and my spatial awareness was non-existent. I was feeling so tired I was staggering around the house. I bump into things all the time when I have payback days. I am perma-bruised on my hips/thighs from when I bounce off walls and furniture. Unfortunately, door frames and foot bones are not soft and squidgy!
My M.E deteriorated during my time in the hospital. It was noisy, bright, and busy. Not the perfect environment to be in on a payback day. I could feel my spine starting to go floppy and just wanted to get horizontal, which of course I couldn’t do. I couldn’t even tilt my head back to rest against the chair as the only wheelchair we had been able to find was broken and moved like a Tesco trolley (non-UK people …. moves badly), the back of the chair only came up to shoulder height. By 3.30pm my head felt so heavy I resorted to balling up my coat and using it as a pillow. I simply couldn’t hold my head up any longer. My speech was becoming slurred and I felt like I was moving at a glacial pace.
One positive, my nurse took an interest in M.E. He said he had dealt with children with the illness. He queried my use of M.E though. He asked if it shouldn’t be called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I was happy for M.E to be being talked about so I explained why most of us hate the term CFS. I raised awareness with at least one person on Sunday 🙂
This enforced rest is different to M.E rest. Usually, I try to do a bit of pottering every day, even if my symptoms have flared. Purely so that my body doesn’t go to sleep entirely. My activity is minimal though, I’m talking about maybe going outside and feeding our fish or light housework for 10 minutes. Adding this broken foot into the mix means I can do NOTHING. Standing up is exceptionally painful. At the moment, I am unable to bear any weight on my left foot. I have crutches but apart from giving me a greater sense of balance, they aren’t helping me to walk and I’m having to hop. Hopping is a MASSIVE drain on my energy levels. Dragging myself up and down our stairs when I need to use the toilet is also killing me. I am resorting to not drinking much to minimise the amount of times I have to trek up 16 steps (yes, I have counted them…slowly).
As I have said in previous blogs, I am a people pleaser. I am already hating not being able to do stuff for myself or help out with housework. My family keeps joking that I had the ‘accident’ on purpose to get out of cooking/cleaning over Christmas. Trust me, my life would be so much easier if I could get on with life as normal!
I am having a complete rest until tomorrow night when I will be venturing out! Luckily, I had a quiet Christmas planned so I haven’t had to cancel plans. But, I will be stepping out for a Christmas dinner and good times with a friend. Every time I break stuff I learn and make mental notes about how to cope better next time. My M.E makes me clumsy, there is nothing I can do about that, but I can learn how to have ‘service as usual’ with a broken body. Unfortunately, Dad’s taxi will be my lifeline for the next 6 weeks….sorry Dad!
(and Foggy OBVIOUSLY)