Energy Management – Best Laid Plans!

Well, that was a day I wasn’t expecting when I woke up this morning!

My car, Foggy’s ‘limo’, was booked in for its MOT. I booked the appointment a week ago and have been managing my energy over the past few days to make sure I had to energy and/or was well enough to take it to the garage and pick it up afterward. I did a couple of hours’ work this morning (in small chunks) and rested intermittently. Everything was going along quite nicely as planned. I won’t tell porkies….my M.E and Long Covid have flared significantly over the past few days but were ‘manageable’ today.

My Dad always follows me in his car, drives me home after ‘drop off’, and drops me back to the garage once the MOT has been completed.

Maggie has a weird anxiety thing about getting in the car, probably because car travel has historically meant being taken to rescue centres or to the vet. So, to get her out of this anxiety cycle we now take her out and about with us on all sorts of short trips. Maggie came went with us, in my Dad’s car,  to the MOT garage. So far, so good.

I pull up at the garage, look over at my Dad to say I’ll be 5 minutes and I spot it. My Dad’s front right tyre is as flat as a very flat pancake. BUM!

My M.E brain quickly went into overdrive. Do I still get my car MOT’d? Do I drive us all home in my car and come back? Do we leave my Dad’s car here? Covid restrictions meant we couldn’t just wait in the reception. I have M.E.  Me having M.E = we couldn’t walk home – about 4 miles.


I popped my head in the garage office and explained what was going on. Fortunately, she said one of the mechanics had a spare half an hour so he could take a look at my Dad’s pancake (death by nail) but we would have to come back in 30 minutes.

We had Maggie in the car.

We are in tier 4 (UK’s most extreme restrictions) so we couldn’t even go in somewhere for a coffee or do any shopping.

I knew this wasn’t a great idea but we kinda had no option! Fortunately, there is a church/park 2 minutes down the road from the garage and we took Maggie for her second ‘walkies’ of the day (in light drizzle). I IMMEDIATELY headed for the nearest park bench.

The bench (and Maggie by this point) was wet. Thank heavens for clean dog poo bags!! I delicately laid out 4 on the seat for me to perch on

My energy battery was getting flat!

(I offered poo bags to my Dad but he preferred to stand). I’ve found that since having Covid19 my orthostatic intolerance is worse than it had been previously. That’s just one of my M.E symptoms that has been worsened by the additional viral infection. My Dad, who turned 71 years old, 3 days ago, was standing tall, not wilting like me, whilst being slowly watered by the pesistent drizzle! Just sitting upright was causing my M.E-ness to flare.

My Dad and Maggie went off for a bumble around the park and left me to just sit and ‘rest’ silently.

30 minutes later we headed back to the garage, the tyre had been repaired! Free of charge because ‘it’s Christmas’! – thank you Halfords xx

Two humans and a furry friend headed off in the newly-‘back on the road’ car and drove to various places scattered around Portsmouth to pick up paperwork and drugs, we knew my car would take around an hour so by the time we had done these extra tasks my car would be ready.

I had to stand outside my GP surgery for 5 minutes waiting for some paperwork – wilt. Covid restrictions meant I wasn’t able to enter the premises and there is no outside seating.

My Dad stood outside Maggie’s vet surgery to pick up a prescription – I wilted a bit more whilst sat in the car. Maggie chose this moment to vomit all over the back seat. Anxiety and excitement at our shenanigans all rolled up into one gooey mess on the blanket on the back seat. Those poo bags came in handy again…clean up time using some of the minimal energy I had left!

My Dad stood outside the chemist waiting to collect a prescription – I did more wilting in the car.

I wanted and needed to get flat.

Unless you have M.E, it is hard to understand this need to ‘get flat’. My spine felt like it was floppy spaghetti. On the outside, it looked like I was ‘resting’ when actually my body was working blooming hard to keep my top half upright!

Then I had the phonecall – Miss Callow (am I too old to be called a Miss?!), your car has passed its MOT, you can come and collect it now. My immediate thought was ‘is my brain functioning enough for me to drive it home?’. Fortunately, I felt able to drive home but if I hadn’t, we would have either had to ask to collect it tomorrow or my Dad would have had to take a taxi to pick it up. I wasn’t happy with either of those options. My Dad dropped me at the garage, I collected the car and drove home.

My brain felt empty 2 minutes after stepping over our threshold. That was me done. Within 30 minutes, Maggie and I were on BED, snoring our heads off for well over an hour.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well patients manage their energy, or how many ‘alternative options’ you consider ‘just in case’ something goes awry. Life happens, we have to deal with it knowing full well it will probably cause a crash 24-72 hours later. I am now anticipating that in 2 days’ time, I will be crashed (post-exertion malaise). Judging by how my glands and throat are feeling tonight as I type this, it’s going to be a heck of a crash.

But hey, my car passed its MOT!! (I’ll take small wins in a very bad year).


Sally and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY)