It has been one entire year since I finally after so long of not knowing what was wrong with me, got diagnosed with M.E. It feels like it was only yesterday, but in many ways it feels like it was such a long time ago too. I remember welling up as the specialist told me there was very little that could be done. She told me I had to basically just get on with it, and find ways to cope with the symptoms as best I could. She asked me to set myself some goals for 6 months to a year on. I wanted to be able to make myself a sandwich without help, I wanted to be able to read again, I can do those things now. I also wanted to be walking more again, and easing myself back into society, those however, I'm still working on. Small steps have been made, but I still have a long long way to go, but I'll get there, eventually.
Getting a diagnosis has helped me in so many ways. You never want to be diagnosed with something that can't really be helped, something that holds such negative stigma and prejudice, but in a weird way it has been one of the best things that could have happened to me. Diagnosis is crucial in going forward. Since that diagnosis, a lot of research and communicating with other sufferers, I have actually felt like I was starting to understand what was happening and why.
Diagnosis is bittersweet. You don't want to be ill, but having a name to it, and confirmation that you aren't just a big hypochondriac is worth more than you could ever imagine.
Over the past few years since becoming ill, I haven't been the most sociable person in the world. Not a choice I made but one of the realities I have had to begrudgingly accept. When you are ill, being social is bloody hard work! Comparing myself to the 'old me' isn't always the best idea because I need to accept that this is who I am now, and this is what I have to work with. However, in this case I would like to point out that I haven't always been an antisocial introvert, in fact I was quite the opposite!
It takes a certain type of friend to stick around when you become so very ill. Someone that doesn't care if you can't join them on shopping trips or nights out, they don't care that coming over to sit by your bed side is as fun as it is going to get, or that cancelling said bedside visit at the last minute because you are too ill isn't a problem under the circumstances. They have to not care, even if it is rare, to not be seen in public with someone that looks like the walking dead, they don't care if they have to push you around even if the journey does include a hill which they are really going to struggle with, and if the chair is left at home they have to not care that their blood circulation may be cut off temporarily as you cling on to their arm for fear of falling to the ground. They have to not care that their friend isn't like they are any more, but they DO have to care that their friend is still the same person inside and they need friends more than ever. These friends are hard to come by, which is why I love the special ones I have so very much.
Two of these special friends travelled up from London to visit me last week. It was the first time in a long time we had seen each other but it felt like we had never even been apart, and that to me is a sign of true friendship. Of course I wish I could see friends more, and do more fun things with them, but for now I'm happy with what I can get and that I am well enough to even see friends at all because there was a time when I couldn't.
Here's to good friends, and friends that don't care, but still do care!
Here we are freezing our arses off getting so windswept at my beach, Londoners need some beach in their life though, even if it is freezing.
I know I'm a bit late saying this and I did plan to post this last week but I had the chicken pox (for the second time in my life. Grumpy face. Like the first time round didn't leave me with enough scars! Anyway... I want to wish you all a very happy new year! I wish you all good health, and I hope all my spoonie friends with chronic illnesses find their symptoms improve some this year. I hope 2014 brings you all lots of happiness.
I want to thank everyone who followed my blog throughout 2013, for supporting me, and taking the time to write such sweet things to me, without sounding like a cliche it means so much to me and it's so nice to know that I have so many people rooting for me to recover behind my computer screen. I met some absolutely lovely people last year through blogging and I hope this year will be the same.
I'm now suffering with the January blues like I do every year :( but I should be back to blogging more often again now that all of the excitement has died down and things are getting back to normal.
2014, please be good to us!