This past week has been torture. Sent straight from hell, I tell you. Why? Two words. Exercise rehab. Need I say more?
I had my first session (I'm only doing one half hour session weekly) with an exercise physiologist last Wednesday. Initially, I thought my body tolerated the extra exercise than usual pretty well considering that it's been quite a while since I've done anything other than the occasional stroll to the shops.
I will admit that I was a little anxious about this whole exercise hoo-ha because anything other than walking only seems to send me in a downward spiral. My biggest fear was what if it makes me worse but upon advice given to me by the chronic fatigue specialist, I decided to give it a go.
What the heck have I got to lose? Sitting at home resting and feeling sorry for myself hasn't really done much for me either. My muscles are unconditioned, which makes fibromyalgia an even tougher battle. So as much as it hurts, I need to get moving to condition and strengthen my muscles.
Before I became ill, I was an exercise junkie. I'd thrash out an hour long run on the treadmill almost everyday. Exercise was how I survived the stress of my final years in high school. I enjoyed exercise and I loved running and I can't do that now.
I can only manage minimal low-impact exercise and I hate it because everything hurts like hell. These days a brief power walk is about as good as it gets. Pain and fatigue don't make it enjoyable.
When I think back to how active I was and compare my old life to now, I am ashamed at how inactive I've become. I have tried to make an effort to exercise but with fatigue worsening in the last year, I've just given up.
Any activity I do, I pay for it. I'm exhausted from daily chores, I sometimes struggle after a shopping trip, so when it comes to exercise, I'm completely unmotivated. Shopping is exercise to me.
The main aim of exercise rehab is to find a balance that works for me where I can get the benefits from exercise, without it running me into the ground.
My hopes are to be able to build up my strength and exercise tolerance so that I can get fit enough to be able to manage working one or two short shifts again. Even if I only get to work one shift a week, I'd be happy. It's better than nothing.
The problem with CFS is that if I over do it, which nine times out of ten I do, I really struggle to function. But I know that it's important to keep moving, even if I'm just walking around the house.
I completely agree that low impact exercise is important for managing pain levels and decreasing fatigue but with how I'm feeling right now, I'm finding it hard to see how it will. I feel like poop.
I knew that the first few weeks of rehab would be tough, but I don't think any amount of mental preparation could prepare me for just how tough.
And it's only week one. Already I'm wanting to give up and chuck it in.
During my session I completed a thirty minute very low impact work-out consisting of five minutes on an exercise bike and various strengthening exercises. Aside from the pain, I felt pretty good afterwards. And then I hit day two post-work out.
Sure, I can deal with muscle pain as a result of being inactive. I expected that. What I did not expect was to have trouble sleeping at night because of flared fibromyalgia and joint pain.
Nor did I expect being utterly unable to function. I felt horrid. The pain and fatigue were so bad that I physically felt sick. The aching in my legs screamed over done by miles. I wanted to vomit.
This feeling continued to follow me all week long.
Here I am feeling like complete crap. I'm miserable and I'm certainly not the most enjoyable person to be around right now. I'm cranky and I cry at any little thing. I'm seriously struggling. I've barely been able to leave the house all week and I can't enjoy the things I love because I'm too bloody tired. This is stupid.
From the week that I've had, I'm scared that things will never improve. I want to exercise, I do. I want to improve and I want to do everything possible to help myself manage my illnesses and symptoms better, but I also don't want to run myself into the ground while trying.
Right now I am struggling to function. This just seems too hard. People keep telling me to have a good attitude and listen to the "experts". I'm willing to listen and take advice but I know when my body is telling me I've done too much.
So here I am left wondering how the heck I'm gonna hack it. Right now I feel so overwhelmed. This feels like it's beyond me.
To make exercise a priority, I've had to sacrifice everything. It just doesn't seem fair that I'm expected to drop everything else that makes life worth living for me right now.
This last week has just sucked balls. I am one hell of a moody bitch, I snap at everyone for no reason and I'm not feeling like the most loved person on the planet right now.
I think I'll go eat worms.
I hate this. I hate feeling this terrible. I'd rather go eat worms than feel this horrible. Yes, that is how horrible I feel. If it meant that I wouldn't constantly have to ache from head to toe and feel like I've been hit by a mack truck, I'd eat worms. Heck, I'd eat millions of them.
I'm terrified that tomorrows work-out will only make matters worse and somehow I've got to scrape through yet another week. As dreadful and as difficult as it seems, I know I have to be patient and give it time. Things will come good eventually. I just have to stick it out and suck it up. It will be okay, it's gonna be okay.
This past week has just been an incredible struggle though, but I have survived. I am alive. I am freaking alive.
Exercise aside, I do have my moments with chronic fatigue and maybe this is just one of those really rough times. I was feeling quite unwell before I started exercise rehab, so maybe the work-out just pushed me off the edge.
Having said that, it makes me feel better having something to blame so I am going to blame my work-out because that's the only thing I've done different.
So here I am, trying to adjust my attitude, ready to give it another shot tomorrow. I have to believe that things will eventually get better.
No matter how hard it gets I will keep telling myself that I can do this. I will keep reminding myself that this will be worth it and that this feeling is oh so temporary. That this will pass.
It will pass.
But right now, I'd rather be eating worms.
On a happier note, here is my new favourite song. I like to blast it really loud in the car. This song makes me happy and right now I need all the happiness I can get to get me through another week. So turn it up and get your dancin' freak on people. You know you want to.
**** Have you had a horrid week from hell? Feeling so terrible that you would rather be eating worms? I'm all ears x