How I feel now

April 2009
I thought I would put this as a link rather than an entry to the Diary I have written on my experiences with the Perrin Technique.

I was trying to explain to a relative I had not seen for some time on how I used to feel compared to how I feel now.

My sister piped up: Marianne, don’t you remember that you couldn’t walk up the stairs?

And then it all came flooding back.

Not only can I walk up the stairs I can run up them and often do for the sheer joy of it! And I feel fine when I get to the top!

Am I cured?

No. I don’t think so because I still can’t do the things a normal person can.

Before I was diagnosed with CFS/ME there were things that I increasingly could not do.
I could not vacuum the house it was far too exhausting and my muscles would simply stop and it felt like I was pushing the vacuum cleaner through a deep pile of treacle.
I could not have a shower and dry myself, passing the towel around my body was impossible. So I blotted a little and put my clothes on a damp body. Putting clothes on was exhausting. I couldn’t eat after that and so would get in the car to get to work without breakfast.
I couldn’t pack my house up when I moved, my sister and family had to do it. No-one understood what was wrong.
I wasn’t sleeping and would get up and watch TV during the night.
I was sweating for an Olympic medal, it poured off me at night.

When I was diagnosed and I finally gave up work I gratefully rested and felt worse. It was then I noticed the constant aches and pains, showering was leaving me a jibbering wreck and my muscles were too weak to walk to the bedroom where I eventually struggled to and collapsed onto the bed.
My neck hurt and I had a toothache type nagging pain in my upper back. I had headaches.
All this pain I had ignored when I thought I was well but sometimes I would struggle to get out of bed and sit on the edge wondering what was the matter with me and why it was such a struggle to do things.
The stairs became more and more difficult to climb and I would stand at the top, shaking, heart and head pounding with a huge need to lie down flat.
I just wanted to stay in bed, in a dark quiet room and be left alone.

I began to feel a little better when I took control of my illness. The first thing was to accept it.
Then I looked at the nutrients – food and supplements – that would help and I strictly avoided every tiny miniscule amount of allergen. I scrutinised everything.
Then I took the fish oils and then calcium, magnesium and zinc which helped the symptoms of fidgetting, itchyness, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, heart burn, acid reflux, anxiousness, stress, cognition, foggy thinking.
I got up when I first woke up.
My sleep got so much better, but the slightest thing exhausted me to almost breakdown.
Then came the Perrin Technique.

A year later I can run up the stairs, I can walk for about 15- 20 mins, if not longer and forever on some days, without needing to find somewhere to sit. I can think about increasing my work. I can teach an exercise class. My sleep is almost normal, going to bed at about 10pm, reading my book, falling asleep about 11pm if not earlier and waking generally at about 6am.

But there is pay-back when doing a full day of these things and the pay-back is simply feeling tired and the need to rest for about 30 minutes generally sometimes longer. I don’t get the muscle aches and pains or heart palpitations.

I know I have CFS/ME and I know I get tired. I still have a pain in my neck but not all the time. The pain in my back is practically non-existent. I have to avoid the allergens sometimes more so than at other times depending on the stress levels. I still have to pace myself. So I still organise my day with rests inbetween. I am able to say Yes to most social invitations or village ‘do’s’.

Before Perrin I had a very limited life style, keeping myself to myself.
Since Perrin I have a bigger, more exciting life-style and I am saying yes to far more social and work situations.

I am not worrried about a relapse, I can feel the energy flowing and can feel when it reduces and that is when I have to rest. A short rest restores fairly well considering the complete relapses of before Perrin which lasted days and weeks.

This may be the 80% better that Perrin speaks of and it may be that I won’t get any further than that. But I have another year to go, so … here’s hoping there will be more improvements!

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