Saturday, October 1, 2011


I went back to work for the first time in 2 weeks yesterday.  Hoo boy, that was so much harder than I thought it would be.  I figured if I could work at home, sitting up at a desk, and talking to people on the phone much of the day, how different would it be to do it at the office?  My fever was gone, I wasn't collapsing for a nap mid-afternoon, and I was talking slow walks around my neighbourhood a few blocks at a time.  It seemed like the right time to go back.

I was happy to return.  Besides the fact that I'm clean out of paid vacation days, I was starting to go a little psycho from being stuck at home.  I thought I'd go back, sit down at my desk, and although I might be a little tired I would primarily feel relieved.

The experience was overwhelming.  One symptom of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is nervous system hypersensitivity, and that kicked in big time.  Being around so many people, even on a quiet Friday, was very difficult.  The sensitivity manifested in physical-emotional stress: waves of anxiety almost like a panic attack that crested for a few minutes at a time with a few minutes of calm in between each wave.  I thought if I could tough it out and show my body that there was nothing to be afraid of it might pass, but it didn't.

(I had successfully pushed through similar feelings of overstimulation at a Rosh Hashanah dinner on Wednesday night, surrounded by a crowd of happily enthusiastic relatives.  Between the first course and dessert, the anxiety went away and I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening.)

By the time I got home I was feverish and so overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety that I couldn't to do anything but curl up on the couch and try to breathe through it.  I wasn't able to eat the lovely dinner that Ken cooked.  I went to bed and dreamed that I was in a hospital, where I felt safe because the medical professionals there would know how to make me feel better.  When I woke up I was disappointed that there was no such hospital.

This morning I'm doing a lot better.  I had a good sleep.  When the anxious feelings tried to come back, I did half an hour of yoga and that calmed me right down.  I have almost nothing that I need to do this weekend.  Hopefully I can continue to rest and recuperate so that I feel significantly better by Monday.  I committed to attending an important project planning meeting at 2 pm on Monday.  Of course like anything it could be rescheduled (or it might be possible to attend by phone), but I am trying to hold faith that I'll be able to do at least half a day of work without falling apart by then.

I have to walk the line between wretched, depressed hopelessness and ignorant overestimation of my abilities.  That is not an easy balancing act.  I obviously cannot successfully predict how I'm going to feel from one day to the next, or what my limits are going to be.  I'm confused and worried, but trying to stay positive.  I've been heading in the right direction, but I need to get a little further yet before I'm out of the woods.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Sucks when your body doesn't cooperate with your mind. Hope your feeling better and up to your Monday goals!

DarcKnyt said...

I'm so sorry this is so hard for you, Spark. Please know we're still praying for you and hoping for the best.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Thanks! After I wrote this post I went out and had a walk in the gorgeous fall weather. Not only did it make me feel better emotionally, I realized that I have more physical strength than I did yesterday. I'm improving! Little things like that make a world of difference.

DarcKnyt: Thank you for your hopes and prayers. I know they make a difference. I can feel it.

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh Spark! I'm so sorry this is so hard for you. If I could make it easier, I would. Heck, if I could make it go away entirely, I would. I know you're struggling to stay upbeat and positive and find that tightrope to walk. I am praying. Hard. *hugs*