courtesy of 3poppies photography

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Coping with ME/CFS: 6 tips that help me

I've heard of three people this week who have been diagnosed with M.E and spoke to another who has it. It's so sad how common this debilitating condition is. I can't cook them meals, or clean their houses like I would like to do to help them. But what I can do is share what I find has helped me manage this condition and have some sort of life. They are not cures (I believe I can be cured, but what cures one might not work for another, plus it takes time and money - time we've all got, money is a different story)but ways of coping.

1) PACING - I was so annoyed with the NHS for what I thought was 'fobbing me off' when they told me how to pace myself and said that I'd finished the treatment. Is that it? I thought. However, I firmly believe this technique is what has kept me from regressing. The level of the activity that you pace is dependant on your energy levels. The idea is to only do half of what you think you can do, and to make sure you rest afterwards. I know how frustrating it can be when you can't accomplish a task in one sitting anymore, but pacing yourself prevents those awful consequences that come every time you burn all the energy you have.

2) TEST YOUR LIMITS - this sounds Like an oxymoron after the first point, but I do think it's important on some occasions to push yourself a little to see if you have made any improvements. If you don't try you'll never know.

3) KEEP CALM - its not just physical activity that bring on my symptoms, they also worsen when I feel stressed or angry or upset. So, as hard as it can be sometimes I count to ten, take a deep breath and calm myself.

4) EAT HEALTHILY - there are specific restrictive diets that I have found work, but they are pretty hard to stick to. For the purpose of this post, I'm talking about eating your five a day, cutting down on refined foods and most importantly of all - REDUCE YOUR SUGAR intake. The crashes after a sugar fix are not what your chronic fatigued body needs.

5) PROPER REST - I mean putting down your book, switching off your tv and closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and clearing your mind. If you can't switch off, then change your thoughts, remember what it was like to feel well. Remind your brain and your body how it feels to be well. Let yourself rejuvenate and repair.

6) SAY NO AND ACCEPT HELP - everyone I've spoken to who suffers with ME/CFS used to be active, focused, busy people. The kind of people who do the helping, yet now we are the ones that need help. Saying no or accepting help does not come easy to us, but it is so essential. It's also essential to ASK for help too. 4 years on and I'm still learning how to do these things!

This list isn't exhaustive, I'm sure there's things that I've missed, but these are the important ones for me. Feel free to add your comment on what has helped you :)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Healing through the Atonement

I've been a tad neglectful of my blog lately. There's plenty I could have written, but nothing seemed right. This past month has been a time of reflection and relearning. As I handed my trials over to the Lord I was advised to study the Saviour and in particular his Atonement. By doing this I have learned, and am still very much learning, the role that the Atonement plays in helping me through the illnesses of myself and my baby.

Alma 7:11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Christ knows exactly what my baby is going through and what I am going through because He has experienced it through the Atonement. He bore my pains and sicknesses. Throughout this period I have felt guided and I know that where we are lacking in medical help we are getting heavenly help. It's up to me now to follow that guidance. I do all I can for my baby, and I know that The Lord is doing the rest to heal him. I need to heed the promptings and get myself better. Diet plays a big part and I've been prompted more and more to eat healthier, not just for me but for my family. I've been ignoring the promptings, but the more I study the gospel the stronger the promptings are becoming.
It's been relieving to hand my worries over and I believe if I follow the promptings that I receive we will return to health. As it says in Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.