Cluedo, Yoda and unrefreshing refresher training!


After six months off work, I am finally phasing back in and this is why I have been quiet. Blogging has taken a back seat whilst pain and exhaustion come to the fore. Dubious as I was, I thought I would bounce back in, newly acquired assertiveness to hand, breeze through my shifts and all the work that entails then return home to become a model housewife: laundry sorted, dishes done, homework worked through with munchkin. The reality was far different. Within two hours, my back burns up with pain, my shoulders scream out for a massage, my head hurts, my eyes are rolling with exhaustion my fingers stop working and words are not forming properly.




To questions such as “how are you getting on?” I am reluctant to tell the truth. I don’t want to moan or cry or sound lazy. Instead, I offer drinks. A perfect get away from the office, I feel. I hadn’t banked on how painful it would be on my hands to carry more then two cups back to my office in one go: a once easy trip is now a mammoth task involving trekking through waiting rooms, dancing around doctors, avoiding patients and trying to cling on to cups which are threatening to drop at any moment.




This week I have been catching the bus in because I am still not able to drive and my poor little car stands neglected under a tree which taunts Bessie (the car), as it changes in accordance to the seasons – blossom, tree sap, autumn leaves have all fallen whilst my car has sat there. Occasionally Bessie has a wash. For the most part, she is home to greenfly, lady birds and Sandy and Scott, the travelling spiders currently residing behind the wing mirrors. (Fine, as long as that’s where they stay!)




The bus journey is in itself another task. The walk to the bus stop is all downhill. All good unless, like this morning, it is raining. Cue umbrella, head down and disorientation. I soon learnt that, when looking down, it is always handy to learn where trees are or pavements end. The bus, when it arrives, is full of school children announcing how gay everything is: “I got a new pencil case. It’s so gay.” “My mum is so gay.” “My maths teacher is so gay.” I was tempted to point out that they are on their way to an all boys or all girls school (the buildings are next to each other) and maybe the expression used should be rephrased. Once at my stop (the children all get off three stops before mine so five minutes peace is gratefully welcomed), I have a ten minute walk to my office where I instantly land in the morning meeting.




Today I had refresher training. I thought this would be a twenty minute session. It ended up being over two hours. I left feeling unrefreshed! The trainer was brilliant. Patient and funny and somehow, we managed to get Cluedo and Yoda in as a way of helping me remember things. (The brain works in weird and wonderful ways!) Training took me to the end of my shift. My partner picks me up – what a godsend. I instantly crashed on the sofa and slept for two hours.




I always try to see the silver lining in every cloud, but I am struggling to here. Last week I worked two shifts, this week three. None of them consecutive. Next week will be four. I face the consecutive days for the first time in months. I am wondering if I will cope and if I don’t, what happens then? The trials of M.E and fybromyalgia are presenting themselves in different guises. For now though, I am settled. Pyjamas on, laptop on, dinner being served. Tomorrow is another day.



Sage through the ages (and a little TCP)

Yesterday my partner and I enjoyed a rare, child free day, in the house. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have to be “mum’s taxi” or general reminders of “have you finished with that?! Put it away then!” I was chatting away yesterday – as I do often, and I was replied with gentle snoring! My partner had fallen asleep. This is not rare. I must bore her (yes, her) with my incessant ramblings often!

We were invited out for a few drinks but declined. A nice home cooked meal, some wine, a bit of X Factor (yes, we are that classy!), were on the cards. We were gonna have a snuggle night without interruptions in the form of “MUUUUUUMMMMMMM the battery on my MP3 has run out” or “Mum, can I have…” (insert word here i.e chocolate or anything else which is not allowed past bedtime!) All we had to worry about were our crazy cats and whether they were trampling all over us, clawing at the sofas or flicking litter all over the carpet. (Eating the left overs of our dinner was something we had overlooked!)

Before long, replies of snores were replaced by replies of coughing. “I love you was replaced by “I can’t swallow, it hurts.”

I know this feeling. I could feel her pain. I used to suffer from tonsillitis annually from the ages of 9-26! I was offered a tonsillectomy but, attractive as the prospect of unlimited ice cream was, I was too scared. I remember nights of coughing and drinking water. I remember Mum: “Drink this sage tea.” Cue the arrival of sage dragged in from the garden. “Gargle with TCP.” Have you ever done this?! Then it requires no explanation.

Naturally, the voice of mother came out yet again last night as I recalled what she used to suggest. My partner dutifully gargled with TCP, has had plenty of fluids and is taking honey. We have throat sprays and tablets courtesy of our neighbour and I am about to go to the corner shop to buy some boiled sweets and throat sweets and yes, sage!

We are always interested in home remedies for all ailments. I find it very satisfying knowing that I have been able to make up some medicine/tea/ointment which has helped.


Over to you! Calling all experts in sore throats and tonsillitis! Do you have a home remedy you use? Does it work! What did your parents/grandparents used to suggest?


I hope to hear from you all soon – for now, the lure of sage is calling! (and TCP!)




Where did that sugar come from?! What was I doing?

It is Saturday. I just found the sugar in the fridge. My phone has turned up in the pocket of a jacket I don’t remember wearing and I know I am supposed to email somebody, but can’t remember who! I have a list of jobs to do in my head: namely hoovering, ironing, bleaching and general tidying. Yet I am sat on the sofa in my pyjamas, my head pounding, typing this.

It is Saturday. Last night people went clubbing, dancing in the dark to the floor rumbling beats of well known songs. Last night people gathered to prepare: music in houses, smells of make up, hair sprays and body sprays. Last night people had no limit to the volume around them.

I was not there. I am not hung over (thankfully!), I did not roll in at five a.m in free flip flops, courtesy of the bible group who help clubbers at the end of the night (God bless them). Clubbers who stagger in feet that have been crammed in shoes too high. Nor was I in the various pubs or social groups on offer. Groups where people meet to talk about love, life and everything.

I have M.E and fybromyalgia. I forget things (they call it fybro fog). I hurt often – everywhere. I have a range of symptoms (leg twitching, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and sheer exhaustion. All the time!)

I know I look well. I was told so the other day! I hear “but you don’t look ill.” I get the bus with my disability pass and feel the eyes judging me with the general school of thought: “she isn’t disabled!” If only they could live in my body for one day! I know this is one of those illnesses where people may look at me and think I am lazy, but I am not. Yes, I am looking at the jobs which need doing today and feel guilty for not having started yet, but I will start and it will get done. I held down my main job for thirteen years and have worked more or less constantly since (bar the sick time I am now having for current flare – magnification – of symptoms).  Would I rather have a visible illness? I would rather have no illness. Most people with M.E/fybro lived full and busy lives before the illness hit. We all look back and crave what was.

I am lucky. I have a wonderful partner of seven years (who also suffers a lot of the same symptoms), who supports me. I have a wonderfully enchanting, loving and entertaining eight year old stepdaughter. I have a stable job where the doors are open for my return. I have a home, three slightly mental cats, and family and friends near by. My network is strong. Some people with this condition complain of loneliness. I do not feel lonely. 

I feel guilty for not being able to do more than I want to.


I am merely typing the dominant thoughts in my head as I sit here. Now they are on page, they are out of my head and I can get up and get the washing on the line.



In a minute!