Of this our true individual life, our present life is a glimpse, a fragment, a hint, and in its best moments a visible beginning.
It’s coming up to the two year anniversary of the start of my illness, and I’ve been reflecting on the pattern of my recovery. I’ve realised that my improvements are usually very gradual and tend to be a step forwards, then a step back for a whle, then a step forwards again. Often I step forwards and back several times, gradually maintaining the step forward for longer each time.
My mum recently reminded me how weak I was in the early days of my illness, when just walking to the kitchen and eating a meal that was put in front of me used all my energy, and I had to spend nearly all my time resting. I have come a long way since then. Every so often on a good day I will manage to do something I’ve not managed since I’ve been ill. Here are a few examples of my firsts, but this list could be much longer.
- take and collect my children from school
- pedal my electric bike short distances
- have a shower and not have to rest before I get dressed
- Do a bit of washing up
- talk to my mum on the phone without having to hang up after 5 minutes and rest afterwards
- Go to a supermarket and buy a few items
- take my son to his swimming training
All these are things I first tried on a good day, and was thrilled that I managed them. I wasn’t immediately able to repeat them, but it gave me a glimpse of what was possible and something to aim for. It took time, sometimes months, before they became things I could do most days, and I still have bad days when all of these things are too much.
Thankfully now the bad days are much less, the good days are more frequent and I am able to do much more on the good days.
I look forward to more glimpses into the future. Recent glimpses that I’m hoping I’ll be able to repeat soon include:
- walking to the end of my road
- attending a yoga class without having to sleep afterwards
- coping with my children having friends to tea.
What glimpses of improvements have you seen?