Monday, 15 February 2010

CFS & ME

If we could get out tonight, as I type, the Mirrie Dancers are allegedly strutting their stuff right above us now, but when I looked out I was lucky to see the front gate with the wind and rain!


We made the most of it yesterday on Muckle Roe and I'm not too sore today, but Clare is off today and tomorrow and with strong winds and pelting rain most of the time, sleet for tomorrow and more heavy snow for wednesday we're cooped up inside for once.

An enforced rest won't do me any harm though, as I have a job interview as a support worker for COPE's Tree and Plant Nursery on wednesday. So time has been well spent researching social enterprise and adult learning difficulties. This will be my second venture back to employment since I had to leave teaching due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME). The first time was last spring summer when I built up a music based business for events and schools using the didgeridoo but unfortunately as the work load increased my capacity did the opposite and I was soon back on the sick.

I've spent over 3 years trying to identify my triggers, manage and pace activities, both physical and mental, with a lot of support from my wife, family and friends as well as professionals such as those at Leeds CFS/ME Service . It's not been easy, definitely an up hill struggle both with myself, the condition and the powers that be. Often two steps forwards and one back and usually due to my in ability to let go of my ego and realise that I am me now, not as I was.

The key factors for me have been reducing stress with both mental and physical relaxation, shiatsu, alexander technique, guided visualisations, meditation; whatever works for you. Lightning Process worked for me too and helped me make massive improvements, though it wasn't cheap, it was worth every penny.

Other major things were identifying foods that were less than helpful, and I don't just mean junk (which I have an on going battle with). Everyone's different an it's takes time to figure it out but I found that if I didn't eat before 11am-ish, didn't eat wheat until later in the day, avoided coffee and alchohol totally, limitted tea, fizzy drinks, no artificial sweetners in food as well as spicy or smoked foods and cut out the junk  my stomach settled down. My body got a break to repair and I felt much better in myself.

Exercise or in my case over doing it has been my biggest bug-bear though! I've tried graded exercise and exercise on prescription which were a total loss due to the lack of understanding of those taking the class and my insistence of going for it when they encouraged me, to the point I got quite ill again.

What I have found is that if I can manage to keep my level of exertion at a low level, no huffing and puffing, I can plod along quite a bit. Muckle Roe on the bike nearly killed me, but walking there yesterday wasn't bad, bearing in mind at about 7 miles it's the longest walk I've done for over 3 years even if we were out about 4 hours!

Similarly in the gym. If I do the cardio-vascular work out so beloved of fitness palaces, I just get worse and worse over a short period of time and recovery between sessions is non-existent.

But I was introduced to Body By Science the other year. The basis of the book is a high intensity training program (HIT) using weights that is done once a week or even fortnight, yes just once for around 15 minutes. It was designed by a doctor for rehabilitation and elderly people to develop muscle mass and skeletal strength to protect the body without un-necessarily reducing your everyday capacity due to recovery issues. It's based around a base of 5 compound exercises, or even just 3 if need be. By working the muscles as it describes you work all the muscle fibres in a very short time to stimulate growth, but not over work them, and give them plenty of recovery.

It is a very different way to your usual weights routine, intense when you do it, but brief and it has certainly helped me no end. As well as helping the muscles regain functional strength due to the way it works it also help metabolise excess insulin that might be in your system from lack of mobility and poor diet so can help with other concerns.

Here's some free articles by the author. The book is really cobbled togethr from some of these with some added extras but you can see how it works and how to train from these.  I'm back at the gym once a week for 15 minutes doing it after settling down after the move and stright away noticing improvements.

Anyway I'm going to end on a light hearted note to amuse you. Aren't parents cruel eh? Just look at this picture of me and my brother (sorry John) up in Scotland when we were peerie. I'd never inflict that on Beren!

1 comment:

  1. hehe, a cracking picture!
    And good luck with the interview~~~~~~!!

    ReplyDelete