Not Dead Yet

Wow, I've been terrible about keeping up with posting. Ahem.
In my fortune cookie today

I've spent the last few weeks continuing to recover from moving. My arthritis has been problematic, but I've managed to putter around and do a few chores every day and slowly start low-grade exercise again.  Swelling in my hands and feet with too much exertion (like a few hours on my feet) and/or high temperatures has been annoying.

Tom has been up to Chicago the past few weekends and this weekend I had the car. SCORE! I completely lost my mind and had a 4-5 hour long shopping marathon with, um, pretty much no breaks. This was epically stupid. "Post-exertional malaise" is really not a sufficient description. And I managed to get so tired that I had trouble sleeping, which is among the stupidest mind-body quirks I can think of.

I did wind up with some comfy pants and leggings to go with some other new-ish clothes from eBay. My weight is still creeping up courtesy of the nortriptyline. I'm still within the healthy BMI range, but getting uncomfortably close to overweight. I've been logging meals and activity with MyFitnessPal, which does seem to help a little bit. It's not quite clear how much of the weight and bloating is weird autoimmune related fluid build up and how much is actual weight-weight. Grumble.

I had never really had to pay attention to my weight until the past year or two aside from making sure it didn't drop too much in the field on a few occasions. So this is an entirely new, weird thing trying to figure out what size I am now, what is flattering on this very new and different body, and realizing just how socialized I am/was to "skinny=good/beautiful." And stretch marks. What the hell?

Bonus fun, of course, is the uncertainty about exercise and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Some camps suggest Graded Exercise Therapy, often in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a useful intervention to increase general function. Others suggest that even graded exercise therapy can increase oxidative stress and in other ways actually be counterproductive or even dangerous for people with CFS/ME.  I have found in general that aerobic exercise of any kind tends to be far, far more unpleasant with longer lasting after-effects than more gentle stretching, like yoga or very low level aerobic exercise like walking.

We still have not received our insurance information so I have yet to see any new doctors. I'm dreading it, actually. I hate having to recount the decline of my health and all the details around it for new people. I hate trying to figure out if a doctor is being patronizing or has decided I'm just "nuts." I hate not knowing where the line between self-advocacy and rudeness is.

In the meantime, I have been working through A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook I have it as a Kindle book, but it seems to no longer be available in that format. I'm enjoying it so far and finding that it is helping me recognize when I've tightened up or gotten anxious and pause to relax. It is still a challenge to do the daily meditations. I still feel obscurely guilty for taking 15 minutes to meditate when there are boxes to be unpacked or dishes to be washed or, or, or... It is at least keeping me on a fairly even path until I can begin seeing a therapist regularly again.

I also have done no crafting. For months. I can't decide on a project, I don't pick up things already started. I can't decide on a new thing to start. Hoping to remedy that this week.

Better news - some of my experiments with supplements do seem to be helping a little bit. I ran out of CoQ10 this week and seemed to feel a bit less with it until more arrived. It often seems that various treatments help in increments best detected when the treatment is skipped or removed.

We've made some progress in unpacking.

Well, some of us. Others have been grumpily hogging the heating pad.

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