Well, I have got over the swine ‘flu, if that is what is was; at least i have no obvious symptoms now. My energy levels have not been great and over Xmas i have felt particularly bad in the mornings and had quite a lot of POTS symptoms early in the day, despite my medication. I have been sleeping until 10am or later, having breakfast and sitting for a while, then going back to bed (perhaps after a bath) until 2 or even 3pm. Only then has the day began and i have felt able to talk, watch tv, move around more easily etc. Some days i have felt reasonable for only very short periods of time, and a few have been a bit better with the whole evening being pretty good. My mum came to stay and my partner went to her family; so it was just me and Mum for a few days. She looked after me and gave me some massage and reflexology in small doses and it was very nice and relaxing.

She drove me to the beach on Xmas day and i sat on a cushion in a carrier bag on the frozen sand. The sea was a steely blue and the sun was setting (behind us, but the sky was nice colours anyway). It was nice to go somewhere. I enjoyed watching her play with the dog by throwing big chunks of seaweeds for her to run after. They had an intense play then we went back home. The moon was out, just a slither.

I hope i can reel my body clock back in soon. It is not that different from usual, as i always have to go back to bed for a sleep in the day, and try to make it as early as possible so as not to affect my sleep in the night, but waking up at about 9am would be better. Waking later is messing up my medication schedule and i keep forgetting if/when i have taken my tablets… not good! I think i have just needed more rest and had less stamina recently with my viral episodes, but i would like to get over that phase if at all possible and get some life back!

Just before Xmas i went to the doctors for a full blood count and ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate). These are blood tests to look at inflammation and whether the body is fighting infection. I went to the doctors because my lymph nodes are really lumpy in my groin (and in my neck but that is more usual for me). The results came back that i may be anaemia  (this is the only information i have been given so i assume the rest was normal – no lymphoma then? Phew.) so i had to go back for the second type of iron test to check my ferritin which is the body’s stored iron. This happened last time as well and i had the same result. I have not had the second result back but i imagine my ferritin is a bit low also, as it was last time. Last time they did not suggest i took iron supplementation as it was only borderline low. Seeing as i have had no periods since then i am a little surprised it does not seem to have improved, so i will be taking some iron tablets myself whether they advise it or not, once the result comes through. I do take a multivitamin already but it does not have much iron in it. My limited diet is obviously leaving me short, despite my efforts. I wonder what else i am deficient in? The nurse did say that having a virus can cause your iron levels to dip… apart from having something most of this year, it could be said (as my Mum pointed out) i have been fighting something for nearly 11 years! So i thought that was funny. Maybe i also need more nutrients for my body to cope with this attacked/stressed/unwell state?

I am going back to see the POTS specialist mid-January. Last time i went it was all very gloomy as things had been so bad in those past 3 months before the appointment. These past three months have been much the same (though with slightly different problems) and i am sad to have to go back and report no progress at all, and that actually i cannot tell i am on a higher dose. Maybe all this other stuff is preventing progress. I wonder if she will have anything to suggest/say.

I want to go back to the Osteopath in the New Year. I am not sure that i am well enough for regular appointments but i can only try it and see. I feel i have not really given it a proper go yet as i have only been twice (?) as i had to keep cancelling due to not being well enough to go. I would go every three weeks if well enough, but as i would have to rest beforehand and it wipes me out/gives me headaches afterwards it really takes a lot out of my schedule. I think i will try to get my hair cut, go to the hospital appointment and do any other things that are pressing before i start back with him. It will take over/dominate my opportunities for going out really, unless things improve a bit. (That would be nice). I would like to be able to do some non-health-related things a bit more often as they are few and far between of late.

Oh, i did go to the nature reserve with my partner before xmas and it was a beautiful sunny icy day. I took some pictures of a swan, which waddled up close to me. I have not had them developed yet… it was exciting (to be with camera) and so good to go out together for a little walk.

So, there have been some nice times grabbed here and there! It is always hard to not be operating well when there is some occasion or something happening. To have visitors only adds to the feeling that there are so many things we could be doing if i was only feeling a little better. I was so relieved to not have to travel this year – i really don’t think i could have – but also i cannot be left alone when this bad, so i am so pleased my Mum could come to stay. We had a relaxed and parsnip-happy time. I also managed a therapeutic cry which though initially exhausting left me feeling much better… good to let it out (thanks mum).

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