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As i discussed in a previous post (https://ashy00.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/a-little-catch-up/) (and in the comments of that post) i am looking into wheelchairs. Today i went to a local charity for advice on what is available, what things to take into consideration, where to go to get the right one and such like.

The appointment was at midday and it felt early – i felt quite groggy and not properly awake, i was aching all over and felt quite weak. The appointment went fine and it was not too long. I had expected to try out different ones to see what suited me but in the end it was just a discussion. This was perhaps good as i am not sure i had the energy to be getting in and out of different ones. The woman was nice, but her voice was loud (to my ears) which did not help me hear what she was saying. I did manage to follow and i think i asked the things i wanted to, although she did not always answer too clearly. She did say in the end that they did not have any wheelchairs for me to try that would suit me, as we decided i need one with specific high back support, or even head support and good lumbar positioning. It was quite interesting that early on in the discussion she assumed i would just need a standard chair, without asking me at all about my issues or medical condition. It was not a major thing and she was helpful and open to listening and changing her mind, but i was surprised that even at a disabled people’s charity i was judged early on how well i look (though anyone who knew me would see i was seriously struggling! My partner could tell, i am glad she was with me). I would have thought they would have certain questions to ask before making such judgements. She did not ask about my medical condition(s), which is fine as it is not necessarily relevant, but to not ask directly about what issues/needs i have from a wheelchair was a bit strange, i thought. Anyway it was useful i think. I asked about reapplying for a Blue Badge (this is for disabled parking for those not in the UK) and also about the NHS wheelchair service and what to expect from them. I will try again for the Blue Badge at some point, despite being turned down before.

I briefly asked about scooters and powered chairs were mentioned but they did not seem viable options. I think i will see how the manual wheelchair suits me and how i find it affects my ability/experience of going out and that will give me more clues as to whether those other options could be useful in future. I think it is a big investment to get a mobility scooter for the number of times i am likely to use it. I cannot magically be able to leave the house much more often than i do now, chair or no chair; there are just so many other reasons i cannot leave the house, other than straightforward mobility issues. Unfortunately.

When i got home i took a while to wind down (despite not being awake in the first place!) as it took a lot of effort to get through the meeting. I went to bed after a while and had some strange sensations that have happened before.

The first has been happening quite often over the last few months, but i don’t remember it happening before that. It only happens when i go to bed in the day, not at night. I get these feelings of icicles running up and down my spine. It starts from the back of my head and runs all the way down my spine and into my legs in a wave of shivers and i feel really cold inside. Today i could tell it was going to happen and i took a hot water bottle and two hot wheat bags to bed with me and i still could not get warm for a long time. After about 3 hours i woke up (i had been asleep maybe an hour) and was so extremely hot i had to fling all the covers off! This is what happens: freezing, then unbearably hot. Very strange. Often i feel quite a normal temperature until i get into bed and it just starts up right away – today i already felt cold so i knew what was in store.

The second is a neurological-type thing. It used to happen a lot when i had a specific song as my alarm tone on my phone and i would hear it when it was not going off. Not like when a song is stuck in your head, but actually as if i was hearing it for real. It has not happened for a while but today it happened with my partner’s alarm. It went off and she turned it off, but i could still hear it. I took my ear plugs out to check if it was really there, and although i could tell it was not going off for real, i could hear it really softly still “playing” in my brain. Very odd. I am not worried as long as i don’t start hearing other imaginary things! I think it is something that happens when i am struggling/have overdone myself. If it continues she will have to get a better alarm ringtone, is all i can say!

Well, yes. I had a great week with my friend who came to stay. My partner was at home most days too and although we all felt a bit dodgy at various times for various reasons we managed to go out and about a little bit, but mostly just spent quality time together. I was beaten two games out of three at scrabble, we ate lots of Wensleydale (it’s a regional UK cheese for those not in the UK), sat in the sunshine (it was a cloudy week overall but we seized any chance we got!) and had lots of hugs. The biggest thing we did was a picnic in a park where there were us three, plus four other people!! A veritable party in the park!

The downside is that as soon as she left i got a sore throat and a runny nose… this is the third cold i have had this spring/summer and i am not enjoying them! Last year i only had one cold (in winter, which seems only right) and it had been a while since i had had one even then. I used to say that i didn’t get them; that my immune system seemed to fight them off. I used to feel worse than usual for a week or so, but not get proper symptoms, just a hint but it would never fully develop. Of course i used to moan about this and say it would be better if it just came out like normal, as then at least i could say i had a cold and have a reason for feeling so bad – i am now eating my words as having a proper one is definitely worse. It is amazing how annoying inflamed nasal passages can be: My nose has turned reptilian and scaly; my eyes have been streaming from the itchiness leading them to be puffy and small (piggy); and sleeping has been very difficult.

Having said that, i think i have turned a corner today. It is only day four and i do feel a bit better. I slept ok, I have not used quite so many tissues AND i have mostly been able to breathe. Some of that though is thanks to my Sinucleanse thingy, which i ordered online yesterday lunchtime and which came today (!). It is a plastic bottle and it comes with salty stuff that you dissolve in warm water, then insert the nozzle up one nostril and squeeze water into it – guess what? It comes out the other nostril!!! Quite funny actually. After some washing you blow your nose (quite a lot of snot came out the first time!) then repeat on the other side. I bought it because a friend recommended a “Neti Pot” last time i got a cold, which is like a gravy boat for the nose, but the same principal! It is supposed to wash out allergens, viruses etc and reduce the number of viruses you get and the duration they last for – i am all for that, so am giving it a go. I am already feeling the benefit.

(By the way, i also recommend Boots catarrh pastilles for blocked nose, and chestiness too… they are small and innocent looking, but really are the business! Suck ’em and see!)

Maybe my immune system behaving differently is a sign of change? This theory has been mooted… no sign of imminent ME remission but i will let you know!! Funny though, that apart from the worst day yesterday where i was seriously suffering with symptoms and lack of sleep, i do feel a bit different when i have these viruses. Maybe it is because i expect to feel like someone with ME and a virus on top, so have low expectations, or maybe because i do less due to having a virus but my energy levels do not seem to be significantly lower, in fact, i would say they have been about the same but more consistent through the day; less major slumps and sleepiness and maybe more stamina at a steady level… could be adrenaline-type reaction caused by “having to get through this cold”, or the irritation of symptoms, or maybe i am just imagining it… or maybe there is an immune component to my symptoms even after all these years?

Anyway, i am feeling like this cold will be over in a couple of days and i am just grateful that i have not (yet!) had the frequent nosebleeds of last time which literally drained me of all life-force! By the way,  i recommend you read this about how to stop nosebleeds if you are likely to get in that situation – i found it after my worst one and think it may not have lasted so long and been so traumatic had i known about this before! It is hard to search online when blood is pouring out of you, so click now!

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