Oki, so today was a really big day for me. It has been exactly a year since I last went out. The main reason, is not being well enough to go out and going through many, many tests and medication combinations just to get to the point where I am at now. I have previously written that my med combination keeps my pain levels at around a 6 or 7 out of 10, on a flare, about 8 or 9, but the point to remember , is that it is the best combination so far despite not being totally effective.
Trying to cope with a full time job when you have FM is a big deal, and because it takes up so much of your already limited stores of strength and energy, when it comes to the hallowed weekend, there is nothing left. Therefore, to go out, for me, is an epic task.
It has been 2 months since I moved, and the journey to my preferred watering hole was easier than it had ever been as I just had to hop on a train, although the hill to get to it is practically vertical and very hard work even if you are fit and healthy! So, the strength and energy that I saved on the journey, was wiped out walking up the hill..double edged sword.
Anyhoo, the important thing to remember, is that I had not rushed to go out. I took my time to get ready, and chose to go out in the late afternoon as opposed to the evening. I took the minimum dose of my meds and wrapped up my worst joints. I prepared myself to go out for as long as I could and push myself as far as I could.
Hands up, I had a couple of alcoholic drinks which is very very bad when you are on medication. Not a good idea at all, but I stopped after 2 and went on to soft drinks.
I was quite proud that I lasted from half two til four managing the pain, but I started flaring and my heart sank. I carried on for a couple of hours, just on soft drinks and going back to taking my meds at the right time, with one more tablet than the minimum (I did not want to take the maximum as I had had a drink). I admitted defeat at half past seven as I just could not manage the pain any more and needed to get home.
Another difficulty, were the noise levels. If you know anything about FM, you will know that being a neurological disorder, everything you sense, light, sound, smell, touch, pain is magnified tenfold. If you hear a raised voice, my ears will hear a rattling bellow that will make me feel physically sick and send shockwaves through my body. So, to say that a large drunken fancy-dress party walked into the bar, it was a sensory overload that I just couldn’t cope with.
The worst thing for me, is that I went out to see friends that I had not seen in a year, and on top of this, a few more friends walked in just as I was leaving. It is so frustrating that I cannot endure the sessions I used to have, and when I arrange to meet people, I do feel as if I am letting them down when I have to go early, or that I cannot join in the drinking and subsequent “merriment” (pronounced drunkenness lol) that I used to adore. It breaks my heart to have to tell my friends that I am going the minute they walk in when all I want to do is catch up and enjoy their company
On the one hand, I am proud of what I have achieved today by being determined to go out and make the effort to see my friends, however, on the other, I am melancholy that it has reminded me of the changes that I have to make. Baby steps on this one I think, but it was a start. Watch this space