I’d booked a week away, staying at my brother’s house in Madrid, quite a while back.
But, in the end, the timing was perfect – the trip came just days after my ME diagnosis, so having a change of scenery, some time to digest the news and reflect on it all, and some enforced rest was perfect.
I’m just about to fly home, and it’s been fascinating to see how the time away has affected me.
For starters it has been so lovely to see my brother and his fiancé as well as my wonderful niece and nephew. I don’t see them often, so it’s always a joy.
But it was also noticeable how much better I have been each day, when my time spent has been about resting, reading a few pages from a book or a magazine, and just watching the world go by.
I’ve done a few things including a trip to a coffee shop, a stroll around a shopping mall, and a lovely lunch in a restaurant, but it’s been mainly about resting my mind, body and soul.
I also, at the start of the trip, got to see my friend Marie who moved to Spain earlier this year.
We met up in Madrid city centre and shared a glass or two of pink fizz while putting the world to rights.
I noticed that, with hindsight, this took a lot out of me energy wise – but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
It did though remind me that having one ‘big thing’ in my diary for the week was enough, and that a couple of days later I was really aware of the payback – the pains around my body, fuzzy vision, and a need to sleep two or three times a day.
But that’s okay.
Knowing that, and balancing ‘doing stuff’ with resting up is what living with, rather than fighting against, ME is about.
The rest of the time I’ve been in the lounge with my niece and nephew watching them play their games, chattering away to each other and me, and just loving being in the moment.
It’s mid-afternoon. I’m laid in bed typing this, looking out onto the garden. An aeroplane has just flown by – reminding me it’s time to fly home in the morning.
I shall take with me a week of happy memories, and even more insight into how my understanding of ME can help me live my life in full colour.