CFS / glandular fever recovery mini-series: 10 signs I knew my health was getting better (part 1).


For other posts about my recovery click ~here

Over the next couple of months I aim to write a little more about my recovery from glandular fever, which I got over two years ago (Jesus Christ). If this isn't relevant to you then apologies but I promise I will write about other topics too! But one promise I have made to myself is to put as much information out there on the internet as possible for anyone who needs it. There are a lot of forums full of the bad side of chronic illness but I want to balance that out. I'm going to keep the posts in this series short and sweet as much as possible, because I know how much glandular fever and cfs can affect "brain fog" and concentration levels. 

For a long time I felt like my recovery from glandular fever was bordering on being at a total standstill. I didn't seem to be making much progress at all and this had such a negative impact on my mental health. However don't be disheartened if you're in a similar boat because I did start to make progress once I'd got through some difficult events in my life and made my health my #1 priority again (it's all about being selfish folks).

Here are 10 things that improved for me and subsequently changed my recovery for the better. I hope that tracking the improvements in these areas works for you too.

1) My body could tolerate dry body brushing. When I first read about the benefits of body brushing I couldn't wait to get started, however the first time I did it I felt pretty rough afterwards to the point where I couldn't bear to do it again. So I waited a while and the next time I brushed myself using very light strokes, and only did it once a week to see how that worked for me. Eventually I realised that I could body brush every morning with no unpleasant consequences! 

2) My sleep improved. One of the worst patches of my recovery was my "insomnia phase" which was like living hell. I thought I was losing my mind. If you have suffered from sleepless nights I'm sure you will know what I mean. When this phase passed (with the help of over-the-counter sleeping tablets, meditation, a good bedtime routine, and lots of patience) I saw lots of improvements in my general health. 

3) Better tolerance to exercise / minimal post-exertional malaise. This one is self-explanatory. At first my experiments with exercise didn't go so well. Using (light) weights of any kind would make me feel like I'd been hit by a truck for a week and generally I could only manage 10 minutes at a time before my body would literally cease to function. I kept trying and eventually I noticed that I could tolerate heavier weights and longer workouts. 

4) Concentration levels improved. At one point I couldn't read a book or watch tv because I couldn't process the information at all. Very frustrating when all you have is time on your hands to fill. Now I can read and cross stitch and watch tv in short bursts and it's amazing to feel productive again. 

5) Slightly better appetite. My appetite is still pretty dodgy and sometimes non-existent but it is better than it was. In my poorlier days all I wanted was pate on toast or chicken nuggets and I've definitely come a long way since then (mind you I do still love pate on toast).

To be continued :) 



"You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day" - ML Stedman, 
The Light Between Oceans

For 10 months I have been holding on to a lot of anger, resentment, confusion and bitterness about the way my last serious relationship ended. It made no sense to me that two people could be so in love and talk about having a family, getting married, adopting another dog, one day, then in a space of a few weeks have split up abruptly with no possibility of working things out. I was far from perfect in that relationship, battling a few demons and dealing with glandular fever which turned my life upside down and brought lots of tears and tantrums with it, but the way I was treated in those last few moments was not what I deserved. Being told I was no longer a decent prospect because I had a few health problems was difficult to digest, to say the very least. And evicting me from my home, not allowing me to go back for even one night to help me find my feet was a bitter blow.

I'm tired though. Tired of carrying these feelings round with me. Tired of dreaming about him (well, nightmares, obv) and waking up confused and asking myself all the usual questions: was he cheating on me? how long was he unhappy for? did I deserve it? will I ever get closure? does any part of him regret ending it? 

Photo credit - Stephanie Baxter - click here 

So today I write this down in black and white to forgive him, so that I can be at peace and move on from carrying these heavy feelings around with me. He fell out of love with me and acted like a coward and those are the only facts I need to know. I have learnt from my mistakes and I will find love again with someone who will stick with me through the bad times, not just the good ones.

For a long time all I wanted was for us to get back together and go back to how things were at the start, but now I can't think of anything worse. I'm grateful to have seen his true colours sooner rather than later, and it has taught me so much about the type of person I want to settle down with. Also since we split up I have met so many wonderful people and been on some adventures and travels that would never have happened otherwise, which I'm grateful for every day. 

I hope now I have documented these words on my little corner of the internet that I can feel a little lighter and leave the past behind once and for all.

The last few months (Kefalonia, Amsterdam, divorce, tattoos, and Tinder).


Whoops. That was a slightly longer hiatus than expected but these things happen. I've been without a laptop, then without broadband, then without any inspiration to do anything much at all. A lot of my energy has been going into work, seeing friends and navigating my parents splitting up so making time for this place has been tough but I really miss it. So here I am. 

Since we last spoke properly I went to Kefalonia with my boy pal (now ex boy pal) for a week of sunshine, red wine and greek salads. I got the most unbelievable tan, explored the island, rested on the beach, and had a really lovely time with my pal and his family. It's a shame things didn't work out with our relationship (if you could call it that... I spent 3 months trying to get him to commit to calling me his girlfriend "lol") but that's life and it wasn't right for either of us so onwards and upwards as they say!

I went to Amsterdam with my lovely pal Steph (@stephsayshello) who I only made friends with this year but she has become like a sister from another mister to me. We arrived in Amsterdam on a sunny Friday morning and headed home on the following Monday afternoon, staying in an apartment booked through Air BnB. We walked for miles and bloody miles, hopped on and off the tram, stuffed our faces, laughed non stop, and took in the beautiful surroundings, buildings and history.

I feel so grateful to have had two wonderful holidays to new destinations in the last few months, and for my health holding up enough for me to keep up with the pace and enjoy myself.

I got 3 tattoos in the space of a couple of months, after spending 15+ years debating whether to take the plunge. There goes my "all or nothing" personality again.  I'll share them in a separate post at some point soon.

I dyed my hair back to its natural darker colour, and cut it shorter, and I don't feel pretty anymore. So I got my nose re-pierced in an attempt to feel more like "me".

I have been on and off Tinder more times than I've had hot dinners, wrestling between wanting to find my Mr Right and hating the dating scene with a passion. However I will say I recently met someone who has restored my faith that there are good eggs out there and someone who seems to like me exactly as I am, which is a turn up for the books. Watch this space.

Seriously if anyone is still reading my blog I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me. I feel like I have the nicest support network around my social media channels and it really does make a difference to my life. So cheers!

Books I have read in 2017 (21 - 25).


#21 - The Light Between Oceans - M. L. Stedman 4/5

This is a period drama about a lighthouse keeper and his wife, living a remote life off the coast of Australia, who rescue a baby from a shipwreck and raise her as their own. I really enjoyed the writing and use of imagery which made it easy to picture the setting. I didn't love this book but I did really like it and it has definitely helped to spark my love of fiction again (after a spell of struggling to read anything except non fiction/self help books). If you like anything set in the past with a romantic storyline, with a feel of The Notebook, then add this to your list. 

#22 - GUT - Giulia Enders 3.5/5 (rating for audiobook version)

This book has been on my wishlist for a little while, ever since I saw a nutritional therapist and wanted to find out more about the link between the gut and immune system. I decided to listen to it as an audiobook which I'm glad I did because things got a bit heavy for me to digest (excuse the pun) halfway through and I think I would have given up on the 'proper' book. There is a lot of information to take in and long scientific words that I definitely won't remember but I found it a good book to dip in and out of taking it in stages.

The main criticism for me is the choice of narrator whose voice was like nails on a chalkboard to me, and the way her constant pausing made the sentences feel disjointed. That aside, I definitely picked up some tips on how to make changes to my own diet and gut health so it was a worthwhile listen.

#23 - I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT! - Danny Wallace 5/5

I love Danny Wallace and I bloody loved this book. Laugh out loud funny, easy to read, and a hilarious insight into why people are so damn rude.

#24 - The Other Hand - Chris Cleave 1/5

This book was lent to me with the promise that it was "one of the best books ever". I was intrigued especially as there is no synopsis on the back cover. Just a promise that you must keep the story a secret from your friends and not to ruin the ending. I thought I was in for an absolute TREAT! I was gearing up to lend it to everyone I knew with a smug look on my face that I knew about it and they didn't. In summary, all hype no substance. Very disappointing. Didn't enjoy. Waited for something to happen (a twist, a turn, anything!) but it never came.

#25 - Divergent - Veronica Roth 4.5/5

This was my summer holiday read after I spotted it on the bookshelf in the hotel's lobby. I liked The Hunger Games series so I thought this might be my cup of tea too, and I was right. Divergent is set in a dystopian future where 16 year old Tris must make a difficult decision to remain or switch "factions", following all of the subsequent drama that ensues. This was an easy to read, couldn't put it down sort of book and I really want to read the others in the series. Sometimes a book aimed at a slightly younger reader that you can absorb easily and quickly, set in a fantasy world, is just the ticket!

Oops, I did it again.


Hello! Yes, I am still alive! I'm doing my usual vibe of not going anywhere near my blog for months on end then wanting to write 20 posts in one sitting so I am going to start small and just check in to list all my excuses. My laptop broke (it really did) then the broadband broke (this is also true) then my motivation broke, I was busy with work, trips away, yada yada etc etc.

As a self confessed "quitter" my blog is one of the only consistent things in my life and it has been for many many years so although I have toyed with the idea of knocking it on the head a few times I'm not going to. It is here to stay! Now if my motivation to write it could also stick around that would be grand...