I managed a 2 hr walk with ME/CFS


Yes, you read that right. I'm as confused as you are. In case you're stumbling across this blog for the first time and you don't know too much about ME, please don't think this is a common occurrence. It's definitely not, and that's why I wanted to talk a bit about it.


If you follow me on Instagram you'll already know about this walk, so I apologise for repeating myself. Last Tuesday I walked around the Three Lochs Forest Drive, and it was bloody glorious. If you're in Central Scotland I highly recommend it by the way, I've been there a few times over the last few years and have loved it every time.





In case you've never heard of it, let me give you some context here. The Forest Drive is situated in the Trossachs National Park, and includes walks around 3 separate lochs (a loch is basically a Scottish lake). Usually you drive around the 3 in a loop, and you can park up at each one where there are smaller walks that you can pick and choose from. Little did we know that the drive is actually closed over the winter and there's no access for cars. The road opens back up this month, in case you fancy a visit yourself - you can stay in the car the whole time and the scenery is beautiful. The road may have been closed but you were still allowed to walk or cycle, and so that's what we did.


It wasn't what we had in mind, but we figured we would try it anyway. The idea was that we would walk along the road for a little bit and then when I had had enough we would turn around and go back to the car. But that point of "I'm done now" never came and neither of us noticed until we had actually finished the loop - a whole 2 hours and 3 minutes later. We just kept walking because I felt like I could, and in actual fact we didn't stop once. Again, this is so odd for me. I always stop regularly, and even when I'm being stubborn Ryan makes me when he sees it's clearly necessary. But I was fine.




Before going on the walk, I hadn't left my house in about a week and a half. That will seem ages for some of you, and hardly anything to others. It's all relative to your own experience, but for me I generally leave my house about once a week. Ideally I'd be going on walks every time, but that isn't exactly realistic. My last walk was in November, while visiting Aviemore. That one was much more painful.


I had such a good day on Tuesday, and it was appreciated so much. You don't take anything for granted once chronic illness hits - especially a 2 hr walk in the countryside, bliss! I wasn't too fatigued during it, and my pain levels didn't sky rocket either. I experienced a bit more pain in my right hip towards the end, but it was bearable. Usually on a walk it gets much worse than that. It was still at a point where I could properly lift my foot to take my next step. Usually it gets to the point that I have to shuffle instead of step, because the pain is too much. I was also able to get back into the car unaided at the end, a nice change.


That night the pain got a bit worse when I was trying to get to sleep. Every time I rolled over I would get a sharp pain in my hip. I figured that meant Wednesday would be quite bad, but actually it improved over the night. Usually the day after a walk I struggle to get myself dressed, because lifting my leg into my underwear/trousers is difficult. Not on Wednesday though, I got dressed just fine. I was baffled, and still am.


I wonder what was different about Tuesday? Had I done anything in particular to improve the payback? Because if I did I'd like to make sure I do it again! I can't think of anything, apart from the fact I had a lot of rest in the week or so leading up to it. But that's usual, like I said, I don't go out much.




Wednesday was a pretty typical day for me. I didn't shower, or brush my hair, or put on anything other than pyjamas. I put up a blog post, and then I rested. I'm content with that. I was expecting to sleep all day pretty much, but I didn't need a nap. By about 4 o'clock I was sleepy and out of breathe but that's normal for me. The only thing that was different is I noticed it was more painful than usual to brush my teeth that night. My bicep and wrist were painful, which doesn't normally happen. Whether it's got anything to do with the walk or not, I have no idea.


It's now been a week since my walk, and I feel I can now safely say the payback never really came. I don't think it'll hit now. I rested on Thursday, managed a full day at college on Friday, and have worked on a bit of college stuff over the weekend. Guys, I feel...good? Not normal, not healthy, but good enough for me. I'm happy. I think I feel how I would have if I'd never had gone on the walk. Which is nice because not only have I dodged the physical onslaught of payback, but I have some lovely memories!





I'm not putting up this blog post to boast or brag, I'd hope you know me better than that by now. I just wanted to share my good news, and hope it doesn't make you feel deflated or frustrated with your own situation. I hope you don't feel like ME is being misrepresented here. I don't want to offer a false narrative about the condition but the truth is Tuesday was a great day that came out of nowhere and I wanted to share it with you. I just wanted to say that they do happen. Not always, but sometimes. It might have been a total fluke, I don't know yet. I'll have to try again at some point and see what happens. I'll of course let you know.


I thought of you all while I was out there breathing fresh air into my lungs, putting one foot in front of the other and grinning like an idiot. You were there with me. Your messages on my Instagram stories afterwards were so heart warming - thank you so much. It was like having my own little cheerleaders celebrating my victory with me. It's a pretty crap situation we've all landed in, but I'm so glad it's brought us together.


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