I intended to do an update 2/3 of the way through my initial acupuncture course but sleep and life got in the way. I have now just finished my 12 rounds of acupuncture and I’m feeling amazing so I thought I’d give a little update. Also, I am already distracted by my hyper-alert brain! I’m wondering what ’rounds’ of acupuncture are really called and what is the name for the full ‘course’ you undertake? Sessions and treatment maybe.
Okay, sorry, I got distracted. AND THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF MY AMAZINGLY ALERT BRAIN.
I haven’t changed up anything I’ve been doing at all since I started acupuncture so I can definitely say the change has been from acupuncture. I’ve been eating so much gluten even (which I do want to stop)! But this just shows that despite everything, acupuncture has come through as the best treatment I’ve found to date. And to be honest, I won’t be looking for any other types of treatments in the near future besides acupuncture because it is that amazing.
I was initially told that I’d need 12 sessions of acupuncture to begin with. I’d start noticing a difference after about 6 sessions but that couldn’t be guaranteed. Even after 12 sessions the change might be minimal. I’m very lucky that the change has been significant.
I never actually realised this but in November right before I went to Bali I had 6 sessions of acupuncture. I then went to Bali and hardly felt fatigued at all. I forgot I’d had acupuncture so I attributed it to the tropical weather, my eating organic vegan food and just the time to relax and recuperate.
When I got home from Bali I was feeling pretty freaking good. Bali had cured me HAHAHA says every yoga ubud dweller ever! But I genuinely felt like Bali had done something to me and I felt great. Upon reflection, I think that acupuncture probably had a lot to do with it actually! Anyway, when I got back I was feeling so good and I was so poor that I never went back to acupuncture despite the guy telling me I’d need to “top up”.
After Bali I lived a pretty normal life until February of this year. That’s when the cracks started to show. I was slowly unravelling. And then I crashed harder than you can ever imagine. I crashed so hard that it’s taken me six months to get to a point where I feel human again. I’ve learnt a great lesson and I won’t be doing that again!
I’ve spent the past 3 months centering my life around acupuncture. Initially I went for sessions twice weekly for the first half of treatment. Then it was once weekly for the next six sessions. A few weeks ago the doctor asked me if I could return to twice weekly sessions because he is going away soon and he wanted to make sure I’d had my initial 12 sessions before he left. I did what he said but I noticed immediately that two sessions a week was knocking me out. I don’t think my body can handle that much. I mean… in the long run I definitely think it doesn’t matter if your body can’t handle twice weekly sessions. But my quality of life definitely did suffer when I’d JUST recover from my last session and then SURPRISE! It’s acupuncture day again and I’d be back to knocked out recovery mode.
Six weeks ago I broke my foot and I’ve been on crutches ever since. I was sooooo worried that the energy it takes to use crutches would crash me so hard again and undo all the progress acupuncture had made for me. Surprisingly it didn’t! I did not notice a change at all with using crutches and expending so much energy being mobile! I still actually felt like I was progressing every week! It’s just beyond believable to me.
Okay, so let’s get to the things I’ve noticed since my last acupuncture update!
Firstly, I don’t nap as much. And when I do nap it’s not a five hour nap anymore HAHAHAHA. I can basically get through the day without a nap now. That’s not to say that it doesn’t feel like pure torture trying to go through a whole day without napping – it does. But the fact that I can if I feel like torturing myself is amazing! Another thing is that I can function off less sleep at night. I would usually sleep around 10-12 hours a night and wake up feeling shit. Now I notice I can sleep 7-8 hours a night and wake up feeling okay.
Also, Malcolm has basically just decided he’s beyond massaging me (nah, we’ve been so busy). He used to massage me at least twice a week. This was essential otherwise I’d die of headaches and brain fog. I had the most tightest shoulders in the whole world! Now it’s been like two weeks or something without a massage and I feel fine. I feel like my shoulders just aren’t as tight as they were before. Maybe this is because I don’t spend as much as my life lying horizontally sleeping?? Who knows but it’s weird. I still get headaches but now I actually notice when I have a headache – it’s not the default anymore which it used to be.
I AM SO ALERT! The doctor always has an impressed smile when I go in for my sessions now because he’s like WOW you are so alert, I can see it in your face. I think I’m like his biggest success to date or something because I started off as a depressed sleepyhead who hated being at acupuncture because it was taking away from my sleeping time. I’ve found that I’ve been able to read so many books lately. The best part though is that before I’d have a one hour time frame where my brain would work and let me read. Now I can read morning, afternoon and night! I don’t have to selectively choose the exact moment of the day when I can enjoy reading. This is the biggest deal ever because reading is the greatest joy in life to me. It’s essential to my being. My soul feeds off words. I cannot live a life where reading is not the core of my existence.
Overall, I just feel like that heavy body fatigue has mostly lifted. I never used to be able to get out of bed in the morning (or any time actually) because my body just felt like lead. Everything was the biggest chore in the whole world because my body was 5 x it’s actual weight. I was carrying around 5 of me just to pee or make a basic meal. It was exhausting and I felt like crying in desperation most days. Now!!!! I actually want to do things because it’s not as hard. I enjoy going outside and playing ball with Bindi. I enjoy going to get groceries with Malcolm. I’m not running marathons – that’s not what this is about – it’s just that everyday chores don’t feel like a battle that I’m going to lose.
The best thing that’s happened to me though is that I feel alive. I’ve always been really positive throughout this shithouse CFS life but I now realise I wasn’t alive. I felt like a zombie. Even the times when I could muster the thought of “fuck yes I don’t feel like a zombie” now I can look back and think nah I still was a zombie compared to now. I can actively use my brain without it hurting or being a chore. My biggest selling point in terms of personality is that people always say they love my brain. They love that I’m constantly finding new ways to use it and explore it. I just love thinking and knowledge. I’ve really missed that part of me. I realise now that a BIG part of why I’ve avoided everyone since I got sick is because I cannot give them what they love of me. I can’t even give that to myself. It’s kind of embarrassing and kind of a sad reality that I don’t want to live with.
But this week!!!! I went out to breakfast with my beloved friend who is actually my adopted brother in this world. I haven’t seen him since I stopped working so this was a big deal. But I felt like I completely pulled off the old me codii version 1.0. The one whose brain is still sharp and whose mind is still a fucking wonder! This gives me confidence and it makes me actually want to see people again. If I can pull off codii 1.0 even once a week I’ll feel so grateful.
Speaking of gratitude!!! I’ve always been a grateful person – that’s another one of my personality traits everyone loves. But since I’ve been feeling more alive and alert I definitely can feel myself being more grateful. I am taking in each moment and truly embracing it. I’m paying respect and gratitude to the universe in every tiny moment I get to be alert and alive. I can see joy in the small things again. I’ve always had a gratitude journal in which I’ve wrote down 5 things I’m grateful for each day. Now my mind is exploding with gratitude. This generally makes me a much happier and inspired version of myself. Now I feel like the old me. I’m just bursting with joy and I feel like I want to share it with the world once more!
I just feel like so much more of a pleasure to be around. I’ve noticed that every night Malcolm comes home now we spend the whole night laughing in bed being ridiculous. And usually that would be him being ridiculous and cute and me observing. But I’m joining in! I’m initiating the hilarity. Case in point: the other night we were trying to be sexy and do the sexy but I had to push him off me because I was going to vomit. VOMIT FROM LAUGHTER. I just couldn’t stop giggling and it made me feel sick. This is such a big change from me wanting to vomit from feeling heavy and actually sick every moment of the day.
Something that I feel with CFS is that you have to take every day as it comes and the future is the future. I don’t make plans with people and I don’t make plans surrounding my future. To me, any plans are actually dreams. You just wait in hope that your dreams can actually turn into viable plans in a lifetime where you won’t deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how you’ll feel of any given day, or moment. But now I’m making plans!!! FUCK IT. I feel like the baseline me right now, and hopefully into the future if I keep this up, is a me where I can make loose plans and hope for a future that I want. Not just some shitty existence where I lay in a dark bedroom with a headache and fatigue where I can’t fall asleep but desperately want to sleep to fuck the pain of fatigue off.
I’m trying to not get ahead of myself because I know that any day my world could collapse and I could fall right back into the comfort of my bed and the brain fog of my former self just staring at a wall for entertainment all day. But I’m hoping that I can get a job in the coming future. Thank god I have Malcolm to make me take things slow but I’d love to get a job where I work a day or two a week. Just to feel a bit like an average human.
Still, the most frustrating thing about this illness is that no matter how much you plan and live a healthy life, any moment it could all be taken away from you and you have to start all over again. I feel like this illness is snake and ladders but there’s no ladders and just snakes. EVERYWHERE. So many snakes.
I’m just hoping I’ll find some ladders, build them rung by rung until I feel like I’m a human with a stable foundation again.
Rest up my friends.
Codii + Bindi.