Friday, 12 June 2015

A month or more of milestones #4 - #7

I've had so much on lately, what with Princess day and my slow, continued improvement, that I've not got round to noting down my last few milestones. It's been a great month for me overall and here's some of the reasons why.

Milestone #4 - A trip to see my GP

I'll admit this doesn't sound very exiting but it was. Any reason to leave the house when you're normally too poorly to do so is cause for celebration. I'd not managed to see my GP in person for some time. I usually catch up with her every few months via a telephone appointment although she has on occasion paid me a visit at home. This time, I was determined to make it to the surgery.My plans were scuppered by a particularly horrible virus that laid me at death's door for a few weeks but  eventually, I managed my goal!
Unflattering Doctors' waiting room selfie
My mother-in-law drove me the ten minutes to the surgery and waited with me. Luckily, I was seen virtually straight away. I don't honestly know who was more excited, me or my GP! We were both so giddy that I had made it. I told her that I bet she'd never had a patient so happy to see her. 

We had a lovely chat, reviewed my medication, and talked over my progress. She said she was really pleased to see me improving and that there were times when she had wondered if I would ever be well enough to leave the house again. That really brought home to me just how ill I have been. She also checked my records and it turns out the last time I saw her in person was December 2013 when she paid me a home visit. I left feeling amazing - not only had I achieved my goal but it was great to know I have such a supportive GP. Admittedly, her knowledge of ME is virtually non-existent but compared to the stories I hear from other sufferers about being patronised and disbelieved, I feel very lucky to have someone at least willing to listen to me properly and take me seriously.

Milestone #5 - A trip into town

My parents came to visit for the day and I marked the occasion by heading into town for only the second time in the last two years. We drove to Queen's Square (aptly named after Queen Charlotte) to see the Forest of Imagination installation that had been running over the Bank Holiday weekend. We planned to go late on Monday afternoon in order to avoid the crowds and minimise the sensory overload on my system. It was a plan that worked well although it did mean most of the events were winding down or had already packed away. Still, for someone who rarely makes it down the hill into town, it was all very exciting. I managed around 40 minutes thanks to my trusty chariot and although I suffered the usual pain and discomfort afterwards, it was well worth it.

The Mookfamily in a box.
Me and my Ma about to be attacked by a triffid.

Milestones #6 and #7

As if that wasn't enough gallivanting, I have also managed a trip to the garden centre, then the following weekend, a visit to Bath Botanical Gardens. In both cases, it's the first time I've been well enough to handle the short car journey and the sensory stimulus of being somewhere busy and vibrant. The garden centre was a great choice for accessibility as there was plenty of room between the aisles already. The trolleys they have for customers to load up with plants are slightly bigger than my wheelchair so it was easier for my chauffeur to manoeuvre me around. As well as checking out the flowers, I also got to mooch around the pet section. You'll be glad to know I didn't get a photo of the giant bird-eating spider they had there!

Chillin' with the Lupins

All in all, it's been an action-packed few weeks (for me anyway!) and my body is slowly adapting to being out and about in public. It's hardest on my brain and my eyes - so much sunlight and so much going on around me is a lot for my poor little noggin to cope with. It's now my aim to make it out of the house for at least an hour or so each weekend. Maybe I'll even manage two trips out in a week if I'm really careful? I'm hoping that I can get to a stage where I can go out for a meal for my birthday in August (the big 4-0) but for now I'm just so happy to be getting out and about again. It's been a while, but it's great to visit some the places I used to take for granted when I was well.

Imma gonna get botanical on yo' ass.


  1. Great news, Charlotte! It's fab to hear you've been able to make it out for some short trips, even though you still suffer so much after. Your GP sounds absolutely lovely. Would be great if all GPs were so understanding about what we can manage to do and supportive of your recent improvements and understanding what a big deal they are. Fab to hear you're gradually able to do some enjoyable things, slowly but surely. Take care, Emily xxx

  2. Yay! This makes me so happy. Even despite the lack of M.E knowledge you have got yourself a good gp who knows how poorly you are and has a vested intetest in the affect it's having on your life. Can see she at least understands why you can't see in her in person and celebrates with you when you achieved this. That's a big deal in itself. Xx