This year I didn't manage my usual yearly post-stroke health update around April, mostly because I was running around madly and then caught the nasty virus that keeps knocking one about in different ways for six to eight weeks.
It had been a bad year, healthwise. From just prior to Christmas, colds, other viruses, and just as I was starting to feel human and capable in April, evil virus of doom. Bloody thing went right through the town – there were so many sick parents. We actually thought our next door neighbours had gone away for the school holidays, but it turned out they were all home and sick with the blasted thing.
So yeah, been super run down. Not going for walks since December. None of that good stuff. And had doctor say they were fairly certain I wasn't getting migraines, but 'cluster headaches.' When you look those bastards up, most people who get them and migraines, prefer the migraines, and they have earned the nickname of 'suicide headaches.' Fortunately mine seem to be right down the low end of the scale.
Which all sounds kinda bad, but really isn't. Because somehow, in the background through all the viruses and headaches and feeling continuously rundown, I've been improving. It was hidden by all the other stuff going on.
I was sick right up until a few days before our recent trip to Melbourne, then the killer virus dropped away and I felt good for the first time this year. I mean, really good.
On our second day of travel, we stopped at two different parks. Both had a big range of play equipment, including flying foxes, and I chased the kids around lots and played on aaaaalllllll the things! And didn't pay for it later, which is even more remarkable. I was tired, but it was the normal tired, not the bone-numbing, ready to cry, utterly exhausted tired.
Couple of days later, at another park, I climbed a pole. More than once. Eight months ago, I wouldn't have been able to climb it once.
At Continuum I had myself put down for a couple of panels every day, because if they were going to make me a guest, I had to bloody well work. And Shaz is not a panel person, so I wanted to carry a bit extra for her. Any other con I'd been to since the stroke, I'd have needed to rest for an hour or two before each panel, and I'd have basically been in bed for the majority of the time between panels. And after panels.
Basically at cons where I haven't had much to do, I've spent most of my time in my room. I invite people back for one-on-one talks because socialising exhausts me. I rest in the room so I can go to a panel, singular, or be on one.
Continuum X I was trying to help look after kids, actively preparing for panels rather than just resting beforehand, socialising a bit, running up stairs three at a time, and generally a lot more like my old self than I've been... well, since the stroke.
It's been a phenomenal shift. Post trip, we got home last Thursday and yeah, I sort of stopped, but after two weeks travelling with small children, that's totally acceptable. But even the last couple of days, I've got a lot done. Quite a bit of running about and doing things.
Today, not doing anywhere near as well, but I was fighting a migraine last night (I'm still calling them that because we don't know they're cluster headaches, and even if they are, people get what a migraine is), and again today. So I've got the slightly blurry brain, sensitive skin, phonophobia, inability to concentrate, and incredible tiredness – and I still feel better than I've felt in a long time.
It's really pretty cool. And if I'd been able to do my usual April update, I would have sounded awful. So I'm kind of glad I wasn't up to it before now. I was so good on the trip that even falling back to half what I was like would still be an overall improvement, so yeah, pretty happy.
In a week and a half, health permitting, I grab mum and the kids and do another trip. Broken Hill, Cohuna, Melbourne. Be another longish one, and travelling with mum is always harder, but she'll get to see some relos she's overdue to see, and I get to see how I'm holding up while having more adventures with the kids.
Allowing for the wear and tear of an extra eight years, and two children, I feel like I'm about 80-90% of where I was at pre-stroke. This con, I got to remember how it used to feel to be me. I wasn't the hyperactive ferret of old, but I was active in more than fits and starts.
So yeah, life is good :)