Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wedding: the Aftermath

There are certain patterns with ME/CFS, and one of the major ones has to do with the relationship between activity and fatigue. I follow the classic pattern:
  • I do something active.

  • I feel tired, often rather more tired than the activity warrants.

  • I have a rest.

  • I feel, not 100% better, but significantly improved.

  • I carry on with my life.

  • ... and then somewhere between 24 and 48 hours after the activity, a massive dose of absolute exhaustion coshes me over the head, all plans must be cancelled and I spend a lot of time in bed trying to recover.

The wedding was obviously an enormous active event. I had planned out a 72-hour food and medication schedule to give myself the best chance and this went amazingly well, but the fact remains that by Sunday morning, despite a full night's sleep, I had a major spoon deficit and the knowledge that it was about to get a lot worse.

First Breakfast was a slice of wedding cake (we'd asked for a couple of slices to be put in our room just in case we didn't get to eat much cake during the reception) and that gave me the kick start I needed to go and have a more traditional Second Breakfast of tea and toast with a few of the guests who had stayed at the hotel. The hotel staff helped us divvy up the leftover cake.

We'd hired an MPV to enable us to move lots of stuff around, but even so, Steve ended up having to go home on his own with the car full of gifts and our own equipment (like the TV and the Wii), empty it all out, and then come back to collect me, my chair, the dress, the suitcase and all the other bits and bobs remaining. By this point I was starting to struggle, but I was able to walk from the car to the house.

My husband (!) and I sat down to open our cards and gifts. We were completely overwhelmed - there were cards on every flat surface and still there were some we didn't have room for, all with the most lovely messages. We just about had the sense to log all the gifts against our guestlist so that we would have an easier time writing the thank-you notes.

That's about all I can really remember as at that point the extreme exhaustion kicked in. I know I did things, like visiting a friend who couldn't make it and eating obscene quantities of cake, but only on an academic level, I don't have any personal recollection of it. Apparently right up to Thursday I was telling people what a marvellous day I'd had "yesterday" at the wedding, and although I wrote a few posts online, they were all absolute surprises to me when I re-read them a few days later! Thankfully Steve had the full week off work, so we could really do everything at our own pace.

One month on and things that are done include:
  • We've recovered back to "normal for us" levels of physical and mental energy, house-tidiness, eating and sleeping patterns, etc.

  • We've installed our new Stuff in the appropriate places (mostly the kitchen), and taken the old Stuff and all the packaging to the recycling centre.

  • I've mostly finished changing my name, although I still keep getting surprised by the odd little things that keep popping up with my old name and I still hesitate every time I introduce myself.

  • We've paid off all of the bills, and given back everything that was hired or borrowed like the car and the cake stand, so there's a nice line drawn under it all - we don't owe anyone anything.

  • We've had some of the photos back and have been able to print ourselves some copies to show people.

  • We've given or posted all of the thank you notes.

We still need to take decent close-up photos of "stuff" like the dress, the flowers, the jewellery and so on... Steve's been promising to do this for a while so I think I'll just wait for the next dry sunny day and take some snaps of them in the garden with my point-and-shoot - everything looks good on a sunny, grassy background, right? We need to get digital copies of wedding photos from a few more guests, and then we can start putting together an album.

I also need to do another blogpost or two about some of our vendors who really were exceptionally good.

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