Today I am in a reflective frame of mind. Possibly because I have just realised it’s been exactly three years since that fateful trip to Manchester that resulted in my legs giving up on me.
It’s strange because looking back now, it seems as if it all happened to someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I still remember vividly what it was like to struggle to walk the shortest distance to the toilet, relying on walking aids and wheelchairs, the muscle pain that became all too familiar and the pitiful look in strangers eyes when they seen a young girl with walking sticks struggle down the street. But now my life is so different. I get to live life instead of just getting by, and I mean LIVE. I don’t do things my half and take full advantage of every opportunity presented to me. I work full time in a job that I love, which at times is very physical and touch wood so far I have been fine.
Last year for 6 months I took a job in a Call Centre, as I wanted to work full time but not be on my feet 24/7. Anyone who has ever worked in a call Centre will know how soul destroying it can be. I hated it. And I was very vocal to many of my friends about it; to the point they were all like, “Sam I think you are over exaggerating just how bad this place is.” But to me the issue wasn’t sitting on the phone all day pretending to be nice to folk who were arseholes with no manners. It was the fact that I had worked so hard to get back on my feet, and I hadn’t given everything I had, to then spend the next few years doing something when the only passion I had for it, was hate. So I got out faster than a speeding bullet, took the risk of doing something more manual and it paid off. And to top it all off in September I am starting another degree relating to my new chosen career, as I said I don’t do things by half.
I get to go out with my friends, party and do crazy adventures stuff and not have to think all the time, “ will this put me in my bed for a couple of months?” and my legs are feeling better than they have ever been. The pain has gone, I exercise and I don’t mean low impact gentle stuff, I run, hike, swim, do yoga, fly. Well I don’t actually fly I just wish I did. Anything a healthy person does I can do, my life is once again limitless. Well that’s not technically true, I probably couldn’t be a drag queen seeing as I don’t have a penis but you get what I mean.
I wouldn’t say I no longer have M.E it still rears its ugly head now and then, especially when I over do it but its now very mild. It’s all about “everything in moderation, even moderation”. I listen to my body, slow down when needed and if I need to stop and rest, I don’t just push through.
A lot of people ask me, “Sam what’s your secret? How are you now doing so well?” and honestly I don’t have one, I just consider myself extremely lucky to have amazing friends and family that helped me through the bad times. I met I boy I knew from school in the summer, whose mum has ME and he said to me, “You may be doing great now but is a relapse not eventually inevitable?” The thought that I could go back to how poorly I once was, scares me everyday. Every time I am overly tired, my body aches or are I am just feeling under the weather, I think is this it? I know I was very positive and coped extremely well the last time, but I am under no illusions that if it all happened again my positive, can do attitude would not be there to push me through a second time.
But you can’t go through life worrying about what may or may not happen. I could get hit by a tram before my ME ever has a chance to floor me again or I could be one of the few a sufferers who continue to get better until one day they don’t have ME anymore.
A few months ago I bought a new car, after having it for 3 weeks I was driving on a country road singing along to Adele at the top of my voice when a stone came up and cracked my windscreen. When I told my mum about this she said, “Jesus Samantha! You must be the unluckiest lassie I know. I swear if it wasn’t for bad luck you’d have no luck.” I remember at the time thinking that’s strange, because thinking back to where I was and knowing where I am now, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.