I wrote this about my 'outing' on a Sunday (2 Sundays ago) ... Part one
I’m going to the beach, my heart singing I wiggle into my swimming suit and board shorts. It’s hot and muggy, I have been imagining the sliding into the water all day.
I move slowly around my room determined to keep my heart rate down. I cover my greasy unwashed hair with a cap, fetch my sunglasses from under the bed, grab my sick bag complete with brand new disability parking permit and head slowly for the car.
My brother grins at me as I recline the car seat back and arrange my black and white polka dotted neck cushion. My heart rate monitor declares my pulse to be 123hb. Not bad.
‘I should have reclined the seat for you’
I roll my eyes and laugh, ‘It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it, really, don’t worry this I can do.’
We pull out of the driveway and I pull my eye mask down, willing my body to relax, my heart rate to stay low and my nausea to stay away.
Five minutes later the car comes to a stop. (yes I know, I live thaat close to the beach). The water beckons a mere 20m away. I stick the disabled sign on the windscreen and we head slowly down to the sand.
I wonder what people might think if they see the us walking, me without even a limp, from the disabled car park to the water’s edge. Mentally I dare someone to say something, but no one is looking let alone likely to comment.
I lay on my towel, it’s 4.30 in the afternoon the sun is enveloped in a red haze to the west, grass fires I suppose. I can feel a cool breeze.
Children run squealing from their parents to the water and back again like little duracel batteries they never seem to stop.
The sand is cool to touch. I watch a group of teenage boys crossing the estuary.
I shiver, goosebumps prickle my skin.
Me: ‘maybe it’s too late for swimming’
Me: ‘it’s too cold, look even the kiwi’s are hoping out’ (a group of chubby Maori boys are making a hasty retreat from the water)
Brother: ‘I thought you said you wanted to try ice baths and cold water was a good start?’
I recently listened to the wonderfully positive podcast (once you get past the boring sports commentary) in which Alastair Lynch and Duncan Armstrong both mention ice baths and what helped them recover from me/cfs. Ever since I have been toying with the idea of hydrotherapy and ice baths.
I look dubiously at the water and back at my brother, who is trying hard not to grin, he knows I am not going to swim.
Me: ‘How bout I buy us both a takeaway coffee instead?’
Brother: ‘sure, sounds good.’
I experience a pang as we head back to the car. This is my life, this is the new me.