I’m trying to cover a lot of time within this description of what happened to me and i try to cover the main points and remember what was going on for me. I hope i cover it accurately and clearly enough to give an understanding to you.
After being stuck indoors for over a month i decided that it was not helping me and i decided to continue similarly to limit all things that aggravated my symptoms but to try and do something each day that was more exerting than the day before. I also read up (i did use the internet very briefly some days) that exercise could help. I obtained an indoor exercise bike and did ten minutes every day. This was difficult at first as i had lost so much fitness from sitting still for months on end and not having played sports for over 6 months(i used to exercise and play sport most days).
Gradual Increase in Activity
So i continues my sedentary limited existence but each day i would try to walk a bit further than the day before. The first day i probably walked to the end of the street and back. The second another 50 yards further. Within a week i walked to the nearest corner shop a couple of minutes away. I pushed a bike so that i could roll back. Within another week i was walking to the shop and going inside to buy something and walking back. So it really was a slow increase because anything more made me feel worse. Whats important is that anything more made me feel too much worse and would set back my recovery. Bear i mind that even a car journey was too much for me at this point. It was too bumpy.
As i felt my symptoms improve, i was very aware of not doing too much and making myself worse. I had already set myself back before several times and i was desperate to get rid of this PCS. I was living in constant fear that i’d set myself back and have to relive the last week or more of gradual improvements. I didn’t know how much more i could take. This was a real fear.
I continued to increase the walking i did every day. Walking was an easy to measure activity so ideal for gradually increasing and measuring improvement in my condition. I built this up and got to a point where i could more easily join in with activities with family or friends for example going to the beach or painting a room. I then got to a point where i felt confident to jog. I walked to the local park and jogged one side of the park, then two the next day. Then a slow lap of the cricket pitch. The next day two laps and so on. After starting jogging my legs were so sore after such a small distance from having done no running or real walking for so many months. I had been walking around on tip toes the whole time with 3 cushioned insoles in my trainers to try and limit the impact and the effect on my head.
I built up to ten laps eventually and then increased the amount of time i did other things less easily measurable, like watch TV for example. This is easy to measure in time but not easy to measure how ‘jumpy’ it might be, how much movement and stimulation there is.
Working a winter season a year later
I continued to improve and was able to take up my customer service job in a French ski resort a year later.
I celebrated by booking a short trip to Marrakesh with a friend. I hoped it would relax me and help to put the past behind me. In a nutshell i was wrong, i found myself in a hostel in the middle of an extremely busy Moroccan market and after a day walking around in this warren of bustling alleys and market stalls i felt all my symptoms again worse than i had in a long time. It was too stimulating with too much going on, too many things that your eyes constantly flicked between, people constantly pushing past and round you, selling to you. I was really upset that i had been so stupid to put myself in this situation and that i had possibly thrown away my chance of a ski season and would have to go through weeks or months of recovery again.
To recount this part quickly. I returned home and rested heavily. I decided after much deliberation that i would fly out to France and attempt to start work there. At every single moment i rested. Whilst in the airport i sat with my eyes closed and headphones in. During the initial training course i ate my lunch as quick as humanly possible before going to my room to snatch 30 minutes to lie down in silence. I didn’t socialise in the evening, Needless to say people thought i was odd. I got through this with the help of heavy painkillers which had helped me previously. Before the job started i had a calm week of preparation and then i was lucky because the job was flexible so that i often worked for an hour, then had an hour off. I might work for another couple then get another couple off. Basically i managed to keep afloat and just about limit what i did so that i did not get worse, i improved slowly. By the end of 6 months i was again almost completely symptom free. After returning home i was again in control of my schedule and within 2 months of measured activity i could confirm i was PCS free!