Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Birthday Present Ever

My birthday was this week, and I've got mixed feelings about it. I'm 31 now. For me my birthday felt like yet another year of my young life had passed without any major improvement in my health.

Sure I'm healthier now than when I was in my mid 20's and unable to work, but I'm still not healthy. I still can't get back into martial arts (which I practiced for over 10 years before I got too sick to continue). I still can't go for long walks with my husband. I still have trouble going up a flight of stairs. I still don't have a social life or do all the things that healthy people my age do. I still can't sing and perform like I did when I was hoping to become an opera singer.

I've already lost my 20's to CFIDS. I really don't want to lose my 30's, too. While I am thrilled at the recent research on XMRV and increased awareness of CFS, I am still afraid of losing another decade to CFIDS.

On the upside, I am making the most of my life with CFIDS. I got married to a prince who loves me for who I am and takes on more responsibilities than a young husband should. I have managed to work for the past four and a half years (a miracle!) in a job I enjoy. I have a fantastic cat named Callie who loves to snuggle (we take lots of naps together). I discovered Netflix. I've become an advocate for others with this disease, most of whom are sicker than I am. I know who I am and what is important to me.

Now back to the point of my post: the best birthday present ever.

My husband Kenny and I purchased our current bed and mattress about three years ago. It was a bit firm, but I thought it would grow on me. It didn't. Not long after we got the mattress, I started talking about getting a one of those memory foam mattress pads. I thought that one to two inches would be perfect because it would be thick enough to create a nice padded feel, but thin enough that Kenny would still be able to enjoy the firmness of our mattress.

I kept talking but not buying. I regularly surfed the internet for prices on such mattress pads. They all seemed too expensive to purchase, so I never got one.

Well, I finally got one -- as a birthday present! My parents ordered it for me because they've heard me talk about getting one for the past three years.

I have to say that it's the best birthday present ever! I've had the chance to sleep on it for a week now. The bed is so comfortable that it has helped my quality of sleep. I am able to fall asleep a little faster, and I have been able to stay asleep a little more easily (though my sleep is still far from perfect). Hooray for small improvements!

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Today's Activities: work. Today's Most Annoying Symptoms: exhaustion, muscle fatigue, itchiness inside ears.

Mood (10 is best): 6
Energy (10 is best): 4
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 3


Jessica said...

Happy Birthday, Alyson! My 32nd birthday is next week. I can really identify with your feelings. So glad your sleep quality is better. I spend more time in bed than out so I'll pay big bucks to be as comfy as possible!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Alyson!
I hope your 30's will be satisfactory one for you.

Rachel M

Treya said...

Hey Alyson. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

I hope your 30's are much different to your 20's. xx

That was a very thoughtful birthday present from your parents. I just got some new pillows, which are so comfy. Last night every time I woke up, I just thought "how cosy & comfy these pillows are".

Joanne said...

A belated Happy Birthday.

I am pleased to hear what you had for your birthday. Quality sleep is the best possible medicine when our bodies are fighting infection bacterial or viral.

For many years I put two thick duvets on my bed because of the pain in my joints especially my hips.

Actualy changing the bed took hours but the quality of sleep did help so it was worth it. I guess what you did would be even better.

Now I just have one duvet on the matress as my hips are much better but when I sleep on a hard bed elsewhere I realise I still have residual symptoms probably why when I stop antibiotics symptoms still flare.

I wish you many more comfortable nights rest.

Lori said...

Happy birthday! I'm glad you got such a comfy birthday present.

I got one for my daughter's bed (she has cfs) this year along with a feather topper and she LOVES it. Then I got one for the guest bed too. Those things rock!

Take care,

Jo said...

Happy Birthday to you! As you get older the path gets narrower, but the view gets wider.

It will get better, I promise.

p1nkg0dess said...

Happy Birthday! I hope the coming year is filled with energy and healthfullness and love and laughter for you! (I love my foam mattress, it's the best! Glad to hear it's helped your sleep!)

alyson said...

Wow! Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone! They gave me a big smile. :) Feeling the birthday love...