Taking back control….

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Rising mistIts only October and so much has happened for me this year. I wrote in March about our cruise in South East Asia. This was followed by an account, in May, of my trip to Cadiz with eighty-two golfers from my home club. All enjoyable but all bringing challenges to manage levels of energy and wellness.

I kept writing during the summer, and played golf once a week. Still out of a buggy. The walking would be too much of an ask, I believe.

On May 2nd my wife and I started to do a fifteen-minute morning yoga practice with the help of a video. Our regular weekly class had ended for the summer. We continue with this routine to this day (over five months) and I find it very helpful in so many ways. Overall I am still stiff and sore when I wake each morning but the Yoga really stretches the muscles and gets me moving with ease. It has especially helped a problem I continued to have with neck pain and resultant headaches. A position called Garudasana (Eagle pose) has brought great relief to my neck muscles and virtually eliminated the continuous problems I had there. The terrible headaches have all but disappeared. I would recommend that anyone with similar problems try this yoga position over a couple of weeks.

My brother’s daughter (my niece) was getting married on Sept 1st in the West of Ireland. He is a photographer and is aware that I take pictures as a hobby. He asked me to do the photographs at her wedding. I was surprised, honoured and scared, for two reasons. One, could I do a good job and two, would I have the energy required to last from early morning until the “First Dance”?

I did the job and the results were excellent. He and they were delighted with the results. I was too. And although I was very tired, the adrenalin rush that accompanies such a situation seems to have kept me going. The following couple of days continued at a pace and I did pretty good in getting through everything. A few days later I made the mistake of editing the video my son had taken on the wedding. I must have spent four to five hours at the computer and while the end result was first class I was shattered. I was laid up for a couple of days and unable to do anything. Barely able to get out of bed.


I had hit “rock bottom” once again and I was reminded that it is not a nice place to be.



It took me over a week to recover and even at that I was still unable to do things I did previously with ease. Golf was out of the question for a few weeks and I found it impossible to concentrate on my writing. I suffered with some dreadful headaches. Eventually I got back in control and resumed my normal routine.


I joined a health and fitness club and now concentrate on swimming rather than Gym work. I used to do thirty minutes on a cross trainer followed by thirty minutes on weights. Now it’s thirty minutes in the pool followed by fifteen minutes enjoying the steam/sauna and jacuzzi facilities. The pool is twenty-five meters and I do roughly forty lengths (pace is about thirty seconds per length). I found I had to take breaks after every two lengths to get my breath. This was and still is a worry but I recently read some research from the UK that has identified this problem with CFS/ME patients. While it hasn’t provided a solution, it has eased my concerns somewhat. I have attached a link below.




In recent weeks I finished the novel I have been working on. About forty thousand words so far and with a few chapters on background to be completed it will come in at fifty five thousand words or thereabouts. It has been challenging and very rewarding to see it completed. I have been writing short stories but the idea of writing a novel was daunting. There were many times I felt like abandoning it but I stuck at it. Perhaps a symptom of CFS/ME. The brain telling you one thing while your heart and body is somewhere else. It all started in the library on a cruise ship in the South Asia seas. I hope to have it ready for January. Then it’s off to find a publisher!

A new anthology of short stories and poetry from my writing group will be published in the middle of November. I have two short stories included. A further achievement I am very proud of.



Deorade 1



In September, close friends of ours moved into their new home called DEORADE (the Irish for “tears of God” – Fuchsia). I decided to make a special picture using Fuchsia from my garden and a freezing technique I have developed. The result is shown in the picture attached.   Like me, they too were delighted with the result.







It’s only the middle of October and so much has happened this year. My son and his wife had a second son and we now have two beautiful grandchildren.


In the past I have suggested that if this were as good as I would be with recovery from CFS/ME, I would be happy with it. I now believe that I can make a full recovery and that I need to really believe that, as part of the process. There are so many times that my brain tells me “no, you can’t do that or you will be unwell”. When I start to swim, I struggle with the first couple of lengths but then feel stronger and more able with each length. Yes there are times when I have overdone it. Pushed too far. But I believe that full recovery will happen when I finally take back control of my body and my brain.

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