Best foot forward

At the age of 3, like many little girls, I started ballet class in the local church hall. At that age we didn’t do much more than skipping and galloping around the room. As I got older it got more serious, new ballet school and harder lessons, we did annual exams with the Royal Academy of Arts and 2 or 3 shows a year. Everything was going well until I had to give it all up due to a knee condition. I loved ballet, it was my life for 10 years and it was devastating when it ended as I had dreams of going to the Royal Ballet School.

Over the years I have found some adult ballet classes but they usually folded due to lack of interest. Dance is the only way I like to keep fit and in desperation I started going to line dancing lessons about 15 years ago. I went religiously every week and as a a group we even went on a few weekends away dedicated to line dance fun!

During my illness I haven’t been able to do any exercise as I suffered from post exertion malaise/fatigue. If I did anything remotely energetic, the next day I would be unable to move from my bed and all my worst CFS symptoms would be amplified.

So I was thrilled the weekend before last that I was able to do 4 line dances. I went back to visit my old group for a catch up and a gossip, I didn’t know any of the dances they were doing but my friend asked for 4 dances that I knew from the past. After dancing my legs felt like lead, but the next day I didn’t feel like I wanted to die and I was able to get out of my bed and move around normally. I was very tired by the afternoon though and needed a little nap.

Encouraged by this I have been on the hunt for another adult ballet class, if I take it very slowly and sit out when I need to I’m sure I can get my ballet groove back.¬†Darcy Bussell I won’t be, but maybe a bit fitter.

To sleep perchance to dream

For anyone sleep is very important for well being, but in illness good therapeutic sleep is essential for recovery. The most common symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome,(CFS), are fatigue and sleepiness especially during the day. But despite seeming to sleep a lot , a sufferer of CFS does not get therapeutic sleep and can suffer from insomnia.

During my illness I have found the fatigue and sleep problems very distressing. When I was able, I did a lot of research into ways of improving sleep at night and manage my fatigue and sleepiness during the day. Also quite a few years before I became ill I did a short course at Bristol University on sleep and dreams as I needed the information for an assignment for a nursing course, and I also found the subject fascinating.

Using my own experiences and the knowledge I have gained through this research, I am attempting to write an ebook on managing sleep problems associated with CFS and dream interpretation. I’m not sure if it’s a symptom of CFS or not but I have had some pretty wacky dreams. I have a couple of books on dream analysis and am forever trying to find the meaning in the ¬†sometimes weird dreams I have. Although they are not as weird as my friend Deb who lives next door, she has some real humdingers!

There are 2 dreams that I have had on a regular basis over a number of years and more frequently in the last 6 months or so. Firstly I dream about being pregnant, during the dream I feel pregnant and all that goes with it. I usually wake up just as I’m going into labour and when I wake up I feel very disappointed when I discover I’m not pregnant. The other dream usually involves me looking for a toilet to use and I can’t seem to find a nice private one to use and end up in a grotty communal loo with no doors.

According to my books the toilet dream means I’m uncertain about my future and the outcome to a particular situation. The pregnancy dream suggests a fairly protracted waiting period for something or completion of a project.

When we sleep our subconscious mind tries to make sense of what we have been doing and thinking consciously during the day. So my strange dreams are reflecting what is going on in my life at the moment, trying to get back to work and normal life and being impatient about it.