Back when I was healthy, I used to do interval training. This is where you exercise as hard as you possibly can for a fixed amount of time and then drop to a low intensity for the same amount of time. It makes you feel like you are going to drop dead of a heart attack but it is very effective at increasing lung capacity and cardiac capacity. I used to do one minute intervals on a rowing machine.
CFS crash recovery reminds me of interval training. For every 30 minutes of light activity I have to lie down in a quiet shady spot for 30 minutes. This allows me to get things done without causing my symptoms to worsen. Activity is cumulative when it comes to crashes. Unless you allow yourself to return to baseline, it can quickly become a downward spiral.
I was fighting this crash. Mostly because I was doing so well prior. I assumed that I would recover in a couple of days and go back to having tons of energy. I pouted. I railed. And yesterday, after some crying, I accepted that this was going to be a prolonged crash and that I needed to start CFS interval training.
Today, each time I got the least bit brain foggy or tired, I went and laid down in a quiet spot. I never slept but would close my eyes and empty my mind. I would just shut off for a bit. After a while my eyes would open and a while later I would get restless and start fussing. Time to get up again. So my day went: breakfast, rest, dinner prep, rest, dress, rest, paperwork, rest and so on. My rhythm turned out to be 20-30mins on and 30 mins off. Paperwork causing brain fuzz much faster than physical work which I found surprisingly odd.
So, I'm plodding through my LTD paperwork. I got quite a bit done today. I had decided not to stress out over it and not to set any goals. With the intervals, I managed to get out three faxes, two emails and a letter all requesting medical records. I also managed to fill out four forms which are always extremely hard and taxing for me mentally. I also made a wonderful crockpot chicken dinner, scrambled eggs and sausage breakfast and managed to get dressed. WOOT!!
You can't deny that this method works. I'm slightly fogged tonight but I'm not the headbobbing incoherent mess that I was yesterday or the day before. So it looks like CFS interval training for me for the foreseeable future. I would love to say this crash will end soon but there is just no way to predict things with this illness and this is definitely a prolonged crash.
BTW, today is my last day on Xifaxin, an antibiotic. Tomorrow I load up on probiotics. I'll probably start my day with a large glass of clay to help flush stuff out. By tomorrow night, I'll be eating fermented pickles, beets, cabbage, and maybe some yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. One of the food bloggers I follow call kraut, kefir and kombucha the trifecta of ferments. She believes they will cure anything. Here's hoping!!