I don't know about anyone else, but one of the things I've struggled with since M.E. decided to pay me a visit, is finding the very fine, almost infinitesimal , balance between trying to keep up some sort of level of activity and then not totally writing myself off for the next few days.
I try to get in a few 5-10 minute walks a week, and attempt to get out and about a bit more at the weekend. But I've been noticing that after the weekends it's guaranteed I will go straight back to square one again and spend Mondays and Tuesdays sleeping for the entire United Kingdom, never mind England.
Oh,and when I say I 'get out and about a bit more'? I'm not talking clubbing until the early hours or hiking up the nearest larger than average hill. No no, dear readers, I'm talking just about managing to walk to a local cafe for lunch or coffee (for local, read: approximately 7.5 minutes away from our abode, so, you know, practically on our doorstep), or gently ambling around our neighborhood enjoying the hazy winter sun.
Not exactly what you'd call strenuous really, but these little sojourns manage to leave me short on the ole' energy supplies for a good couple of days.
So it was with great interest that I read a news report, on the Bristol University website (link kindly sent to me by a friend), about a new app, aimed at targeting the problem of these 'boom and bust energy cycles' that many M.E. patients experience. The app has been developed by the University's School of Social and Community Medicine's Dr. Esther Crawley in conjunction with Indigo Multimedia, the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatics Diseases (RNHRD), and the Northern CFS/ME Clinical Network.
ActiveME©, in the words of its creators, Indigo Multimedia, helps patients track energy levels, shows energy patterns and helps patients plan their activities to achieve their baseline and then to safely increase levels of activity.
The app, which yesterday picked up the Innovation in Technology award at the NHS Innovations North Bright Ideas ceremony, allows M.E./CFS patients to keep tabs on their energy levels, see how they're expending their energy, and to email this data to their Consultants.
This is an excellent example of how smartphone technology can be harnessed and used to help patients dealing with chronic or long terms illnesses.
AcitiveME© is available to download from the iTunes store for £1.49. Which, I think, is a small price to pay for reducing 'payback' and breaking the seemingly inescapable cycle.
Roll on January, when I can get my hands on an iPhone (via network upgrade, not any nefarious means, you understand), and give it a go!