On Saturday night I went to a 50th birthday party with my husband. It was such a good night and I was glad I managed to go.

Actually to say it was a good night is an under-statement.

It was a marvellous night.

So much so that we arrived at 8.30 pm and stayed until 5.00 am ! At least that’s what I’m told, as my memory of the time is slightly hazy . . . .
Now I will just mention here that we were not the last to leave. There were a few others still there after us.

The hosts were very generous with wine, and numerous other drinks. Plus champagne. And a mouth-watering selection of food and desserts. They really had pushed the boat out to make it a fab night.

I enjoyed so many things about the evening :

  • Seeing and talking to friends I hadn’t seen for ages. (The closest friend there I hadn’t seen for over 12 months.)

  • There was such a nice, and mixed, crowd of people. Quite a few I had met before, and quite a few I hadn’t.

  • It was great chatting with new people too.

  • After midnight the Birthday Girl opened the presents and cards guests had brought along – and this was lovely. Such a warm part of the evening. And nice to be part of it.
    I actually felt a bit tearful at one point. (Good grief, I do need to get out more .)

  • It was nice to see my husband relaxing and enjoying himself too. He was well overdue some fun time.

The next day I had a well-deserved hangover. Just a nasty headache (and tired of course). But I couldn’t complain about this at all. As totally self-induced with wine and the very late night.
But it was worth it.

These nights don’t happen every week after all.

During the party there was one moment when I felt a wee bit sad though. But just very fleetingly.

It was during the present opening.

I counted 16 of us gathered round. All women, as the men had slunk off for more drinks and were milling around in the kitchen, hallway, etc.
Anyway at one point I was just watching and observing everyone – and enjoying being part of it.
But I briefly wondered if anyone else had to plan and weigh up so much stuff.
Just to be able to be there that night.

To explain :

I had to be very careful with what I did for two days before to give myself the best possible chance of having enough energy on the day.
This meant, crucially, avoiding doing any work as far as I could on Thursday and Friday. As this makes me pretty unwell some days.

But even with doing this, come Saturday my CFS was still making me struggle.

I had planned to have a shower very early in the day, as sometimes have needed hours to recover my strength after it.
A good plan, but it didn’t happen.
So I had the shower a bit later, still giving myself plenty of time.

But even after resting (again) for ages afterwards I had to accept I wasn’t going to be able to iron anything to wear. Or wear a bra, as my chest was still pounding and I still felt quite out of breath.
I have always hated bras anyway, but wearing one is totally out of the question when I feel like this.

So I was limited to wearing things that didn’t look too dreadful unironed. And a top that could be worn without a bra without being too obvious (if you know what I mean ?)
Then it had to be trousers, as I had no new tights.

So I ended up wearing black pinstripe trousers – as they didn’t need ironed. With a greenish top which unfortunately wasn’t plain, but had a swirly pattern – because it was the only one that didn’t need ironed. And could be worn without a bra.

Then it gets even worse.

I had no panties left to wear !
(Everything was in the washing basket as I haven’t been able to do any washings recently. And the last ones had gone in at the end of the day before.)
So I ended up wearing panties that were part of a bikini set I would have worn on holiday abroad maybe 7 years ago. And are now a size too small.
The bloody things were “pinching” me all night and I had to keep fighting the urge to adjust them . . .

Then I had my very overgrown hair to deal with.
(Not managed to the hairdressers for 15 months.)
But had no energy left to “do anything with it” . So took a hairband along in my bag – and did resort to putting it on later in the evening when I just couldn’t bear my messy (but clean) hair anymore.
And the colour of the hairband ? Leopard skin pattern . . .

So I didn’t quite look the way I’d have liked. Quite a mismatch of patterns.
But I hopefully managed to look reasonably ok. Fairly bright-eyed and clear skin.
Probably thanks to all the water I drink.

And I probably gave a pretty good impersonation of someone who didn’t have CFS. Helped by the adrenaline and excitement of just being there. Plus quite a lot of alcohol too I think.

But I wondered if anyone else had to take two days off work before the party just to be ok for it.
Or have such a struggle with basic stuff like clothes.
Or would possibly suffer from post-exertional exhaustion a day or two later as a result.
(Which I did on Easter Monday – and this is a totally different thing from a hangover. Was like wearing pyjamas made of lead and being drugged.)

But these thoughts only lasted about 30 seconds, as I was enjoying myself far too much to dwell on this.

I’m only adding this in to explain to any non-sufferers of CFS (or ME) reading that we may look fine – but it isn’t always easy.

And we often pay for it afterwards. ###

It was still a great night though.