Time Away... {July 2o15}

Yes I know it's September & this post is basically two months overdue & I'm really not sure why it's taken me so long to actually write this one, especially since I've written other posts over the past month or so.  But anyways, I'd thought I'd just post some pictures & give you a quick overview of how I got this year when I attended my Annual Regional Convention in Manchester.  I'm a Jehovah's Witness, for those that don't know.
I haven't been away anywhere since last years convention & although I've been seeing small improvements over the year, this was going to be a good test of how far I've come since last year & what I can now manage compared with last year.
If you want to read up on how I got on at last years convention to compare (though this isn't going to be as detailed), then you can that by simply clicking the links below:

Going Away Part 1: Planning & Packing

Going Away Part 2: Reality
Most of this trip was the same as last year, the planning & preparing was very much the same.  I spent sometime the weekend before making a list of all the main things I needed to take, this included planning & trying on outfits for each day. I did however, forget a couple of essentials, which my lovely Dad, brought with him on the Friday. Sometimes even lists can't save you from a bad memory & brain fog! The things I forgot were on the list & actually my travel comfort essentials so I have no idea how I managed to forget them in the first place.
Even though I wasn't travelling to Manchester until Thursday afternoon, I started packing Tuesday.  I did this for two reasons:
1) Because getting the packing done as soon as you're able means more time to rest before you have to set off. Packing earlier is definitely a benefit for the Chronically ill.
2) I was heading to Leeds for a round of treatment on Wednesday so lost a packing day.
Last year I had plenty of rest leading up to the convention, but this year I didn't rest as much as I maybe should have, so by the time I arrived at my lovely hotel, I was very ready for food & bed!
Friday morning was the start of the convention, this was a rest morning for me as I woke up feeling pretty rough.  I got ready slowly & had a good rest ready for going across to the arena.  I did take my crutches with me as a "just in case/backup" but I wanted to see what I was able to manage without them, so I didn't use them.

Friday afternoon went well, I was, of course exhausted but I felt my concentration was good & I managed to make notes on the talks.  Once the program was finished, I slowly headed back to the hotel for a shower, room service & bed.

Last year Saturday morning was a rest day but this year I decided to do the full day at the arena.  So I got up early & slowly got myself ready.  Thankfully the hotel was kind enough to allow my mum to bring my breakfast to my room so I could save some needed energy by not having to go downstairs to eat.

Saturday went well overall, I took notes most of the day. There were parts of the programme that I didn't feel I needed to take notes for, so I was able to rest my hands from typing. Apart from one short walk at Lunch time, I stayed in my seat.  This was more out of necessity, than want. I would love to walk round & talk to everyone but I simple do not have the energy to that & get through the programme.  So I was absolutely over joyed when one of my Instagram followers came & found me in the morning before the programme started! It was so nice to finally meet her & have a nice chat & it meant I'd made a new friend without even leaving my seat!

Again by the end of Saturday, I was ready to crawl into bed & rest. Mum had found some flavours of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream at a shop just down the round from the hotel, so we had a nice treat night while watching a little bit of TV (well I watched, she fell asleep! I was thankful when my best friend called me so I had someone to talk too haha)

Now Sunday...

The programme was great.  I, however, not so much. I got through that day on pray mostly. I took notes the best I could, I did this mainly to keep my mind focused & distracted from how rotten I felt & how that feeling was worsening as the day went on. But I made it through & I'm glad I did.  The run, yes RUN, back to the hotel finished me off though.

The clouds had decided to dump a months worth of rain onto Manchester, right at the time we were walking up to the hotel.  This resulted in my mum & I getting our cases & half unpacking in the hotel toilets to change into dry clothes.  So my fellow Spoonies can imagine exactly how I was feeling by the time my brother came to take us home!

Yes, okay, I may have felt like death by the time I got home but I managed to get through two full days compared to only one last year & without the help of my crutches. So I was very proud of myself for that & I somehow made it to a Specialist appointment on the Monday & to Leeds for much needed treatment on the Wednesday!

So yeah very proud!

I hope you're all well & taking care.

L x