This past weekend I pushed hard...maybe harder than I have since first getting ME, and that includes the day in November I moved houses. The task for the weekend was supposed to be simple: re-seed a few bare patches of lawn. I figured I could do it without too much effort. I would simply pace myself and try to stay under my aerobic threshold, thereby avoiding post extertional malaise (PEM).
Never have I underestimated a task so much. Even as I sit here now, I can't figure out why the re-seeding job took so much time and effort. It just...did. But as so often happens, when I am actually engaged in a task, my body rises to the occasion, so it's easy to forget about the PEM that will surely follow in a day or two. What made it even easier to ignore the future consequences was that my two and a half year old daughter was "helping" me and I realized that these precious father-daughter bonding moments are rare.
(As I write now, I still feel fine—about at my baseline. I am waiting to see what price I pay.)
Around 4:30 p.m. I had finally finished the job and I went inside the house for a snack. I made a snack that I eat nearly every day: a simple CB&J (cashew butter & [scant] jelly) on "Paleo bread". But, man, did that sandwich taste good. It was as if I was eating a CB&J for the first time.
I had forgotten about how much better food tastes when one really works up an appetite through hard physical labor or exercise. It's as if the physical activity awakens dormant taste buds. That sandwich tasted so good I almost felt like weeping.
And then there was the matter of my sleep. I slept so deeply and soundly last night it felt like the whole night passed in 15 minutes. I miss that feeling too...