I thought I was getting sick again. For two days.
Part of the long road to recovery is the paranoia, that if you sneeze once, that’s the bad omen and it’s all downhill from there. You don’t have the luxury of tuning out ordinary little aches and pains.
My eyes were really itchy again, which had been my first sign that I was getting sick with COVID. I used saline solution, but the next morning they were still at it. Made hubby go out and get me some Claritin, which worked almost immediately. Two days feeling irritable and low energy. Then my lungs started burning again, not anywhere near as bad as before, but not a great feeling.
All you do in a situation like that is rack your brain, spinning over and over like a bad dream. Where did I go?? How did I mess up?? When did this happen??
Took Mucinex at bedtime and again the next morning.
Then... I was fine! Maybe it *was* just allergies this time, after all! Or maybe this is just how my body reacts now to pollen, mold, dust, or any other minor irritant.
Reading back over my report from just a week ago, it is stunning to me how LONG these weeks are. Last week, I was complaining that I got light-headed and sort of collapsed onto a chair.
That was new, and possibly a weird glitch?
But then it happened every day for nearly another week. I was also still getting the vertigo, a distinct feeling that, to me, seems unrelated.
I reported that I went down to the garage, walked laps for half an hour, and came back feeling great.
The entire next day I was so washed out I had to take a nap, and didn’t have the energy to do much of anything at all.
The next time I tried it, I made it about 15 minutes and got so hot and tired I quit. By the time I had made it back upstairs I was fighting a wave of nausea. I’ve heard of runner friends hitting this particular wall after distance races, but I never did (because I am very slow). Imagine walking slowly for 15 minutes hitting your body the way a 10-mile run might.
That was the end of that plan. I realized that, as usual, it was too soon. I wasn’t ready. I was pushing too hard.
It is hard to express the restlessness, the frustration and boredom that I feel every time I realize that the least little thing is still outside my physical abilities for at least another week. My stamina is... I don’t want to be rude to my own body but it’s like a limp white celery stalk from the bottom of the crisper.
The good news is that I have at least been able to contribute a bit around the household.
I’VE BEEN WELL ENOUGH TO COOK!
This weekend I made Fancy Breakfast, something I used to do every Saturday and Sunday without a second thought. From today’s perspective, it’s actually quite a workout: I have to get out two pans and the toaster, and I have to reach things from the fridge, freezer, two drawers, and the cabinet above the stove! Whew! Then there’s the timing, trying to get three items ready on the stove at the same time while making sure the toast is still hot.
Ahh, I still got it
I’ve also been taking my turn to cook dinner!
This is a seriously big deal. It had been well over a month since I had cooked anything; I had barely graduated to fixing my own instant oatmeal and occasionally making my own sandwich for lunch. My poor hubby had to do everything and sometimes go back to his desk afterward, finishing his day around 10 pm.
But now... I can chop up a cauliflower! I HELPING
I’ve also started slowly doing a few chores here and there. One per day. For instance, one day I might scour the bathroom sink. Another day I might sort the laundry and then lie down for a while. I finally figured out that I don’t have to spend 12 minutes scrubbing the entire shower area. I divided it into six wall sections plus the tub. Right now I actually have 2-5 minutes in me.
This is my fitness plan, at least for now. A year ago, I could do a four-hour promotion in Krav Maga or Muay Thai and then ride my bike uphill for two miles. Now, I can’t even walk slowly for fifteen minutes... It’s going to be a slow journey, but I’m going to get it back. In five-minute increments.
It helps to think of these efforts not as “chores” or “housework” but as regaining my health and feeling like myself again. Every time I’m able to finish a little job like unloading the dishwasher all by myself, I have a few minutes to feel normal.
It’s helping me remember who I am.
Tightly wound, restless, maybe a little hyperactive, bustling around cleaning everything and testing recipes while listening to an audio book on triple speed.
Right now I’m the 0.5x version of that lady.
Two milestones today:
This is where I am after six weeks. Proud of myself for making dinner and emptying the dishwasher. Finally beginning to tackle the backlog of correspondence that built up while my brain was packed up in a box. The old me could have done all of this *while* fixing dinner and barely noticed.
Today, there is nothing wrong with me. Today, I don’t have vertigo. Today, my legs didn’t give out. Today, I didn’t have a headache or itchy eyes or chest pain or heart palpitations or burning lungs or anything. Today, I got up and did a few things and it was okay.
Tomorrow, maybe, the laundry.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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