By way of a quick pre-amble, I’ve mostly just been busy with life and not writing. Trying to work in all the other things I’d like to do with each precious day… Meant to write last week, at least a couple times I started in that direction, got distracted with other things. I’d like to think it is a sign of overall emotional wellness and long-time healing that I don’t feel so compelled to write… but… more likely, it’s just hard to juggle all the things, and at least for now, the writing seems to most comfortably take a backseat in my list of priorities.

I’m sipping my coffee on a sunny summer morning in mid-July. I guess it’s probably an okay cup of coffee. It’s hot. I tested negative for COVID on a home test – twice, a couple days apart. I’m vaxxed. Boosted. I stay current on flu shots, too. I’m still sick. I traveled to Seattle to meet with colleagues from global locations. There’s always risk of contagion involved in such things – and that was equally true before the pandemic as it is during. Head colds. Flu. Norovirus. Legionnaire’s. These human bodies are vulnerable to attack from viruses and microbes. Not much to do about that besides limit the risk, where possible.

…I knew the overbooked meeting space was risky…

By the last night in Seattle last week, I knew I’d come down with something. I’d hoped it would turn out to be some minor head cold. I’m now enduring day 5 of some serious “ick”, possibly the flu. I mean, it could be worse, though, right? I’m mostly pretty able to care for myself. My Traveling Partner is here, too, looking after me with his special brand of loving care. I’m grateful. I’m also sick and fatigued with poor quality sleep and the ongoing struggle to breathe comfortably. My hopes for “just a cold” evaporated when this shit moved from my sinuses into my lungs. Fucking hell. My voice comes and goes, and is froggy and strained when I have the use of it. My sinuses are still draining gross crap into a seeming endless quantity of tissues. The cough is painful. My breathing sounds like I’m keeping tiny tea kettles and doggie squeeze toys hidden in my shirt. I’m fussy and have a short fuse. I want to sleep, but it’s harder to breathe when I lay down, with the result that my brain keeps me on high alert, preventing me from falling asleep. I’ve been dozing off during the night, for an hour here or there, waking to lay waste to more tissues, or have a cup of hot tea, or… cry. Yeah. Weirdly, this particular sickness has specifically hit me hard in the emotional resilience places. I’m easily frustrated. Easily moved to tears. I can’t be easy to be around right now.

…My Traveling Partner, doing his best to care for me and see to my needs when he can, makes it super clear I am very difficult to be around right now. He’s obviously trying to help. He’s obviously frustrated with me being ill. Signs of his enduring affection and love are all around me here at home. I focus on those, and not on his very human frustration with (and worry over) me being so sick.

…I’m very sick. Legit. Rare for me to be so sick. It’s not the sort of “drive to the ER” kind of thing COVID can be. I’m just sick. And miserable with it. And tired.

I think I am starting to get over it? Maybe? Yesterday I had enough reserved to water the garden. I had enough appetite to eat something besides chicken broth. Last night I slept – almost through the night, waking only twice, and not for very long. The cough is worse today. I feel weak and dizzy. I gave up on work after a couple hours this morning, after thinking I could potentially work half the day. I’m drenched in sweat and I’d just fucking go back to bed, except that laying down just means listening to myself wheeze and whistle while struggling to breathe, and I don’t feel like it. I also don’t “feel like” doing anything else. At all.

…Trust me, I’m being a complete fucking child about being sick right now. I hate being sick…

I had planned to return to Seattle next week. I’ve canceled that trip. No way I’ll really be well enough to undertake the effort, and may even present a health risk to others if I travel. I’d rather not spread this around the community, certainly I don’t wish to take it to another city in another state. I’ve got camping planned for week after next… from this vantage point, I don’t see that happening, either. Camping isn’t fun at all if I’m even a little sick or run down. I need my reserves to be at 100% for that kind of activity. I’m trying not to become prematurely disappointed – there’s a limited chance I’ll be up for it by then. Maybe.

I’m eager to get over this shit and begin again!