Archives for category: health

Strange day. Quiet, slightly sad “celebration” of moments, as I packed up all the Giftmas decor and put it away for the year. Uneventful. Fairly routine. It’s been a generally pleasant day spent on “endings”; most new beginnings are preceded by an end of some sort. It’s a thing.

I feel a certain heaviness and sense of ennui. I’m a little bit blue. I’m okay – and even okay with my emotional weather. It’ll pass.

It’s a gray, vaguely wintry day, chilly without quite being cold. Cold enough to be unpleasant to stand around outside. Nonetheless, I did spend some minutes outside on the deck, puzzling over rebuilding my garden after the scorching and neglectful summer. I fed the squirrels. Tidied up a bit.

The afternoon has turned quite gray and dismal, but I’m not certain that’s truly the weather, today, or just the weather I’ve brought along, subjectively. I would nap, but I’m not tired. lol I feel preoccupied, and also lacking in content. Or contentment. So human. As I adjusted the lighting more for evening, I firmly and purposefully (without intention) stubbed my toe on the floor lamp (has a foot switch) that I broke my toe, shearing much of the nail from the nail bed. I created some brand new obscenities for the occasion, never before uttered. lol It is still painful and throbbing some hour later, and has turned a rather amazing shade of deep violet, almost black.

My foot is cold from the ice pack resting on it. I consider the fragility of toes, and how amazing it is that so often we can still walk on the affected foot, even put weight on it. I guess, easily breakable toes are less bothersome or deadly, if one can still get around on them.

I continue to sit with my elevated foot, iced, laptop precariously balanced on my knees. The foot isn’t hurting so much now. Now it is more obvious that the impact also jarred my (bad) ankle. Shit. That’s likely to hurt more longer. I let go of worrying about it; it doesn’t help with anything. I give the evening ahead some thought, and begin again. πŸ™‚

Sipping coffee, thinking about self-care, reflecting on visits with friends and weekends when my Traveling Partner is here at home. I smile, a deep, lasting, crease-this-face-permanently sort of smile when I think about his time here in terms of his being “here at home”. Damn, that feels nice. πŸ™‚

Words matter. Our narrative matters (to us). How we phrase things, the context in which we put things, the assumptions we allow to live in our thinking – all of that matters, because all of it colors our day-to-day experience over time. We’ve got so much control over that it can literally change our experience of living our lives to change the way we understand and think about pieces of that experience – even without changing the underlying facts of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Interesting. Promising.

I enjoy a few minutes of conversation, mixed in with my morning writing. I lose the flow of my thoughts, while gaining a feeling of being connected, supported, understood, recognized, and well-regarded. It’s hard to call that a poor trade-off. πŸ™‚

It’s the winter holiday season. There’s a lot going on right now. I meditate more, and more often, but easily lose track of basic self-care practices (including meditation) in the excitement of time spent with loved ones, the busy-ness of the season, the flurry of social events, and yeah – colored lights reflected off of ornaments and objects that I only see for this handful of weeks, each year. lol It’s an important time to also keep self-care well-managed; mistakes in this area can result in all manner of weird holiday drama (that is actually so very common). It’s easy to overlook ourselves in the rush to do things for others; taking care of ourselves, though, fuels our ability to care for others.

Hey, reminder, in case anyone’s forgotten, the self-care I’m referring to when I say “caring for ourselves” is not about buying ourselves things, keeping things for ourselves, getting loaded on exotic intoxicants, or selfishly hoarding time, goods, money, or our presence. I’m talking about getting the rest we need, taking care of our basic hygiene skillfully, eating nutritionally dense calorie appropriate meals, taking medication on time, and creating an emotionally nurturing internal world view that is so inclusive we are even able to love and appreciate that human being in the mirror, while also extending our compassion, empathy, and kindness to others. Fuck. That’s a lot to take in.

Are you taking care of yourself? Drinking enough water? Getting enough rest? Spending some time walking in the sunshine and fresh air? Eating healthy meals prepared from safe, nutritious ingredients? Laughing? Enjoying the company of those dear to you? Limiting your work hours so that you also enjoy some leisure? Seriously – someone cares about you (and, one of those someone’s is ideally you, I’m just saying…) so take care. Please. πŸ™‚

Oh, hey, will you look at the time? Already time to begin again. I’ll start with self-care. Will you? (Please?)

Gentle commute. Quiet evening. It has taken some time and rather a lot of hot broth, but worth the result – for some moments to come, my raw throat and trachea are just a little less raw. The cough has, for now, subsided. I am at ease, neither anxious nor excited. I… feel okay. I mean, other than being still a bit less than ideally well. I feel… better. I definitely feel better. Better is enough.

That got me smiling. Just the recognition of “enough” in real-time, I mean. It’s a nice feeling. Subtle. Hard to easily describe. It’s a feeling with nuance and depth. Something like “appreciation” and something like “satisfaction”, but honestlyΒ  very much its own feeling. “Enough”. Sufficiency.

Fuck, I am so glad I’m not chasing more/better/faster all the damned time, anymore. That shit was exhausting, and I wasn’t even getting ahead. Pointless wasted effort. Especially pointless because, at the time, I wasn’t learning anything from it. I had to pay someone and take some time to have someone else point it out to me. lol I’m pretty ordinarily human in every respect.

I finish off another cup of delicious chicken broth. My throat and trachea thank me. I consider having yet another. It just feels super good to pour hot brothy liquid down my throat again and again. I smirk at myself, recognizing the moment that “enough” becomes “not enough” and the temptation to chase a sensation rears its head, however briefly. So human.

I sit quietly awhile, contemplating what it is to be human.

I spent yesterday focused on self-care. I slept a lot. I also canceled prior plans, rather than expose friends to yet another opportunity to get sick. I drank water. I sipped broth. I soaked in a warm bath. I enjoyed a hot shower. I took a small amount of symptom relieving medication. I ate soup. I stayed home. It was all very dull. I was still sick enough that my most notable companion was the cough that developed during the week. I couldn’t focus very well, and reading just put me to sleep over and over again; sleep was likely what I needed most, anyway.

I slept like hell last night, waking around 1 am, coughing. I was up with that awhile until it settled down, and the next round of symptom relievers kicked in. I went back to bed, and slept badly awhile longer. I woke slowly around 8:00 am, which could have been sleeping in, if I hadn’t been up for 3 hours during the night, coughing.

…So far, I’m not coughing much this morning. This is a sign of real progress. I’m not “over it” yet, so today is a day to continuously remind myself not to “over do it”. The upcoming work week is a short one, and I can’t afford to lose even an hour of productive work time. I feel annoyed to catch myself balancing the needs of my employer against my own, as I consider the upcoming week, but this, too, is a sign of slow recovery. I may be properly well in time for Thanksgiving. I frown when the thought crosses my mind that if I’m not well, I should stay home from that holiday event, and let friends and fam enjoy it without me, rather than risk getting them sick. The thought of doing so saddens me, though it would certainly not be the first time I ditched on a holiday rather than get people sick. I really try not to share contagion.

I look around me this morning, and another sign of wellness as it returns to me is that I am very much aware (and self-conscious about) the disorder that has crept in all around while I have been too sick to care much about any of that. The dishwasher has clean dishes in it left from the last time I ran it, and there are dirty dishes covering the counter by the sink. All the soup mugs and most coffee mugs, many of the glasses, then the bowls, all of the flatware… I am annoyed by the disarray, although I don’t give myself any shit about it; I’ve been sick, it’s to be expected. In the bedroom, the general sense of order is lost to the visual chaos of piles of laundry here and there on the floor, obviously not sorted, just… clothes left where I dropped them. The vanity counter mocked me with the untidy display of cold remedies, an empty tissue box, and the earrings I was wearing when I came home from work early last Tuesday. This is unquestionably the worst my residence has looked… since the last time I was quite sick. This was supposed to be a weekend to clean house, bake for the upcoming holiday, and get some downtime, instead I’ll spend it attempting to prevent myself from “over doing it” on all the shit around me that clearly wants to get done, because if I throw myself into the matter energetically, without mindful self-care, and an awareness that I’ve been quite sick for several days, I’ll find myself exhausted and miserable tomorrow, and possible sicken myself all over again for the week to come.

Adulting is hard. lol

I start a load of laundry, as I head to the shower. No problem with the water pressure, and the load in the wash is cold-water wash, so no concern about cheating myself of hot water. It’s a time management win that doesn’t add a ton of additional effort to my experience. From the shower to the kitchen. Dishes now? Dishes later?

Coffee. Coffee first.

I sit down with a notepad and make notes instead of rushing into a ton of verbs without any organization at all; I’ve probably only got so much energy in me, today. Self-care has to stay at the top of my list. So… I put it there.

There’s something about a list on paper that just works for me.

I sip my coffee and consider what matters most, and start there. Obvious stuff, mostly: do the dishes, put them away, do laundry (already started), and put that away, too, take out the trash, break down the recycling and take that out, too. I stop there. I sip my coffee and stare out at the deck awhile. “Peanuts”, I think, as I watch the leaves shift in the wind beyond the sliding glass door, “I’m almost out of peanuts for the squirrels.” I add “get peanuts” to the list, and then, “get gas”. It’s enough. Could I do more? No idea, yet. This will be enough, though, and even gets me out of the house briefly. I consider whether to visit a local market, too; it would be a pleasant outing, and it is perhaps encouraging of further wellness, just that I am interested in considering the excursion. I make that one a maybe, and finish my coffee.

Pacing myself doesn’t really come very naturally to me. I grew up in a sort of “do something, even if it isn’t right” culture of taking action and initiative. Those aggressive cycles of activity and exhaustion make planning and following through on plans more difficult, though, and taking the approach that action comes ahead of thoughtful decision-making got me (someone with a dis-inhibiting executive function impairing brain injury) into way more trouble than it was worth! It’s not my way, these days. I follow a path of consideration and planning, and reliably careful execution, tempered with comfortable adaptability when plans fail. (My results vary.) Plans do fail. That’s just real. πŸ™‚ No point taking that shit personally. Panic and drama are not welcome.

The wind is blowing furiously today. I watch the leaves skitter across the deck, even being lifted from the damp pile of reds and golds back into the air to twirl and drift back down. Autumn. I do love this season. It is my favorite. I’m tempted to take a short hike today. I correct myself to consider only a short walk, instead. Even that might be a bit of a stretch. I sigh quietly; it’s hard to pace myself. The moment I begin feeling better I want to race out into the world in a flurry of activity. It’s a poor choice. I lead my thoughts back to my list, and my more modest plan for the day. It’ll still be autumn next weekend. πŸ™‚

I finish my coffee, and prepare to begin again. The day unfolds ahead of me, built on a gentle plan, and my reminder that self-care is still my highest priority.

Well, I got through the work week, more or less, which is to say, it’s over now. So…okay. I’m still sick. Sicker than makes for a comfortable experience out in the world – and I don’t actually want to share this crud with some innocent bystander, child, parent, or not-further-identified human being. I just don’t; it’s shitty. I may still need to venture out into the world, just to restore depleted soup, broth, or symptom relief supplies. I don’t really want to. I showered. I got dressed. I’m sitting trying to recall what, if anything, I actually need outside these walls. I’m sure there’s something…

…I’m actually too sick for going out. That’s the wholesome truth of it. I have other options. I could order what I need to be delivered, at a modest additional cost. I can’t recall that I actually need anything, right now, even though the list was growing ever longer in my head as I was working. Instead, I took time to do what was really on my mind, and handled all the payday things that were also on my mind, and tidied up the budget, looked over what I can and can’t sustain with current resources and expenses. Funny… the upcoming holidays would generally be on my mind by now. That’s not the case this year. I shrug it off, unconcerned. I’m sick, and this amount of malaise and ennui are pretty typical for me. No appetite. Not for food, or for fun.

I sit here glaring into the insulting cold dregs of my morning coffee with a combination of disinterest and frustration; I’d like more hot liquid things to pour down my raw throat. I don’t have it in me to make the effort. I should go back to bed, and it’s about the only thing I really want to do, only… I also really don’t want to. I want to be well, but that’s not exactly an “on demand” sort of situation. I’ve got to get finished with being sick, first.

I try to organize my thoughts more skillfully. I fail. Being sick affects even my ability to reason clearly. It sucks. I don’t even feel like reading a book, or writing, or … anything. Hell, I don’t even feel like mustering the energy it will take to move from this spot, undress, and wrap myself in blankets to slumber awhile. I ache all over. I’m both fatigued and bored – and I’m rarely bored, ever. I’m a little stir crazy from being “cooped up” since Tuesday, perhaps. My head aches. Why am I even arguing the point with myself, like a child? It’s clearly nap time. lol

I contemplate the matter further, sorting out my thoughts, before I amble off in the direction of my bed. I haven’t got it in my to rush, but I am reluctant to walk away from this seat by a window; the sun has come out. It doesn’t warm me; it’s a chilly autumn morning. Still nice to see. I sit quietly for a few moments, until I catch myself dozing off in my office chair. Yeah… it’s nap time.

I can begin again a bit later… πŸ˜‰