Archives for posts with tag: getting well

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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.

I was too sick most of yesterday to maintain any excitement about the car in my driveway. Actually, when I first woke up during day light hours and noticed it there from my vantage point at the kitchen sink, I initially wondered who was here, before realizing my error and remembering the car. lol

There was a point, during the later portion of something I am inclined to call “mid-morning” (although for me it is actually, most days, well into the day because I am such an early riser), when I did feel well enough and restlessly housebound enough to want very much to go… to the store? Somewhere. I wanted to go somewhere. To feel forward momentum. To be out of the house for a few minutes. To have a purpose and direction that had to do with any else than blowing my nose again, or making yet another cup of tea, or broth. So… to the store?

I made a short list. Put clothes on. Got into the car and then I got honest with myself. I was restless, ill, and bored, and I just wanted to drive the car. lol I didn’t need anything at the store. Certainly, I didn’t need to spend the money. I pulled out of the driveway with care, and pointed the car in the direction of rural roads. I drove around, through forests and meadows and farmland, contentedly counting on GPS to get me home once I’d satisfied my desire to drive the car and be out of the house a bit. I didn’t bother with the pretext of going to the store. About an hour into that, my sinuses started itching again, my nose started running, and I started really feeling ill again. I eyed the small pack of Kleenex in the console, half gone already. Time to head home. I got home grinning from ear to ear, feeling content, and also feeling tired, ill, and ready to go back to bed.

A point in time between day and night.

I pretty much slept the rest of the day and night, waking now and then only long enough to have some soup, or tea, or re-up on symptom relieving over-the-counter nostrums and use the bathroom. So it went for the rest of the day, all of the night, and until some short time before full daylight this morning. Aside from some volunteer time on Friday, and buying the car, this entire weekend has been blown by being sick. I am, on the other hand, also exceedingly well-rested. lol

I’m sipping my coffee this morning, still feeling a bit fussy, head still pretty stuffy, but pleased that it hasn’t seemed to move into my chest (yet), which is a good thing. My coffee tastes delicious. It’s iced and also seems very refreshing. This seems, to me, to be a clear sign of recovery. I enjoy the moment, and the flavor, and also notice the colossal pile of used tissues, on the floor next to my desk, where I’ve either missed the waste basket or more likely, from the shape of the pile, and its vastness, I simple filled the basket and continued tossing tissue that direction. lol I am mildly embarrassed at the awareness that there are likely piles just like this one next to every over-filled waste basket in each room I’ve occupied this weekend, that the ennui of illness caused me to overlook and ignore. Maybe I have it in me today to tidy up a bit? (I think I might; and clearly I am well enough to notice the untidiness at this point!)

I begin to form a plan, an approach, something gently constructive to do with what is left of the weekend. I remind myself I am still sick, and won’t finish a long list – so I make a short one. The things that will bug me most to come home to, tomorrow: do the dishes, take out the trash, water the garden… I think about adding more, and decide to just stop there. Do those three things, gently. If I’ve got more in me after that, well, it’ll be obvious enough what else needs to be done. 🙂 No need to force myself through a busy day needlessly, it’s still the weekend.

I finish my coffee. Roll out my yoga mat. I begin again.

 

Staying home yesterday was the right choice. The small amount of effort exerted happily tidying up the smallest bit, while my energy level was high in the early morning, completely wiped me out. Not a set back, specifically, but definitely a clear warning sign that I’m not yet well. By mid-day, symptoms like dizziness, and that infernal headache, had gone completely, and I didn’t need to sleep all day. (Yay!!) So… definitely feeling “better”…but… then, sometime later in the day, the coughing got going on this whole other unnecessarily annoying level…and then… ouch. The muscles supporting my ribs, along my sides, not quite around toward my back, definitely involved in coughing…and… definitely not ready for all of this coughing. Something sprung, or pinched, or tweaked, or… both sides, now, every cough, there’s also muscle pain sharp in my awareness, not quite to the torn muscle severity, but god damn it hurts when I cough. 😦 How the ever-loving-fuck do I avoid coughing as I recover from the fucking flu???

I went to bed. Slept… okay… ish. For most values of “sleep” and “okay”. I woke often. Drinking this much tea, water, coffee… it’s a given. So there’s that. And the coughing. And the pain. I so do not want to go to work today. I could get some shit done here, though… I’m up to that. So it isn’t really the work, itself, that I’m not up to at this point – it’s the environment. I’m not up to it, and it’s not really the appropriate place to bring all this fucking loud coughing. (I sound like I’m literally dying of some horrible disease of the respiratory system, it’s hard to listen to.) (Not only that, but sitting near me would also subject someone to listening to my damned lungs making percolating noises while I breathe. lol Again, not the picture of vibrant health one expects from a coworker, generally.) Nor do I wish to expose others to this (although I already have – and omg, I am so sorry!!). So… this morning, my coffee, the trip to the office to grab my laptop and back home to “go to work”. Like… double the commute. <sigh> Yes, but also… heated seats. My arthritic back does like some time on the heated seat. 🙂

I just want to be well. lol I wake up making childish bargains with the universe (“If you just let me get through today without… “) that never work out (because that’s not how life works). I’m managing to take decently good care of myself, and it was lovely waking up this morning to a tidy little place, a clean kitchen, a sense of order, and a fireplace ready for me when I want it. That was one bonus out of the day, yesterday; the landlord was on site doing winterization stuff around the duplex (and no doubt other locations in the area), and stopped in to turn on the pilot light for the gas fireplace. 😀 It was pretty nice to enjoy the evening in the glow of a merry little fire, then also just switch it off at bed time. I enjoyed it so much that before bed I put a sticky note on the switch that says “this too costs cash”. lol

Still sick. My coffee is good, though (and my sense of taste is returning). I’m decently well-rested in spite of the very interrupted night. I’m clearly in the process of “getting well”, it’s just taking rather longer than I’d like. It’s a good opportunity to bring the work laptop home, and get back to work, even if I am not ready to get back to the office… It’s just time to begin again. Slowly. With great care. 🙂

I spent much of yesterday quite sick. That seems to be mostly behind me now, and the morning starts easily. I woke gently, and with the alarm, feeling very much that I would sleep longer if it were not a work day. The morning has been thoroughly routine and rather nice.

Although I was quite ill yesterday with some dreadful stomach virus or another that has been going around, by the end of the evening, quite late, I was feeling some better. I was headed to bed at that point, but paused the end of day processes after turning off the lights, just to sit quietly enjoying the sound of rain, and the sound of the wind blowing. The earlier part of the evening doesn’t stand out for me at all, just the singularly peaceful, lovely, quiet moment there at the end. I sat for some time, relaxed, content, and satisfied with life and love, listening to the sounds of the world beyond the walls, and feeling night settle in. The apartment was dark, and I opened the patio blinds to silhouette the Giftmas tree in the evening light of the walk-way lamp just beyond the patio, twinkling off the raindrop gems that covered the patio door glass. I sat, quietly, for some long-ish while, breathing, being, and enjoying that quiet moment until I noticed I had shifted from meditation to drowsiness.

One day ends, another begins; life is good.

One day ends, another begins; life is good.

The day between the morning and the night was unremarkable aside from being quite sick. I took care of this fragile vessel as best I could, and got as much rest as being sick would allow, hoping to be over the worst of it today – which has worked out nicely; I am enough better to resume normal work, I think, which is appropriate to a Wednesday. An appointment on my calendar for today turns out to be for a later date; I had read the appointment notification incorrectly, and correct my calendar, pleased to have caught the error in advance. I sip my coffee contentedly, preparing for the day. Small successes add up. I don’t quite feel great, but I sure don’t feel bad.

Begin again.

Begin again.

Sometimes it is the smallest moments of joy, the small bits of progress, that carry the day; they grow large in my experience when I linger on them, savor them, and invest in them. It’s enough.