Sunday, October 18, 2020

Paranoia

Now that we are more than six months into this 'stupid' pandemic, the proverbial 'they' say that more people are suffering with pandemic fatigue than anything else. Basically we are fatigued with this pandemic.

I have sort of been ignoring the damn pandemic because I don't have that much of a life anyway. But I have been following the rules and trying to live my life without driving myself or my husband crazy.

And then....

I got a cold. And paranoia set in. 

Is it Covid? I took my temperature, 99 point something (which is on the high side for me because usually I am around 97 point something). I think not bad, I'll take a tylenol. And stay in bed, have soup, and watch lots of bad TV. 

Then I start thinking: where have I been in the last 14 days? Too many places. If I have Covid, will I be branded as a 'bad' person for the rest of this damn pandemic because I went lots of places in the last 14 days? I must be a horrible person for doing all that 'traveling' and exposes all sorts of people to my germs.

Then my next thought is "I went to the grocery store (a real swamp of germs that late in the day) Thursday afternoon and probably got exposed to someone's non-Covid cold". Presto, with my immunocompromised body, I started showing symptoms within 24 hours. 

So of course I posted on 'height' of social sharing, Facebook, that I had a cold during a pandemic. An amazing number of people actually read my post and many of them told me to get tested. 

So I started thinking more. If I do have Covid, I will probably die from it because I am so immunocompromised. So more paranoia. Will I die from this stupid virus? Not a good thing. 

Thus, I put in more deep thoughts and contacted a local clinic to see if I meet the criteria of needing a Covid test. I put in my symptoms on line. I spoke with a person who asked more questions. Finally I spoke with a doctor. His reply at the end of more questions (have I lost sense of smell or taste?), it is my choice to get a test or not. 

I'm going to get a Covid test. I really doubt it is Covid because it just feels like another cold to me. But because of my concerned friends and my personal paranoia (and the fact I really am not interesting in dying), I am getting tested now. Results in 24 or so hours....

Monday, October 5, 2020

Trying Something New

 So as you know I am not a very healthy person. In fact, I might be one of the least healthy people on the planet who is still alive. 

In late 2008, I started experiencing back pain. As usual I ignored it for several months, until I realized that I was living on tylenol and advil. That sent me to my doctor, who sent me to a orthopedic guy, who took xrays, and told me a bunch of different things. He also gave me some drugs and sent me for PT. But I still had a lot of pain. Eventually I ended up at a pain management doctor. 

Sometime in there, I thought, maybe I should try pilates or yoga to help my back. My pain management doctor told me no. So I listened to him and didn't try either. 

A few years later, I got sick of him just changing my meds with out telling me why so I got a new pain management doctor who communicates with me. I have learned over the years, that things that I should not do include twisting my back and standing for too long. I feel comfortable with living without twisting my back and standing too long.

I went to a good gym for close to ten years. I got a lot of flexibility and strength out of that. Then along came this (stupid) pandemic and the gym closed. I am not going back to the gym even though I could. Too many people breathing hard and I am immunosuppressed so I am very susceptible.

When the pandemic started, I took my mother's exercise bicycle and started riding it for an hour 3 times a week, just as if I was going to the gym 3 times a week. But I wanted some other types of exercise for core strength and flexibility. 

I have a knitting group at a cancer support center which went completely remote in March. They offer yoga classes. Last week I got the new schedule for events at the cancer support center and decided its time. 

I signed up for yoga. I actually signed up for two yoga classes each week for a month. Yep. I did it. The first class was this morning. I made a point to get on early so that I could talk to the instructor and tell her I can't twist my back or stand for too long. She said that was fine and to do what I could. I skipped all the twisty stuff. I think I did okay. I mean I tried. I didn't twist.

I just have to wait to see how I feel tomorrow to see if I can move. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Damn Cough

At the end of February, before Covid, I sat next to someone who told me she was fighting a cold. Well I got that cold for the next week. I then had a basic cold for a week since I am immunosuppressed. (I did not have Covid symptoms of lack of smell, fever, body aches, sore throat, or trouble breathing, etc) I felt like crap, spent a lot of time in bed, but I had to plan and go to my mother's celebration of life which I did. I finally felt better after about 9 days. 
But I had a cough afterwards. It would mostly bother me at night. And it still does. That is nearly 5 months later. I still have a cough.
It is annoying me. It annoys me enough normally I would call my primary care doctor and go to see her. But with this current Covid stuff, I am concerned.
What if the cough is a follow up from Covid that I had without knowing back then? I am petrified that will be the case. I mean what if my doctor wants one of those nasal swabs that tickle your tonsils? For some reason this really terrifies me for some reason.
The rational side of me says that it was not Covid because I hadn't traveled. No one I know has traveled. The group of people I was with are people dealing with cancer. I know that it was very early in the Covid era - before it was spreading around. So the chances it was Covid are very small.
But the damn cough is really annoying me. I get up most nights to take some guafeisin so I can sleep. So the rational side of me tells me I need to call my doctor. I promise I will this week.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Cancelled Due to Pandemic

Life as we know it has been on hold for a while. Like since early March. Everything has been cancelled due to the pandemic. We are sick of it. But some of us still get sick. Now the doctors are concerned that people who are getting sick aren't going to the ERs when they should due to fear of Covid-19. This is a real problem. If you need medical care, you should go get it. 
Unless you are me. None of my doctors want to see me because I am immunosuppressed. I thought I was immunosuppressed due to my RA treatment but the doctor I spoke with today told me that its something about having RA (and some other ailment that I can't remember - maybe Lupus) screws with your immune system so you are super immunosuppressed. How wonderful. 
I am feeling neglected by my doctors in some ways. I haven't seen a doctor in months - a very unusual event for me - other than by video or over the phone. I haven't had any of my regular blood work - I usually have RA blood work done every 6-8 weeks, thyroid bloodwork every 6 months, and fasting bloodwork was due in May. No one is concerned about my missing blood work either.
And it would be wonderful if my pain management doctor would schedule me for steroid injections to help with my back. But I sent him a message a few days ago and I haven't heard from him. That would be nice but that would mean going to the hospital where no one wants to see me. 
So I am going to hang on to my medical schedule and hope it doesn't get cancelled due to the pandemic too.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Okay, (I Wish) That's Enough Quarantining

But its not enough. We need more quarantine. We still have lots of people getting sick with Covid-19. But now they are in new places than before. So areas that thought they had escaped the Evil C-19 are now finding that they did not escape and are seeing huge upticks in positive results. 
Yes there is the mentality of "close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears and it will go away" as Anderson Cooper stated earlier this month regarding the Trump administration's statement to stop testing so we don't get anhy more positive results.
I get that. If I could I would close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears and erase my entire medical history. But I can't. And Trump can't. (But this is not a political blog so I am going to shut up on that one for now.)
The point is we are all really sick of this pandemic quarantining. We want to do normal things - like go out to dinner, go shopping for new summer clothes, or send children back to school. But we still need patience. 
In case you forget about neeeding more patience, go read the news about the 16 women who went out to a bar in Florida and all ended up with Covid-19 or in New Zealand where they thought they had erased Covid, now has new cases or in China more cases appear but they claim its under control. What this means is even though we thought Covid was getting under control, but its not. Its still around. 
So we still have to be patient and wait for a vaccine, better treatment, etc. 
But that's for all your normal people. 
I am, as many others are, immunosuppressed due to my health. This means when a normal person gets a cold, I am sick in bed for at least a week. My thought is that if I got Covid, I would end up.... I don't even want to think about it. I have developed a huge fear of the idea of a mechanical ventilator.
So you may think you need to be patient but I need to be really patient. Like I think I will need to live like this for quite a while.
Examples are that I am not sure when, or even if, I will ever get on a plane again unless there is a vaccine. It could be a death sentence for me, and a lot of other people. 
We need more quarantine. We need more patience. If we do start going out and stop wearing masks or social distancing, we need to make sure continue to protect those of us who need more quarantine. So if you do go out, please remember there are people who are still stuck at home for more months and do your best to slow the spread.. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Quarantine Follies - May 1, 2020

I was going to start by saying Day 483 but I know its not day 483 even if it feels like it, so I looked at the calendar and found May 1, 2020.

As a retired person due to health problems, I do not have much of a life without quarantine isolation. In regular life, I would do the following:
  • 3 days at the gym for 1.5 hours
  • 1 trip to the library
  • 1 lunch with a friend
  • 1 trip to the grocery each week. 
  • A little gardening if its the right season
  • And maybe one or two more things
Now that I can't do any of that I am:
  • Riding the exercise bike 3x each week, 
  • Talking to friends daily
  • Scrambling to find digital books to read
  • Sending my husband to the grocery store with a very detailed grocery list and a show and tell session to hope that he will get it mostly right
  • Weaving and knitting to use up my lifetime supply of yarn (SABLE - stash acquired beyond life expectancy)
  • Being bored. Seriously bored.
I am immunosuppressed. This puts me in the very high risk group. I am not taking chances. Put it this way, if someone (like my brother - he's done this twice this winter so I can blame him) has the sniffles and is near me. I then end up with a cold that forces me to cancel my schedule for a week and stay home so I don't need to stay home for 2 weeks and end up with an ear infection.

My immunosuppression is a result of my rheumatoid treatment. Sometimes I think I take more meds than the average 80 year old. My father used to introduce me to his medical team as being more unhealthy than him. 

Being in the high risk group forces me to spend more time away from people. The only people outside of my husband that I have seen in the last couple of months is my sister. 

But on the more positive side. We are doing okay.
  • My husband still has his job. He works from home. He has a work laptop and goes into his home office every day and comes out for coffee, bathroom, and food. Its like he's not here. If he was just sitting around all day, every day, things could go 'bad' quickly. 
  • Because he is home, this has given us the flexibility to get necessary car repairs done - new inspection stickers, oil changes, winter to summer tires, etc without me being stuck at home with out a car for a day.
I'm not going to lie and say this is buckets of fun because its not. I am used to staying home but I really want, or even need, to see other people. Like the librarians at the library. Or the cashier at the pharmacy where I get all my prescriptions. Or going to the garden center and getting plants for my garden.

But I am still here with my sanity mostly intact. I keep telling myself I can do this and I will.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Stuck at home for weeks

I decided I need to restart my sporadic blog on life with a chronic illness. I have a very compromised immune system. I also had cancer a couple of times. But I am not over 60. So I don't have all the risks. Just most of them. Or more than the average bear...

With my lovely health, if I start to get a cold, I just cancel my life for a week. I had a cold long before this Stupid Virus Quanrantine Pandemic started.  So I basically hae been stuck at home since late February. The first week of March I left my house only a couple of days and since then have left it maybe once a week. Yes my sanity is crumbling. But I do have several things going for me in this staying at home business.

  • I haven't worked in years so I have lots of practice in entertaining myself.
  • I can't go to the gym, but I have an exercise bicycle so I can still get my hour of cardio in 3x each week.
  • Instead of visiting my friends I have been calling and texting them regularly.
  • I have been working on my garden every day (its not raining or snowing) for about an hour or so each day so I am being productive and getting fresh air.
  • My neighbor's little boys have shown up for weekly garden help which has been a big help to me and they are adorable. 
But my biggest problem is THE LIBRARY IS CLOSED. I am usually there every week and have read all the library books I have. I am now working my way through ebooks even though I prefer the feel of a printed book.

Since it is now rumored (and I have to use the word rumored because they keep changing their mind) that we will be home until the end of April. That would put me at a total of about 62 days (or something around that) home straight. 

This means I should have time to do things like: clean the house since the house cleaners aren't coming, tidy up all my craft stuff, and organize the linen closet. But it remains to be seen if those tasks ever will get done.

Paranoia

Now that we are more than six months into this 'stupid' pandemic, the proverbial 'they' say that more people are suffering w...