Monday, 15 March 2021

Post COVID update

 On February 28th, I started to feel sick with a bad cough, headache, and sore throat.  On March 1st, I was diagnosed with COVID.  That began 10 days of being isolated in my room and worrying about who else I might have infected.

Two weeks later, I can answer the second question: no one.  My children, parents and ex-husband all tested negative for the virus.  I'm still not sure where I got it, but I am relieved to know I didn't pass it on to anyone else.

Being isolated in my room for 10 days was... an experience.  It made me very grateful that I live in an era where my phone can function as a TV, communication device, and internet browser.  Also very grateful for my e-readers, which let me get new books to combat the boredom (once I'd recovered enough to look at screen without an instantly splitting headache).

I spent a lot of my isolation time sleeping.  I was utterly exhausted for the first week of COVID and could only spend an hour or two awake at a time.  For the second week, I was still easily worn out, but my brain started being able to concentrate again.

On March 12th, I was declared officially recovered and allowed to come out of isolation.  It was such a weird sense of relief to be able to come downstairs and sit on the couch.  (Yes, it was good to be able to see my kids and my dog, but sitting up with back support... that was heavenly.)

I'm still getting tired fairly easily, but I think I'm ultimately going to be fine.  However, there are two odd leftovers of my isolation.

The first is guilt.  It's irrational, but I feel guilty for everyone who had to go into isolation because I caught COVID.  That's two weeks of their lives disrupted, lost income, and all sorts of other consequences.  My rational brain recognizes that it was an absolutely necessary precaution but at the same time, since no one else got sick, I feel bad.  Of course, if anyone else had gotten sick, I would have felt devastated, so there really wasn't an emotional-win possible here.

Given my inherent blame-myselfism, the second thing caught me by surprise.  I haven't had a nightmare since I was diagnosed.  (This is huge.  Normally I have 2-3 wake-yourself-up-shouting nightmares per week at a minimum.)  Not one nocturnal vision of being chased by a relentless hunter/predator, not one heart-pounding jerking awake because I can't find my kids, and no sudden illusions of my legs no longer working and dropping me into the middle of traffic.

Because I am the kind of person who absolutely examines the mouths of my gift-horses, I tried to figure out why that might be.  I wondered if it was because although I was sick and worried, I wasn't dealing with my usual 15 ball juggling routine and therefore my anxiety was actually much lower than usual.  (I had a similar experience on a day when I was getting surgery: my usually skyrocketing bloodpressure was down in the it's-all-cool range because I'd handed off all my responsibilities for the day.)  Or maybe I was too tired to really worry.  Or did my subconscious think I'd already achieved the worst outcome and thus had nowhere else to go.  (I don't think that last one is it.  My subconscious is way too good at coming up with how things could be worse.)

On Monday, I go back to work.  On Tuesday, my oldest son can go back to school.  (My youngest is in digital school so he didn't get a break.)  Life will slowly get back to normal.  Hopefully, I can manage my energy levels to be able to work and finish the edits for Until Proven Guilty.  Oh, and finish my online course.

Is it too late to go back into isolation?

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