COVID-19 Journal – Entry 30

A recent health issue

It’s *not COVID.* I’ve been tested.

For the past several weeks I’ve been experiencing fatigue – I feel weak all the time and get shaky if I do too much of anything. Just lack of energy. There have been no other symptoms except for a bit of a sore throat at the start. My doctor has diagnosed it as a virus that’s lasting longer than usual. Per him, most viruses leave after 14 days, but some can last 4-5 weeks. I’ve certainly had viruses in the past where I’m sick for a few days but don’t feel totally normal for weeks. Usually though I can get back to regular routines. This time will need some more time.

I had to have a COVID test because fatigue is a symptom and my doctor couldn’t rule it out entirely (since it’s so new and no one knows entirely how it operates). However he, and everyone else I’ve talked to recently, was pretty sure I didn’t have it. I’ve been so careful with physical distancing, so it would have been weird if I had it. Note: if you need another reason to not get COVID, the test for it involves sticking a swab up, up, up your nose until it touches the back of your throat and then wiggling it around for 10 seconds. I do not recommend.

I would like to note that all the medical people I’ve dealt with lately have been really nice. This isn’t weird, but it really helps now with a the extra nervousness around COVID. I especially appreciated how easy it was at the drive-through COVID testing site. I’m an anxious driver to start with, never mind having to do a drive-through thing when I never do drive-throughs. But I got really detailed instructions when I called to make the appointment, and there were signs and people to help guide me.

I also had to get a blood test, and my doctor called me with the results before I thought to check for myself- it was within 24 hours, and Saturday, so I was impressed. He got me to go into to the clinic so he could listen to my chest, etc. (My first visit had been over the phone since I had a symptom, but once my COVID test was negative I could go in). Since I didn’t have an appointment at the clinic, the wait at the clinic could have been up to 5 hours (!) and the front office staff couldn’t give me an estimate of how long it was really going to be. I explained how I had fatigue and couldn’t sit for very long (a little weepy) and they were able to find a treatment room where I could lie down to wait. I said thank you a lot to everyone for this, and cozied up with a podcast. The wait ended up being just over one hour. Easy. I could have made an appointment for later in the week, but I wanted this figured out sooner than later: not only in case I needed a special treatment or something (I don’t- just self care), but also so I could figure out what to do about work as soon as I could (I updated them this morning.)

Not stressing or overly anxious about things. It could be that I don’t have the energy. It makes things easier to be cheerful in my days. I’ve had some long quiet moments of thinking lately, and I mostly find myself hilarious.

No socks of the day

My morning routine right now includes lying with my feet in the sunbeam that reaches my bed. This means that my feet at warm without the use of socks!

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 29

I don’t know how long we’ll be allowed to use COVID as an excuse for abnormal behavior, but for now, I’m going to use it to explain my cravings for certain television programmes. All I want to watch lately is American shows based in the southern states. “Reba,” “Heart of Dixie,” “Any Day Now;” and the entire PBS documentary about Country Music. They all make me so happy with their soothing accents, non-life threatening subjects and catchy (theme) songs. I will neither confirm nor deny if I spent a recent day binge-watching the second season of “Heart of Dixie.”

I’d also like to use the COVID excuse to explain away a few bad habits I’ve picked up since the start of the pandemic. These are in addition, I should say, to those I had already. These have developed quite possibly due to being able to keep away from other people for many days at a time.

First is that I pick my nose a lot. Not actually a new thing, but now it’s been elevated to the status of hobby. I spent the spring with a runny nose due to allergies, and the consequence of this is, as you know, crusty boogers dried up inside my nose. At first, it was just fun to “clean these out” if you will. Now I’ve come up with the excuse that it helps me breathe to have those passages clear. Right? Ung. So gross. Yesterday I had a glob stuck on my finger and I was singing the Weird Al song “Gotta Boogie” (on my finger and I can’t shake it off).

Also, I am using the term “Noice” whenever I am impressed with something, instead of pronouncing it “nice” as a lady would. I think I picked it up from the TV show “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” A fine show, but not one upon which I need to base my everyday word choices. The last example: I dropped a container of yogurt while trying to organize the fridge and it opened upon impact with the floor and yogurt went flying. It was mostly on the floor, but I didn’t notice for a few days that globs flew up onto the rack holding fizzy beverages I have on the door. When I found out, there was a flaky layer of dried yogurt* on my ciders. “Noice” I said. Then debated with myself if I want normal times to return before I lose all sense of decorum, or if I should just accept the new me.

*I have coconut milk-based non-dairy yogurt. I have no idea if dairy-based yogurt acts like this .

COVID-19 Journal Entry 28

The other day I wrote about forgetting ideas that come into my head at random moments, and then remembering them; and then trying to record ideas instead so I don’t forget them.

Since writing that entry, I’ve developed a new system of capturing these ideas: I started a new Note in the Notes app on my phone with the title “Blog Ideas”. While setting that up, I found an idea I wrote a year or so ago that was meant to go up on Facebook, or here, but never made it.

So here.

Egg Salad Sandwishes

September 7, 2019

Usually when I want an egg salad sandwich, I think of Subway, and then talk myself out of going there because I usually have eggs at home so I can make my own. And usually I don’t want to do that so I go without. But not today!

P.S. My home made egg salad sandwiches are much better than Subway’s due to the 50/50 egg to parsley ratio.

COVID 19 Journal Entry 27

It’s been a while since I’ve kept a regular journal like this. I was looking back in my archive the other day (looking for evidence of the last time I read Mrs. Dalloway – there was none) and I was reminded that I used to practice my journal writing on a far more regular basis than I do now. It wasn’t daily, but it was frequent. It reads like I was writing for an audience of me – my voice and sass is clear. I still try to intill my entries with these, but I also try to make them intelligible to other readers – maybe not so many inside jokes – that is, jokes that are only jokes inside of my own head.

Writing a regular journal of my daily life is different than writing a journal when I’m travelling. With travel journaling I can fall back on just expanding my daily itinerary if I can’t think of anything else. Or just describe the scene around me. Everything is interesting when I’m on adventure.

At the beginning of COVID, when we had all just gone into lockdown, we were all on an adventure. Lots of new experiences to reflect upon. Now as I settle into the new normal, it’s less an adventure (ok, “adventure”) and more routine – and routine was what I didn’t want to be writing about when I stopped journaling. Routine isn’t interesting. I’d be writing the same thing everyday. Ironic maybe that I have even less to write about now that I’m at home most of the time, and yet here I am still writing about it (with, admittedly, some breaks). It’s like phone calls with my mum. We decided to up our weekly phone calls to twice a week, and we make fun of how we shouldn’t have anything to talk about since we aren’t doing anything. But one weekly one-hour call has turned into 2 two-hour calls per week. We still manage to find things to talk about.

Since I’m writing more regularly now, I’ve remembered some habits I should be following. I don’t know if I’m just older now and forgetful, or if i’m just way out of practice, but a really god habit I need to reintroduce is to write down any idea that comes to me right away. I keep thinking of really good ideas and then forgetting them, but not forgetting that I had an idea, just what it was. Then I get that hollow weird brain feeling where I know I’m missing something but can’t remember what.

I did this last week during lunch break during one of my office days. I was walking back along Cook Street after buying ice cream and had the greatest idea for a journal entry.

“This would make a good journal entry,” I thought to myself, and started composing. But then I was distracted by walk signals, and navigating around people on the sidewalk. I was even distracted by my organizing the rest of my work day – should I write said journal entry during my break later or save it for after work?

By the time I was back at the office, and stored my ice cream in the freezer, the idea was gone. I was back at my desk for a while before I remembered that I’d had an idea. But what was it? Nope. Gone.

I never do this, but I totally retraced my thoughts back to try and retrieve it. It was just that good of an idea. I had it before I approached the intersection with Pandora Street. Then I passed the man with the beard, turned my head away from him because the sidewalk was narrow and there was traffic. I crossed Pandora even though the light was flashing don’t walk, but I made it ok, and it’s a one-way street so no one was turning right. Then just a short wait for the next light to turn – I stared over a the bus stop and that’s when I decided I had a good idea for a journal entry. When I crossed Cook Street, a truck had to wait while I crossed – if I hadn’t crossed at the last minute across Pandora he wouldn’t have had to wait. There was fencing up around the grass along the parkway along Pandora. Was this where people had been camping at the start of lockdown? I hadn’t been over here to see. Then passing another pedestrian, but the sidewalk got wider along side the new condo building. There’s a new daycare on the lower level of that – I think that’s the one I read about because the residents of the condo are annoyed that the daycare kids can use their outdoor common area upstairs. Should I work of my journal now when I get back? I might have five minutes left of my lunch break. Or I could use my 15 minutes now instead of later…

I think by that point I had stopped thinking about the idea and then lost it. And I still had that feeling of a vacancy in my memory. (That’s a better way of expressing a “hole in my head” isn’t it?) I replayed my steps a few times. Was I thinking about it before my approach to Pandora? What was I thinking as I left the ice cream store? As I rounded the corner back on to Cook? When had I started thinking about it?

And the *POP* there it was. My fully formed idea. I typed it into the notes on my phone with an exclamation mark! I plan to write about it soon.

COVID Journal Entry 26

Post about breathing number 2

I have a sheet calendar I’ve taped to one of my cupboard doors in my kitchen. I write numbers on it twice a day. Sometimes over the course of the day I ask myself “WHY CAN’T I BREATHE??” and I glance at this calendar and it tells me that I am yet to administer my asthma medication. On days when I leave the house in a regular routine, I will take my inhaler before I leave in the morning, and then sometime after getting home. When I have no particular place to be in the day, I will take it whenever I remember (noonish today for the first dose, marked as number 27 above – there’s a guage on my inhaler so I can keep track. You might wonder why the need to write down the number, and not use the guage only. The answer to this is No.). At the times where I forget completely, (e.g. when it’s the next day and I didn’t take my evening dose) I mark an X. As you can see, there are no examples of this here. “Good Lindsie.”

Fun fact: I get the sheet calendar in the mail every January from my MLA, Carol James.

Fun Fact 2: I sprayed it with Windex the other day while trying to shoot a fruit fly out of the air, so it’s a bit warpy now, but that’s not evident in the image here.

COVID-19 Journal: Entry 25

I accidentally got up at 5 AM is morning. I do sometimes get up at 5 to go for a walk, but today I forgot that I was up until 1:30 last night watching my new favorite TV show (“Hart of Dixie”). As I progressed on my walk I wondered to myself why I felt so sleepy, since the cool morning air and exercise peps me up early in the morning, and I then I recalled my scant hours of sleep. So. I truncated my walk slightly, walking only 1/3 of the way around James Bay, instead of my usual full circumnavigation, and came home to do some sleepy stretches in my living room. I had breakfast, read one online Vanity Fair article, some headlines on Google news, and then napped for two hours, from 8:15 to 10:15 exactly. I now have CBC Music’s “In Concert” on (in the Mountain time zone feed) and was wandering around my sunny apartment trying to decided what to do next when I started to compose this blog entry. Ta da!

I had a week off last week (not this week just past, but the one before that, the one with Canada Day in it) and as a consequence, I was away from my job office for almost two weeks. When I got back I eventually noticed that some bird has left a creative expression on the window by my desk…

The hearts are my own creative endeavours. The streak was made by a mystery artist.

Otherwise, I had a fine couple of days in the office this week. On Friday I went to Subway to collect my supper. I’ve timed it so that instead of going after work at 4:30, when it can be busy, I slip down around 3 or 3:30 on my break, when there is no one there, not even a server. They are usually working in the back and notice me after a few minutes, giving me some time to decide what I want. Or finalize what I’ve already decided on getting. Subway is right under our office, so I don’t worry to much about time. This week I was still scanning the menu and trying to decide when the worker came out – and the fans were loud and from behind the tables they have in front of the ingredients display it’s hard to hear so I think our conversation went like this:

Server: Hi! How are you?

Lindsie: Roast Beef!

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 24

The word of today is impatience, because I’ve had a package waiting for me at the post office since Monday and I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. I kept making plans to go for a walk during lunches on my work at home days, but I had other things to do (naps, dishes, etc). Rather, other things to do that distracted me from remembering to go. Or, as yesterday, I was plotting my plan and then realized I’d have to get properly dressed before leaving the house, and do decided to go on another day. Today! While I’m out and about after working at work. I’m impatient now for work to be over.

Last week I was on vacation from work. I spent 2.5 days of that time sorting and organizing all my art/craft/stationary supplies. Everything was sorted at some point, but since I have accumulated more stuff, things had become unconsolidated. Now all this stuff is categorized and grouped together. For example: 3 categories of paper: paper for making into things or drawing upon; decorative paper; and printed materials that might at some point be glued onto other paper, or hung on a wall. It’s very satisfying to have things organized. Also, I know where things are if I wish to start a project. Some of the paper from the first category above has had some paint placed upon it in an artistic fashion.

Towels of the Day

Mum bought me some new towels and they arrived by post this week. I told her to choose the colours, and she picked some nice bright ones! I have them resting on the couch so I may enjoy them before they are out to use. P.S. I feel that I could use this colour combination for a colouring page. It’s very pleasing.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 23

The Word of the Day is Patience

COVID-19 has introduced to me some alternate forms of patience over the past few months. I thought I was already quite a patient person, but I’ve learned that I was only good in certain forms, like waiting for people to catch up to my brilliance, or waiting in a check-out line. Now there’s more. No problem. But I’ve been noticing and classifying them lately.

  1. Waiting in lines. Waiting in line to get in to a store is new. And the tape marking out the six feet to accommodate physical distancing. I’ve only done this at the grocery store, but I’ve seen it at retail establishments and insurance offices as well. I’ve seen a multi-practice health office that needs to initiate it so people know where to stand – they have been just spaced willy-nilly on the sidewalk in front of the storefront and I have to go into the street to avoid them. I haven’t been standing in very many of these lines since I decided to start getting my groceries delivered.
  2. Waiting for packages and groceries to be delivered. I’ve been getting a lot of things delivered, both groceries and miscellaneous goods. Patience on the day of delivery, because the window for delivery isn’t usually specific; but also patience due to delays due to COVID-19 issues and volumes! I’ve decided not to worry how long it takes for my new stuff to get to me: as a result it’s always sooner than I expected.
  3. Sometimes on my walks here and about I have to stop and wait for another pedestrian to pass when there’s not enough room on the sidewalk, or wherever, to keep distanced. This is sometimes because of a huge holly bush growing out in the way. I wait because holly is hurty if you get too close. Or sometimes there’s too many people approaching me, and a wait for there to be enough room for me to walk past. I sometimes feign patience in this case, becuase people don’t always pay attention when they are out and about, and it seems like they don’t notice I’m there, resulting in me being (very minorly) inconvenienced. This is where I think of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s “Be Kind” advice.
  4. Patience waiting for a vaccine/cure/treatment. This is some big picture patience, but that’s what we’re all waiting for.

I went out last night. On the advice of the guys at the car repair place, I went out when it was dark to check if there were any lights on in my car that may be the source of battery drain. I did that and I think it was the latest I’ve been out of the house for a long while. The week before the lockdown, I would have been going to dance classes, and some of those kept me out until 7:30 or 8 or so. I was supposed to go to the ballet on March 13, but that was cancelled. On Feb 29 (leap year day) I went to Vancouver to watch Dear Evan Hanson with Julie in Vancouver. I went to Vancouver and back in the same day, so I would have been home around 10 or 10:30. I was only out late last night because that’s how long it takes to get dark in the summer.

COVID-19 Journal: Entry 22

I’ve been breathing really well lately. Nice, deep, satisfying breaths. Something to treasure as an asthmatic. Also especially in a time of dangerous respiratory illness I take deep breaths when I read articles about symptoms to reassure myself that I’m not sick, and also to help me calm down.

On that note, sort of, I have a new doctor- as in, I now have access to regular medical practitioners and not just a favourite walk-in clinic. It’s good timing, but also has been necessary for a long time. During my first appointment, the nurse practitioner was a little dismayed about all the questions I had never been asked about my prescriptions. But we’ve amended some things, and I’m happy.

Some of the intake questions, along with my general medical history, asked if I experience, or have ever experienced, domestic violence. I could say “no” but I am glad they asked. I also got to identify myself as female, and was also pleased to be asked. Maybe these aren’t new questions!? I’ve never done an intake interview for a new doctor before! Oh and the intake interview and prescriptions conversation were different appointments, and were over the phone.

Socks of the Day

I’m not wearing any socks right now because my apartment is warm this morning. I will still wear heavy warm wooly socks in the evening even though it is July…

COVID-19 Journal Entry 21

I drove to work today for the first time ever in Victoria. The reason is that I have an appointment to have my hair cut after work and I need someplace to leave my stuff. The COVID-19 policy sent from the hair place specifically says to leave all extra stuff in your car. “But what if I don’t have a car?!” I asked to no one in particular. But I do have a car, I just have to move it somewhere closer to the hair place for the day (i.e. downtown) for it to be useful in this instance.

I left early because I didn’t know what the parking situation is downtown these days. It turns out that there is lots of parking and is not something I need to worry about if I choose to drive again. I have kept meaning to, on rainy days or whatever but I keep forgetting. I like my walk in.