suffering from the coronavirus is akin to drowning in despair
Like thousands of others who have been or are still very ill I have not had a proper test for the coronavirus, just a differential diagnosis that says I’ve had / have this manky thing. Personally, I know that I am now recovering from COVID-19, and let me tell you it’s no fun. The virus beat me down physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and it’s doing it’s worst to make my recovery as difficult as possible.
Waking up in the morning, very early, I feel pretty good and busy myself doing ‘normal life’ things ~ some fresh air and a walk is healthy for me. But by mid-morning I start to feel weary, and by evening I’m back to feeling
fucking dreadful again. I go from having supernatural powers to running into a brick wall ~ very fast. Recovery from the coronavirus seems to be a two steps forward and one or two steps backwards kind of thing.
Not only do I need to save the world by staying in and watching TV, I need to save myself by resting and mostly trying to watch TV, listen to music, or read something light.
Trust me, if you have been ill, then you are going to need a lot of rest, for quite a while.
Stay safe, and look after yourself.
recovery also means rest
the police start enforcing draconian new powers
Just a short while ago I received a text from the UK Government saying; ‘New Rules in force now: you must stay at home. Stay at home. Protect the NHS.’
And the rules are draconian. There are police patrols out in all major UK cities breaking up any group of more than two people, and trying to get people to just go home.
There are only 4 reasons I can go outside of the garret:
- Shopping for basic necessities.
- Medical needs.
- Travelling to and from work, but only if I can’t work from home. (I don’t work anyway.)
- One form of exercise per day, (say walking the dog or going to the store).
I guess if I walk to the store, pharmacy, or my doctor, then that’s also my one piece of fresh air and exercise for the day. In any event I must stay out of the garret for as little time as possible, and stay at least 6 feet from anyone else.
A whole lot of non-essential stores are closed, by order of the government, including clothing and electronics stores. Libraries, community centres, leisure centres, hotels, campsites, trailer parks, hostels, and places of worship are also closed, initially for 3 weeks from yesterday.
Not even in wartime has England seen anything like this.
It’s no hardship for me, but for some who can’t visit their families or attend their church this may be very difficult.
Sadly, all we in Great Britain have no choice.
rule #2 applies
nobody is allowed in the garret
it’s now time to lock and bar the door
fort-up for the duration of this medical emergency
it is an older woman that makes a much younger man feel better
there is no woman
like an older woman
to care for a younger man
doctors may think they’re important,
but it’s the nurses that get you well
This has got to be the shortest Jethro Tull track ever.
The nurses in this hospital have been very good to me, especially when I couldn’t get out of bed at all.
none of my nurses look like this
hospital is brief moments of fear interspersing long periods of boredom and pain
It’s my fourth day in hospital with kidney problems.
I see an oncologist tomorrow, I think it’s just routine. It’s also very scary
But, if I get though all this with my health intact, it will be a supreme and liberating experience for me; annulling routine expectations, providing new contexts and challenges, widening my horizons and opportunities. I believe that this scary episode is testing my abilities, nourishing my honesty, individuality, stoicism, irony, humour, fortitude, humility, and the complexity of my character. I hope I come out of this a much better person.
Above all this is a reminder of the shortness of our lives, and that I should make the most of what is left of mine.
Instead of being scared, stressed, and depressed, I should try to look on the bright side of things with humour and humility.
This picture helps me feel calm and peaceful
for me, saving the world and everyone in it is only a hobby
Now that I’m recovering from a bloody awful mental affliction, a good friend has suggested that I take up a hobby. You know what? After a moments reflection I decided that was a brilliant idea. So I will take up a hobby.
But what is a hobby anyway? Where do other ordinary normal day-to-day pursuits become hobbies? And does a proper hobby have to be mostly harmless, inefficient, laborious, and useless? I confess I googled hobbies and found a few incredibly long lists of hobbies, some of which activities I would have just taken to be everyday pursuits; like watching television. No!
But I have a first stab at a short list of potential hobbies which may occupy my time, give me pleasure, be relaxing, and stop me having suicidal thoughts;
- Art, and I mean doing it, most probably painting. Thus far in my life the only things I’ve painted were walls, doors, cars, and boats.
- Angling / Fishing. I used to fish and gave it up because I felt sorry for anything I caught.
- Calligraphy. As it goes I have very good classical penmanship ~ but calligraphy takes that to a whole new level where writing in pen and ink becomes art.
- Model making, although this seems a bit of a kids pastime.
- Photography, which I already do a lot of but I could do more and do it better.
- Reading. I do a hell of a lot of that, but I’m certain there’s a way to turn casual reading into a constructive hobby.
- Survivalist. Not that I live in an earthquake zone, but add some of the other hobbies I’ve already thought about and I’m already a fair way to being a survivalist
- Travel. I love to travel, but is it a hobby for me, and could I turn it into one? Maybe by mixing it with photography and writing.
- Walking. On average I walk 5 miles a day, but that’s not serious hobbyist walking. More serious walking includes hiking, backpacking, and trekking. So I have joined our local Ramblers Club, (how very English), who meet a couple of times a month and do some serious miles in all weathers.
- Writing, and I already do some of that too, including being in a local writers group.
I’ve already realised that if you want your normal everyday activity to become a hobby you have to add a lot of time, money, and obsessiveness into the mix. I can’t even turn my 5 miles a day walk into a hobby without buying a lot more expensive kit.
But, if you have any other ideas for a healthy, relaxing, challenging, difficult, self-improving activity, then please just tell me.
also, I do like making practical things; such as this planter
Mania and depression all at once means;
the will to die and the motivation to make it happen.
sometimes we entrap ourselves
Agitated depression and borderline personality disorder are an extremely dangerous and confusing set of mixed mental / emotional / spiritual states. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to suffer from a personality disorder, or serious character defect, often become confused because we sometimes seem to have two or more totally different and opposite problems at one in the same time. Believe me, I’ve been there more than once.
Have you ever felt really tired, but keyed-up and tense at the same time? You want to go to sleep but you’re full of energy and can’t relax? Or, you feel really melancholy, depressed, and sad, but at the same time you are very hurt and angry and want to strike out against whoever it is that’s hurt you. These contradictory conditions are a sign of something called Comorbitity, where one or more medical / mental / emotional / spiritual conditions are co-occurring with a primary problem.
Perhaps the most common instances of comorbitity are between people diagnosed with a mental illness who also abuse booze, drugs, and prescription medication. Addicts and alcoholics are often also mentally ill.
Anger, rage, and fury alongside sadness, melancholia, and depression at one in the same time don’t actually make a lot of sense. Anger is a very active emotion requiring a hell of a lot of mental and emotional energy, (and taken to extremes a lot of physical energy), whereas sadness and depression are passive emotions which sap energy and leave the sufferer incapable of doing very much at all.
More typical would be a period of extreme anger, followed by remorse, guilt, and sadness. Not the two things going on at once. But, especially in men, anger and depression often go hand in hand.
However, anyone who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder will be aware of just how chancy that diagnosis was, and may well have been misdiagnosed by several doctors / psychiatrists / psychologists / therapists before their correct diagnosis, and hence correct treatment was discovered, (found by accident). A hell of a lot of people who have Borderline Personality Disorder will at first have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
In fact there are 9 or 10 distinct personality disorders, and very often a sufferer will have symptoms or traits of more than one of these disorders, at one in the same time. As if it’s not bad enough suffering from just one of these life-destroying mental illnesses.
So if you’re confused about your illness, or the way your loved one / partner / friend behaves, don’t worry. Instead put in the hard work and learn about what’s exactly going on ~ start with the internet, then talk with your doctors.
Some say that all alcoholics and addicts are just plain crazy. And that they just never know how their partner is going to be from one minute to the next. All I know is they’re both right.
we all have demons inside us,
sometimes more than just one.
Walking is Man’s best medicine. ~ Hippocrates.
When one get to a certain age the medical profession seems to suddenly take a greater interest in ones’ health than ever before.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a plethora of correspondence asking me to go for various health checks. These include a full medical, various X-rays, blood tests, and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening. I could refuse to go for all these tests, medicals, and other stuff, but the doctors and my insurance company wouldn’t like that.
Luckily, since I live in England I won’t have to pay for any of these tests, so all it’s going to cost me is time, inconvenience, and my travelling expenses. It’s going to take until the end of April to get through all the appointments I already have booked.
And, I don’t like doctors, and I don’t like taking drugs. I’d rather take more vacations in the sun and live a healthier lifestyle.
So, what’s it all for, except for the medical profession to make more money?
beach yoga is healthier than a bunch of medical tests
When the English winter comes howling in.
I didn’t want to be in England over the Christmas Holidays, and I’d prefer not to be here right now either. Next year I’m determined to spend a part of the winter in the sunshine.
Northern England in particular is a miserable place to be in winter. Right now the temperature outside is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s still dark, there’s a strong wind, and a mixture of rain and wet snow is falling. In the next couple of days the weather here is going to get much worse with 80 mph winds and a lot of snow expected. The sea is vicious and cold.
Drivers are being warned to stay off the roads, and only to make the most essential journeys. Our rail service is in chaos, and there are long flight delays at our airports. We do not handle snow very well at all, and the high winds can actually blow over trucks. Some of our most important bridges are closed.
There is an epidemic of a particularly nasty strain of the flu, (Aussie flu H3N2), which can be fatal in itself. Influenza can lead to several other fatal illnesses; bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia. Our health service is overwhelmed; the hospitals are full and people are being advised not to visit their own doctors except in cases of an emergency.
The thing is, the cold, damp, and dark English winter weather makes people prone to catching nasty winter diseases; colds, flue, bronchitis pleurisy, and pneumonia.
I had this Aussi flu just after Christmas, and I was very poorly for a couple of weeks. High temperature, hacking cough, tiredness, aches and pains, headache, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, and an inability to eat ~ I have lost 10 lbs since Christmas.
Trust me, you don’t want to catch this Aussi flu.
Trust me, you don’t want to be in Northern England in winter either.
You are your own biggest asset.
A week or so ago I was at the dentist to have a bad tooth extracted. This should be a simple procedure, but most of this tooth had already broken off and the young dentist didn’t think he tould extract it by normal methods. So, he used a probe and tried to lever / pull it out. Then he used the probe, a lot of strength, and a small hammer. That mostly didn’t work. All that happened was that more and more of the tooth got broken off.
So, he took some more X-rays and referred me to the local dental hospital for surgery.
My first consultation is in a month’s time.
In the meantime I have some pain, I’m taking antibiotics, and strong pain medication. For a couple of days I tried adding booze to that mixture, which was a stupidly disastrous idea.
I can’t eat, can’t sleep, struggle to drink anything, struggle to talk, and thinking is a problem. It’s going to take weeks to sort this out. In this condition I could not safely work. Even in England, the cost of dentistry / medical bills / travel will be high. My immediate personal plans are up in the air.
This is all my own fault for putting off routine dentistry, and allowing dentists to do what they wanted to do, (cosmetic work), instead of what was really important. I did not take responsibility for my own health.
Without good health your financial situation is uncertain.
We should look after our own health;
- Don’t smoke, drink excessively, or abuse drugs.
- Take sensible exercise, eat properly, and get plenty of sleep.
- Don’t neglect routine healthcare.
But, most importantly, we should take full responsibility for our own health, and don’t just accept everything the ‘professionals’ tell us. The healthcare system doesn’t have as much invested in our own health as we do.
In one way or another poor health will cost you a fortune and destroy the quality of your life.