Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic Week 8 – Saturday 2nd May – Friday 8th May & Week 9 – Saturday 9th – Friday 15th May

Day Forty-Six – Saturday 2nd May

Today was super productive, and I’m actually feeling quite good about it. I went to Sainsbury’s with my Dad this morning. Actually, we made two trips because someone forgot their wallet the first time around… I noticed two types of people in Sainsbury’s. Firstly, the overly cautious with masks, gloves, and waiting for aisles to empty. Secondly, the people who seemed to have forgotten the importance of social distancing and the danger of COVID-19 and shopped without care, sliding up to people closely!

Anyway, I stocked up on a couple of items, mainly coco pops and some pringles to manage my head pain for the coming weeks (carbs help but only certain carbs). I took a book with me this time and I also hijacked the keys from my Dad so I could read in the car while he continued shopping.

I managed to get all my clothes washing done, dried and folded away and I also finished my book ‘Trust Me, I’m Dead’ by Sherryl Clark. It was an interesting book.

I did quite a bit of crafting today. Planning out my journal for 2021, I need to start colouring in January segments before I move onto February, I think. I thought about starting to read another book but instead I ended up watching NCIS on Prime video.

Day Forty-Seven – Sunday 3rd May

Today was a complete write off and I knew it would be as soon as I woke up. I woke with a migraine that made me both dizzy and nauseous. The air pressure was quite low, the day was gloomy, the wind high but it still managed to be a little muggy.

I stayed in bed all day. I tried to read but my eyes just wouldn’t focus, and my migraine became more painful each time I tried. I tried napping but it didn’t work so well as I couldn’t distract myself from the pain to actually fall asleep. I usually get takeaway pizza for dinner when I have a migraine as intense as this one, but I can’t do that at the moment. I did eat an entire bag of giant wotsits though and it did make me feel a little better.

I was trying to avoid anything that might give me eye strain or negatively impact the migraine, but it got to the point where nothing was working. So, I slapped a kool aid migraine strip on my forehead and played the sims. Playing the sims is always cathartic and can calm me down from any stress or negativity I’m feeling. It’s the perfect distraction in so many ways.

My migraine didn’t disappear at all, but it did get a little easier to manage as the evening rolled on. I know I’m in for a rough night’s sleep as my body’s response to migraines is pretty predictable but hopefully, I’ll wake up tomorrow without it!!

Day Forty-Eight – Monday 4th May

How can it be Monday already? I feel as if I haven’t had any time off. One of my colleagues has holiday this week and she intended to keep it…but I don’t see the appeal of having holiday when in lockdown. I mean, yeah you aren’t working but you still can’t go anywhere. I guess each to their own.

Today felt long and short at the same time. I can’t really explain it but it made me feel like I had been working a week and working not time at all. At least I wasn’t alone in my mood, my Mum felt similarly so we were both peas in the same pod.

We decided to walk the dogs in the afternoon at 3:30pm, which was way better. It was quieter outside and not as hot. There is a wooded area near to us which we have tended to walk in since lockdown. It is better for Freddie because he can see more in the shade than he can in the sun (he’s blind but he can see mosaic in his peripheral vision, and he moves around mostly by using light and shadow).

I’ve had real trouble with my dyslexia today, so many times even google hasn’t known what I’ve been trying to spell. I just can’t seem to get my head to focus on letters correctly. Even ‘peripheral vision’ started off as ‘prorifiral’ and then morphed into ‘prereferral’ before I managed to get it right!

Just when you think you’ve gotten being dyslexic under control it works its way to the forefront and reminds you who is in charge. I like to think of it as an angry worm.

I’m sure this week will go rather slowly considering it is a Bank Holiday Friday. Everyone is talking about how to celebrate VE Day while on Lockdown. I live in a cul-de-sac of 8 houses and we’ve been meeting at 11am every Saturday for a chat since lockdown began. We stay the required distance apart, but it is fun to chat to people outside of the house.

I wonder if there will be a sudden rush of VE garden parties and street parties when lockdown is over? Or whether everyone will be so preoccupied with ‘freedom’ that they’ll be running around like headless chickens!

Day Forty-Nine – Tuesday 5th May

Miraculously, and I’m almost shocked to say this, but I didn’t have a headache today! I almost feel faint just writing these words! Someone must be giving me a break for once!!

I finished reading ‘Loch of the Dead’ by Oscar de Muriel which is the 4th book in his Frey and McGray series. It was amazing, completely absorbing and quite emotional. I’m determined to read the 5th in the series now and hope it will answer some of my questions!

I was in the office this afternoon. Opening the post and scanning invoices didn’t take that long today. I was able to get some things done at work that I can’t do on my laptop at home, so that was good. I also did an order for more envelopes, as we seem to be getting through them like a steam train! I keep having to remind myself that they’re coming to my home and not the office as the office is closed! I will probably still be confused when they arrive as I’m always forgetting what I’ve ordered.

I had a facetime appointment with my counsellor this evening. I am pleased that I can still see her once a month as it allows me to talk through anything that has been bothering and sort of acts as a reset button for my mental health. I look forward to the day I see her in person again and can get a hug – for she gives the most wonderful hugs.

I also watched Operation Ouch on the telly today as my Dad was featured in it. It was an experience as much of the programme make me dry heave! I’m not good with anything gross.

I had a stress-free evening – or as stress free as you can be in lockdown – trying to wind myself down for sleep because I’ve not been sleeping very well. Hopefully it works but honestly, I’m not that confident!

Day Fifty – Wednesday 6th May

I have the worst headache today which is quickly morphing into a migraine. It’s hot today and my hay fever is very bad. My eyes feel so raw, itchy and weepy. It’s making me want to sleep and not work! Which isn’t ideal.

My knee is also bothering me today, just like a constant niggle. It feels better when I straighten it out but if I sit with it at a 90-degree angle or put pressure on it, it hurts. It’s bearable though, it’s not sending a shooting pain up my leg – which it sometimes does – but I’m mindful of it at the moment.

I’m reading a little more at the moment since my workload has dropped off. I split my time between working, reading and being creative. I have found that that combination of things positively impacts my mental health and keeps me grounded and happy.

Decided to walk the dogs in the afternoon, as it was too hot for them this morning. As usual, Freddie was very slow and decided he just HAD to sniff every bit of greenery we passed!! Luca was just his usual chaotic self.

I’m so tired today that I won’t be doing any screen time past my working hours. I’ll probably try to read or listen to a podcast. Need to give my eyes a break from a screen and give them a chance to be soothed.

I added a couple of books to my amazon wishlist today but resisted from buying any – FYI, I’m so proud of myself! – and I changed up my stack of books that I’m trying to read in May. I’m now attempting to read the following:

  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert
  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
  • Bone China by Laura Purcell
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
  • Evernight by Ross Mackenzie

I think that considering the UK is still in lockdown, I have a good chance at getting through this list of books!

Day Fifty-One – Thursday 7th May

Today has been difficult because yesterday’s migraine has continued on into today and is a tad more painful than it was yesterday. I thought I could have a nice relaxing day and work slowly while managing the pain. However, I had to go into work to help with the weekly payslips, which was a hard thing to do with the pain I was in. I did get it done but it took longer than it would have usually taken me and though I was helping someone out by doing it, I wasn’t looking after myself and that action did take a lot out of me.

I ended up having to admit defeat at 4pm. My working hours are usually 9-5 but I couldn’t stare at a computer screen any longer and I needed to free myself from what was causing the pain to get worse.

Luckily, I have a great boss who understands my migraines, how bad they can be and how unpredictable they can be. She was happy enough to allow me to end my working day an hour early so I could seclude myself in a darkened room and try to get some sleep.

I have a horrible feeling that this migraine is going to be around for a little while longer. My hay fever has been particularly bad this week and the weather can’t decide whether it wants to be hot and sunny or cloudy and windy. The weather is a major factor in my headaches/migraines, so I’m always aware of what has triggered the pain. In the case of this migraine, I think it’s a combination of my hay fever, the heat, and the changing air pressure.

I talk A LOT about my head pain on this particular post, so I’m sorry if that gets annoying or boring. I have made a note about the increase and will be talking to my GP about it and whether my medication needs to be upped when I get a moment.

Day Fifty-Two – Friday 8th May

Today is day 3 of the migraine and has been the worst day so far. I definitely didn’t get to enjoy my bank holiday! I’ve been in bed all day. Either sleeping or attempting to distract myself. I have tried EVERYTHING, but nothing has worked, and my only constant is the crippling pain. Hence, why I’ve been sleeping most of the day. Even writing this is painful, so I’ll stop now!

Day Fifty-Three – Saturday 9th May

I still have the migraine, but it is more manageable today. I couldn’t have another day stuck in bed and it might end up killing me. I made the effort to get up today, and I got up in time to go to Sainsbury’s with my Dad. It was actually a good move on my part, because I was able to stock up on some crisps and treats to help with any other migraines I might suffer while in lockdown. It also got me out and gave me some fresh air and I did feel a little better for it.

I managed to be more proactive today, doing chores around the house, like getting my washing done, tidying my workspace, doing some more water colouring and tidying my tbr book pile.

So, even though yesterday was a write off, today managed to feel like a relaxing Saturday – migraine aside – and I felt better in myself, happier even as the day progressed.

Reading was my main goal of the day. I read one book and started on another. I watched a lot of NCIS as I did my watercolour painting, which I managed to do for a couple of hours before my back seized up and I had to stop. But overall, it was a good day!

Day Fifty-Four – Sunday 10th May

I actually woke up today without the migraine from hell and it was a time for rejoicing until about 11am when the headache came in. BUT it was a massive improvement from the 4-day migraine, so I took it without complaint!

Today was a very lazy day. Well, not that lazy because I still got up and dressed but it was a very chilled day. I did some reading and when my eyes threatened to close, I got up to do some watercolour painting which was fun. I’m getting super into making my watercolour cards, they’re simple buy effective. It’s fun to experiment with them. Plus, I got my first card sale!!! EEK! It made me super excited because I haven’t had a sale on my Etsy site since before Christmas.

I share my shop on Facebook all the time but the friends I have on there are more likely to like the post than actually support it. Everyone is different, I know but I’d like a little more traffic on my shop. Regardless, the shop has been a great outlet for me. I originally started it as a way to combat my OCD because art isn’t perfect, a mistake can turn out to be a saving grace. I’m slowly learning with art that just because I make a mistake or just because it isn’t perfectly symmetrical doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world.

I still trip up slightly, I’ve redone something 5 times over because I haven’t been able to get it the way I wanted! But I’ve started to put stamps on my cards and coloured them in with watercolour paint. That’s easier to control because the stamp has done the hard work, I just have to colour it. I am enjoying the experiment into free-hand flowers. With those, imperfection is what I’m striving for and it’s helping massively to control the OCD in other aspects of my life.

Day Fifty-Five – Monday 11th May

I got up early this morning so I could go and get my prescription from the Pharmacy. Even at 8:45am there was a queue but only of 4 people. The man in front of me had a mask on and disposable gloves. He actually looked quite ridiculous. He kept glancing behind at me to make sure I was the required distance away. I was so close to telling him that his mask wouldn’t keep him safe. That the mask would only help if he had COVID-19 and didn’t want to spread it to others, but I wisely kept my mouth shut and continued reading my book.

The good news is that the pharmacy/my GP had seen the note I’d put when I’d made the order, and actually given me a month’s supply of one of my medicines – where before I was getting 3.5 weeks of it and as I’m supposed to take it twice a day, the last week of the month left me with just 1 tablet a day to take. It was a small but irritating factor that has now been remedied.

I got it into my head today that I could study all material for Unit 4 in one day. It was an ambitious task that I obviously failed in! I did manage to study for half of it though, but I also got major cramp in my writing hand and just ended up with quite a lot of pain to deal with. I’m sure I will finish studying it by tomorrow. The Unit 4 assessment isn’t due until the 20th May but I’m on a roll now and just blasting through all the assessments. I think also, that with the UK relaxing some of the restrictions, I was suddenly anxious that I’d have to go back to work soon, so wanted to try and complete the course before that happened.

Anyway, there was an email from the CEO of the company I work for saying that regardless of the UK government’s plan, office-based staff would continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, so that calmed the anxiety a bit.

I feel like the governments new plan has caused more confusion and anxiety in the last couple of days than anyone realised. I have been ignoring the news again, with something as vague and contradicting as this, it’s really not worth it. I’ll go by the advice my Dad gives and the advice the directors at work suggest. I don’t need to panic myself by reading news articles endlessly all day.

This evening I started playing Assassin’s Creed Origins again. I got so excited when they revealed the trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but it’s not out until Christmas. It’s been almost 2 years since I completed Assassin’s Creed Origins, so I thought I could play it again without the memory fresh in my mind, I’m also playing in a harder mode to challenge myself.

I am fully obsessed with Assassin’s Creed it makes my brain work in a way it’s not used to, and it challenges me to think logically. It also helps me to control my OCD because I get a thrill out of getting achievements and collecting everything there is to collect.  I also love the soundtrack to Origins; I listen to it a lot at work or when I’m studying. I’m sure playing Assassin’s Creed Origins will take up much of my evening time this week!

It has only taken my Mum about a decade, but she finally got me to have a taster session with her pilates instructor Heidi over Zoom. The reason I’ve never done pilates before is because (A) my body is bizarre, I have a lot of imitations and my muscle condition sometimes makes working out incredibly painful and (B) pilates is a class with a lot of people and I cannot put myself into a group situation without having a panic attack. It has nothing to do with people looking at me or judging me for not being able to do the moves. It is simply being in a room with a lot of people and learning something as a group. It makes me panic every time and is a situation I will actively avoid.

Anyway, Heidi is very nice and the 20min session wasn’t overly bad. She gave me some good exercises that will stretch my muscles but not cause me too much pain. If I can get into the habit of doing the session once or twice a week, it should help some of my problem areas to get a little better. It was also good as a reassurance that others can see my difficulties.

Sometimes when I talk about my body restrictions, people are unwilling to listen or understand which makes me think that it’s all in my head when it isn’t. It’s nice when you meet a professional who can see that yes you are struggling and there is a problem and know a way to be able to get around it or fix it. It’s a reassurance that what I’m experiencing is real.

Day Fifty-Six – Tuesday 12th May

My body aches so much from that pilates session!!! Seriously, my neck and shoulder muscles are knotted. My knee injury is flaring with pain. My thigh muscles are sore, and the top half of my arms are stiff. I mean, pain when I exercise is a given, it’s something I’ve always had to deal with and honestly, the pain after is usually what puts me off continuing the exercise. I know that for most people that pain is a sign that you’re doing something right – no pain, no gain, right? – but the pain I experience usually doesn’t go…it usually lingers for several days. Anyway, I’m open to pilates for the time being. I think my Mum is going to try and get me to do it a little more while we’re still social distancing and I’m working from home.

At this point, I’ll try anything. I know from speaking with several healthcare professionals over a decade that some of my injuries are going to be with me for life, so I can’t exercise to cure them, but I can exercise to manage the pain a little better.

I was in the office again today, which was kind of nice. I got quite a bit of work done, which I could have done at home, but I like using my big office screen when I need to work on spreadsheets. I also managed to finish studying for Unit 4, finish the assessment and submit it. So, I’m feeling super happy about that. I now only have 2 Units to complete before I’m finished with the course. I am feeling confident about it at the moment and I feel like I have learned quite a bit. Some of the blanks have now been filled in.

I mean, the course is free so I can’t complain that much about it! On the whole it has been very informative.

Day Fifty-Seven – Wednesday 13th May

Mum got me up to do some pilates this morning. To be honest, my body is still aching from Monday’s session, but I know that doing it regularly will only benefit me – I mean, I hope so, with my body, you can never tell what’s going to happen! – we only did 20 minutes but we covered everything I’d learnt in my taster session on Monday and my body did feel good for it, even if it made me feel sleepy.

Super tired today, not sure why as according to my sleep app, I slept quite well but there you go. When am I not tired?

Did something really fun today. Had a facetime call with my sister so we could team up for the virtual Harry Potter quiz on facebook live. It was a lot of fun actually. Some of the questions were a bit dodgy, mixing book with film but overall it was good. What I most enjoyed was how much grief the commentator got when he read out a question that was wrong. The question was:

‘Which Death Eater attacked the eldest Weasley child’.

Of course, he got absolutely SLAMMED in the comments section because Fenir Greyback attacked Bill Weasley and Fenir was NEVER a death eater. He had to backtrack and rephrase the question! I also noticed that some of the questions contain knowledge you’d only know if you read the expansive articles on Pottermore. But, that aside, it was a fun hour spent and 700 people had joined in for the quiz.

Day Fifty-Eight – Thursday 14th May

I refused to study today because my hand is still sore from too much writing. I have been using one of my sensory stress toys to work out my hand, and it has been helping but I don’t want to overdo it with more writing. I am almost finished with my Business and Administration course. I am halfway through Unit 5 and after that, I’ll only have Unit 6 to complete and I have finished the whole course.

I also passed my Mental Health Awareness course on behalf of HSQE. So that was good. I’ve been wanting to do a Mental Health Awareness course for a while but have struggled to find one that doesn’t include First Aid. I am unable to pass a First Aid course because I am unable to perform chest impressions because of my muscle condition. So, I was glad to find this one and to be able to study for it/complete it.

I also got my login details for the creative writing course I signed up for last night. It has 5 main topics to learn: Children’s writing, Drama and Comedy writing, Thriller writing, Crime writing and Horror writing. The original writing, I tend to do is crime/thriller orientated, so I hope to learn a lot from this. The course is unlimited, so I can take as long as I want to complete it. The course cost £37 and was on offer on www.reed.co.uk so I got a good deal as it usually costs £990.

Day Fifty-Nine – Friday 15th May

Didn’t realise I’d forgotten to post last week’s blog post! Sorry about that! From Wed 6th to Sat 11th, I was experiencing the most horrific migraine that completely took over all my senses and left me in a vegetable like state as I tried to manage myself and the pain. I may have dropped the ball a little, so I apologise!

This week has gone so quickly and has been filled with quite a bit of anxiety. I am glad it is Friday again for I am quite tired and sore and am looking forward to a weekend of reading and relaxing.

I did wake up with a headache this morning, which at the time of writing this, is about level 5 on the pain scale. I still managed to get up and do 20 minutes of pilates with my Mum. 20 mins doesn’t sound a lot, I know but I have a particular body that cannot be pushed, and I have to remain safe as I exercise. FYI my body aches and muscles have knotted all over – BUT – that’s pretty regular for me whatever exercise I take.

I’ll be in the office this afternoon to sort through 3 days of post, do some scanning and some printing. Hopefully it will be fine. Our office is still closed and everyone office based, remains working from home. There have been a lot of rumours and discussions this week about work and the new UK government guidelines, but the overall decision was to allow people to remain at home to work as it’s safer. I was pleased with this decision as I live with someone who is at risk and am anxious about how to handle that when we do return. As it is, going into work twice a week is fine because it’s only me and 1 other person in the office. It is easy to keep safe and hygienic.

I still have a stack of 8 books left to read this month. It keeps staring at me with an accusatory look, daring me to read! I am perhaps reading a little slower this month than I did in the last month, but I am also busier, so I have less time to read!

What is everyone up to this weekend?

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