Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic – Week 10 – Saturday 16th May – Friday 22nd May

Day Sixty – Saturday 16th May –

So, today started well and then ended up being a bit of a disaster but you’ll be surprised to know that it wasn’t because of a migraine. I got up early to get to Sainsbury’s and for the first time since lockdown began, there was no queue to get in. I was honestly very surprised but once inside I discovered that all the cretins had come out of the woodwork and were shopping in Sainsbury’s as if there wasn’t a pandemic on and they didn’t have to keep their distance. I felt like I was playing a very complicated game of Tetrix. I got out as quick as I could!

I started on some experimental watercolour cards once I had got home and put all my shopping away. I’m not very artistic in the sense of details and intricate drawings. I much prefer free-hand and abstract style art and I am slowly honing-in my ability.

I started to feel a little dizzy around 1pm. I thought maybe my body was just hungry but when I started to get hot and cold flushes, I realised I was having an iron attack. I’m iron deficient but iron deficiencies never work how you think they will. I eat as much iron as I can EVERY DAY and some day’s I’m fine and other days I have an attack. Attacks can last from 10 minutes to a couple of hours.

This attack lasted 9 hours! It’s the worst attack I’ve had in about 9 months. It was a kind of roll over attack that came in flows but never really disappeared. The biggest symptoms I had with this attack was the blurring/glitch of my vision, and the racing of my heartbeat. I was basically unable to do anything for the rest of the day and all I could really do was lie on my bed and not move. Not moving reduces the dizziness and nausea and also helps to stop the shaking.

I ended up just feeling vulnerable and angry and slept most of the day.

Day Sixty-One – Sunday 17th May –

Determined to make the most of today, I was super proactive. I decided, on a whim, to tidy my room. Although I sort through my books every 4 months and sort through my clothes every 6 months, the rest of my space is usually slightly chaotic. So, I decided a deep clean was necessary. It took most of the day, but I got rid of 4 bags of rubbish and 2 bags of recycling. I hoovered and I even dusted – which isn’t something I do often.

Usually, the chaos of my space represents whatever mental upheaval I’m going through, so while it might look messy to some, it’s usually organised chaos to me. However, it was cathartic to sort it all out.

The only downside, and this is purely because my body thrives off being in pain, is that I put my back out. Seriously, I was so careful while cleaning my space, bending appropriately, never carrying more than I could handle, etc. Yet, at the end of it I think I looked at my achievement for a second before I collapsed on my bed in a fit of pain.

I know my body and I know this isn’t going to be easy to get over.

I did start reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab though, so silver lining, I guess…

Day Sixty-Two – Monday 18th May –

So, I was correct on the back pain being hard to get over. I woke up in agony. I was also incredibly grumpy because I didn’t sleep well. Every time I rolled over onto my back I woke up in pain! I’m experiencing an upside down ‘Y’ of pain. The tail of the Y starts at my lower back and travels all the way up to the base of my neck. The legs of the Y start at my lower back and go down to the back of my knees. All those muscles are terribly knotted and extremely painful.

I had to work from my bed today, with my laptop balanced on my chest, as it was the only way to work with minimal pain. I have been using icy hot gel and heating my wheatie constantly throughout the day. I was supposed to do pilates this morning but even I recognised that was a bad decision to make.

It was a difficult day. I haven’t had this much muscle pain in a long while. The back pain had caused me to tense in the night, so my knee injury was crying in tandem. It is these sorts of situations that make me very angry at all the conditions I have and send the negative thoughts of ‘why do I get all the punishments and none of the rewards’ loop.

It is the start of the hot weather again in the UK and while most people are rejoicing over sun, I am turning vampire with an umbrella and blackout curtains! I do like the sun but currently, the longer I’m outside the more vulnerable I am to my hay fever, meaning the more likely I am to get a migraine. It’s a vicious circle really.

Day Sixty-Three – Tuesday 19th May –

I spent most of the day mistakenly thinking it was Monday and getting very confused about the matter. I think this came about because I wasn’t in the office for the whole of Tuesday afternoon. In fact, I was only in for 2 hours because the scanner wasn’t working and couldn’t be instantly fixed. I basically couldn’t do what I had come in to do, so I went home instead!

As this hasn’t been my routine since lockdown began, I got all ‘higgity piggity’ about what was up, down, left, right etc.

Personally, I just think that my brain gave up for the day and closed its doors! It happens to us all right?

I’m kind of done with May now. Apart from the 2 Bank Holiday’s, May is kind of boring. Nothing happens and there are no fun events. In June there is Father’s Day and my Mum’s birthday. July and August have my sister’s birthday’s. I’m looking forward to these, regardless of lockdown, because it means present gifting and I LOVE present gifting! To be honest, I’ve had my Mum’s birthday present sorted since March, and Dad’s Father’s Day present sorted since April – but that’s because I thrive on being organised.

It always amuses me that while I LOVE gifting presents, I can’t stand people watching me opening presents. It fills me with anxiety and usually gives me a panic attack. I don’t like being the centre of attention in any format. I don’t gel with it at all, I’d rather be forgotten so I can sit in a corner and read.

Day Sixty-Four – Wednesday 20th May –

As with yesterday’s confusion over the date, I spent much of this morning convincing myself that it was indeed Wednesday and I hadn’t missed out on a day. I think I might slowly be losing the plot…

I spent most of the day studying in my room. I have blackout curtains, so it’s a lot cooler to be in my room during the day. I am currently halfway through my last unit – which is good – but unfortunately, it’s about budgeting – which is bad as me and numbers don’t mix – so I’m being extra careful to absorb all information.

It got even worse as the morning became the afternoon because I started to watch The Simpsons while I studied and soon lost the ability to concentrate on either! I decided I needed a break from studying for a little bit and got on with some weekly work tasks instead.

I joined in with the daily Teams meeting today because I felt like I actually had something to contribute. I know the daily meeting is to stop people from feeling so alone but it causes me anxiety to participate in a daily call that only lasts for 15minutes because no one has anything to say. I’ve been quite bad this week, I think today will be the only day I’ll attend. The meetings aren’t compulsory but I still find myself coming up with reasons I won’t be attending and emailing my boss accordingly.

Day Sixty-Five – Thursday 21st May –

Today was a better day because I focused on my mental health and divided up my day in a way that allowed me to seek out comfort and relief but also get work done and feel accomplished. I am trying to get through the last unit of my course and be finished with it by the end of Monday’s May Bank Holiday. It’s a doable achievement if I put the work into it.

It was so hot today that I moved my workspace downstairs and beside the open French doors in an attempt to enjoy the weather but also feel the cool breeze. I did 2.5 hours of studying and then finished painting a couple of cards for my shop. I did another couple of hours studying, stopped for lunch, did some more painting, and let the cycle continue.

My company is always talking about finding the right balance while working from home. There have been days when I have slaved 8 hours behind my laptop and not stopped for anything other than lunch and toilet breaks. Other times I divide my time up in a way that looks after myself. It’s sometimes difficult to find a balance because in my head I’m thinking ‘I’m still at work, I’m doing everything I would be doing in the office, I’m just sitting elsewhere’. But I forget that when I’m at the office there is social interaction, I’m moving around, I’m doing different projects etc. and there is a variety to the day that is missing from working at home.

I think I have now found a good balance of tasks that keeps me working to the best of my ability. I still feel like I’m producing enough work to be able to claim that I can effectively work from home, while still having moments that allow me to separate from that same work.

At 3pm on the dot – as has become the norm – the hay fever headache came in strong. I usually try to battle through these, sometimes they’re easier to deal with and sometimes not. At work, I would just roll down the blackout blind, turn the lights off, cope as well as I could and if needed ask to go home. At home however, it is very easy to fall into the routine of giving into the head pain too quickly and retreating for a nap.

I am very aware that I still have a job to do and that I’m getting paid for that job, so I have tried very hard to work through any headaches or migraines I’ve been experiencing. However, there are some exceptions and today was one of them. I suddenly started to get waves of nausea and my vision became a little spotty. I went upstairs at 3:15pm for a nap. Only a 40minute nap – I hadn’t taken a 30min lunchbreak today, so I used this nap as that break – and it did help a little to take the edge off my headache before I returned to work for the last hour.

By the time the sun had done down and 9pm was creeping into 10pm, the hay fever headache had become a pulsing migraine that had all the symptoms you would expect. It was rather unpleasant. I managed it the best I could.

Also – I did a couple of online ordering today! I know – someone please come take my card away from me! I will see the fruits of my impulses next week I’m sure!

Day Sixty-Six – Friday 22nd May –

I feel like I made it to the end of this week in record time! It feels like the days have gone too quickly and on more than one occasion this week, I thought I was on a different day than I was…

It has been an easier week for head pain. SHOCKING, I know but the pain has at least been more manageable. Or perhaps, I was too focused on my back pain to sense anything else.

I haven’t read as much this week as I would have liked. I just didn’t feel in the mood for reading. I picked up three different books but didn’t read more than a couple of chapters of each. I just wasn’t feeling the calming presence I usually feel when reading a book. It’s alright though, I go in and out of these phases when reading. Even more so in lockdown because everything has become so ‘samey’.

I have been enjoying replaying Assassin’s Creed Origin’s for the second time. I have only died 3 times which – if you’d have seen me play it the first time around – you’d know was a massive achievement! I also redownloaded Witcher 3 because I realised that I never ended up playing it. I thought now would be a good time to get through that game.

In contrast to yesterday’s scorching heat. Today it is muggy as hell and cloudy. Meaning, migraine weather for me but as of writing this, I only have a small headache.

This afternoon when I am in the office, I will be sure to open all the windows and pull the blackout blind down. The office building is made of wood as it used to be a sawmill, so, when it is hot, it’s even more oppressive inside as wood expands when it heats. Also, we have no aircon!

The breeze coming through the window in my workspace is quite lovely at the moment. Cold but fresh.

I keep having short intense bursts of anxiety but with no reason or understanding of why. It is most baffling because usually I’m so aware of my feelings and emotions and why I’m experiencing something particular. I feel very out of control and vulnerable when I get bursts for no apparent reason.

I’ll leave you with a question:

A man walks into a room and instantly loses 20 pounds. How does he do it?

Leave your answers in the comments and I’ll let you know if you got it right!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I enjoyed reading about how someone else is coping with life in lockdown. I find writing, naps and daily walks to be key to my sanity.

    Kristen |


    1. hshattock29 says:

      Thanks, glad it’s helping in some way. Oh daily walks are a must! I get out with my dogs everyday unless it is raining – as they aren’t rain dogs – I also write but can only take naps on the weekend or evenings as I’m still wfh. I also paint a lot


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