I’ve realized these past few days just how much of a toll recovering from Covid has taken on me. At the 10 day mark of quarantine, which was my return to work date, I still felt dizzy and bogged down. I scheduled a virtual appointment with a doctor who works with my primary care doc and after hearing how I was feeling, she told me it was best to stay home until the neurological symptoms passed, fearing if I pushed myself at work I’d just end up fainting. Obviously, this caused a bit of panic. I’m heartbroken to be missing the Breeders Crown after months of planning. I have to figure out what to do financially so I can afford to recover. While I’m no longer contagious, I still can’t really go anywhere thanks to the dizziness. It mentally and physically feels like I’m trapped.
Last night I woke up around 12:30, figuring I’d fall back asleep in a few minutes as I do almost every night. Something was keeping me awake, though, and it wasn’t just Balaga tearing around the apartment. Something was weighing on me; It felt like much of the emotion I’d been holding back was about to come screaming out of me. I realized that the one thing that would likely help was a hug from my mom. With the dizziness and fatigue, I wouldn’t trust myself to drive that far and while I’m no longer contagious, she is immune compromised so I need to be extra careful around her. As all of this hit, I started crying quietly for I’m not sure how long.
I realized I wouldn’t be going back to bed anytime soon, so I simply lie there, trying to figure out my next move. For some reason (at 1:15 in the morning), my body was telling me to go outside. I slowly rolled out of bed, threw on a sweatshirt, poured a small mug of Glögg (emphasis on the word small) and sat on my patio. I didn’t know what my goal was. Part of me thought I was looking for a sign and grew increasingly frustrated as nothing popped out at me. In my “searching,” I began to take in everything around me.
The grass was damp and glistening from the on and off drizzle of the night, giving the air that fresh scent of rebirth. I took notice of the spots illuminated by the lamps along the walking trail, the trail I swore I’d use since I moved in a little over two years ago and had only used a few times during shutdown. I saw the large tree that I swore I’d make my new spot for writing, but never followed through on. I noticed some of the trees directly behind my apartment were much taller than I had thought, taking note of which ones had lost their leaves, which had orange and which ones were still clinging to summer.
I saw a couple of birds flitting around and wondered if birds can see at night (I Googled it; Unless they’re a nocturnal species, they cannot and rely on a simple form of echolocation). The fountains in the ponds were lit with some colored lights, the one closest to me occasionally making me jump occasionally when the spray would move into my peripheral vision. Another apartment had their lights on, and I wondered what they were doing awake at one in the morning. As I took my first sip of Glögg, I was taken aback by the smack of the fumes and potency of my first sip of the season (if you know, you know). The wind made me shiver a bit, but the air felt refreshing.
Once I’d decided I’d found some peace, I went inside, being a bit more intentional with each move. As I washed out the mug, I noticed it was now 2am, and I was nowhere near tired enough to sleep though I’d spent the last two days sleeping through 60% of the day. I added water to the vase of flowers a friend gave me a couple weeks ago (resilient little things, going on two weeks) and tossed the two that had died into the grass so they could melt back into the earth. I curled up with Balaga, took care of a few lingering tasks and read until I eventually dozed off.
I woke up around 11, marking the first day in some time I was able to wake up with less than 12 hours of sleep. I showered and decided I was going to try and accomplish a few things despite the dizziness: pick up prescriptions, stop at the post office and vote. Unfortunately, I only made it about five minutes waiting in line before my head started spinning so that task is on delay, but I was able to run a couple of errands on my own for the first time in weeks. Even with the one “fail,” I still saw today as a win and one step closer to being able to go back to work.
I’m still devastated about having to miss the Breeders Crown, something that I’m sure will hit me when I turn the races on tomorrow. I wish Covid hadn’t made retreat smaller so I wasn’t having to have my first November in almost ten years without a weekend at Bradford Woods. I wish life would settle down and people would wear their masks so we can have some semblance of normalcy.
I think the point I want to leave you all with is to take a deep breath and take your time. Acknowledge the world around you and take every little bit that you can in. During your commute, look for things you hadn’t noticed before. When holding a conversation, try and really listen to what the other person is communicating (not just saying, but communicating). Take little steps to bring yourself some comfort and add some beauty to your life.
I love you and you are enough.