Thoughtful Thursday – Coping with Residual COVID

Bleeding Tooth Mushroom

It has been over a month since COVID-19 descended upon my Castle Serenity. The virus itself was mild and over quickly. But, my lungs didn’t clear fully so it was on to a round of steroids and then, of course, the pursuant oral thrush. ARGHHHH!!! Stupid Covid! Now, I seem to have developed Long-haul COVID. I’m still dealing with fatigue, headaches, cough, loss of sense of smell, brain fog and anxiety. I mean seriously? Anxiety from a virus? What’s up with that like I didn’t have enough anxiety issues?

Now here’s the question, how much of this is long-covid and how much is just my wacky immune disease? How much is just summer weather? I have no idea and frankly it doesn’t matter. I have appointments scheduled discuss the most distressing of the residual effects of brain fog, anxiety and my missing sense of smell with my PCP. In the meantime, I’m using more “lists” for anything I need to remember. Although, by the time I pick up a pen, the thought is already gone. Still if I can get it to the paper I stand a pretty good chance of remembering it. And hopefully, within a few months all will be right again.

That’s it for this rant til next time remember:
The grass is always greener over the septic tank ~Erma Bombeck
~Peace ~JP

Thoughtful Thursday – Thoughts on TAA and a July Meditation

photo from Pixabay

So I have spent the past six days in Prednisone purgatory. Yesterday, a really icky weather pattern moved into our area which has, naturally, led me straight into the first level of “weather flare he**.” Yeah, I’m not afraid to say, I’m not up to much right now. I’ll be fine in a day or two or as soon as the weather system settles in. Funny thing, I’m fine with either wet or dry, hot or cold, what sets my little lungs off is the change. The good news is that while I’m struggling to breathe, my peak flows remain solidly in the yellow zone. For non-asthmatic readers, peak flow meters measure how quickly you can exhale, like blowing out a candle. It’s a fair indicator of how constricted your bronchial tubes may be and I use it daily to monitor my asthma. Thunderstorm-Associated Asthma (TAA) is a real thing. I don’t think anybody knows exactly why it happens, but we know it does happen and it can turn dangerous very quickly. I am totally stocked up with every asthma drug known to womankind and I just ride it out. *grumble grumble stupid COVID*

I have caught myself recently focusing on lack. Lack of health, lack of confidence in the economy, lack of a vacation, you get the idea. That must stop RIGHT NOW! I have so many blessings I can’t even begin to count them but sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I use a specific prayer/meditation every month to shift my focus to where I know I should be and (more often than not) out of where I shouldn’t. For your perusal, my July Prayer/Affirmation:

“Great Spirit, I welcome You on this beautiful day.
I reach out to You with a grateful heart and give thanks for all the blessings of my life.
This day, help me let go of judgments about what is lacking or wrong.
Help me replace these negative thoughts with mindful gratitude that I may remember my vast riches of blessings.
Just for today, let me shine with the light Your presence brings.”

adapted from Pocketful of Miracles by Joan Borysenko, PhD

Til next time ~Namasté my friends ~JP

Coping with Covid day 7 – Final Entry

Over it yet?

Every day I’m feeling more and more like myself. I still have some muscle aches and fatigue, but my breathing is back to acceptable and improving. Brain fog seems to have settled in. It’s not overwhelming but I really have trouble concentrating and my brain does weird stuff. What kind of weird stuff? Sdrawkcab yltcaxe ecnetnes eritne na depyt tsuj I. I just typed an entire sentence exactly backwards. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, it was actually only three words, but it’s weird how often wohs shows up in my writing. I really miss my sense of smell too. None of my remaining symptoms rate any more attention than just continuing the healing process.

In the on-going battle against inflation I’ve noticed that it’s actually not difficult to cut a few corners, especially if you’re in quarantine. wink wink This week we eliminated grocery store trips with the exception of one pick up for basic essentials and lived off our prepper pantry. I’m not really a prepper but that seems to be the current terminology, I used to call it the “squirrel” pantry where I squirreled things away. We also converted a doctor’s appointment to Telemed phone interview. Yeah NOBODY wants us to come in for an office visit ;-).

When I needed to restock office supplies (pens, file folders, note pads) I simply dug through my “office stuff” box, resorted some files, and came up with everything I needed. Saved a trip and the cost of extra supplies, I mean really how many highlighters does one woman really need? While sorting the extra supplies, I located and/or created birthday cards for the July birthdays.

So that’s about it for my experience with the Omicrom variant of COVID-19.

Til next time ~May you coffee be stronger than your brain fog ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 6

Two steps forward, one step back. Yesterday we were able to pickup a grocery order and today we made a quick run for diabetic tussin and cough drops. Superhubs continues to improve and since we stopped the conventional cough syrup, his blood glucose is slowly returning to normal. Weird thing about LADA diabetes, any time he gets sick, his number shoot up, but our diabetes specialist assures us that is normal.

Today, my cough is worse, deep wracking spasms that leave me gasping for breath, my throat is raw and my tongue is sore, probably from too many cough drops. Wheezing is worst in the mornings, abating somewhat as the day rolls along. I have added “steaming” to my morning self-care regimen. Simply a large bowl with steaming water, a drop of eucalyptus, tent a towel over my head and breathe it in. Funny thing, I can’t smell the eucalyptus but I can feel the cooling effect on my airways.

All in all, I can’t really complain, I am functioning very well. I’ve had common “colds” that were worse. These symptoms are annoying and heaven knows I am tired of being tired, but I’ve apparently got a very mild version and I’m grateful for that. If you’ve had the “bad” version, I extend my sincere sympathies.

Til next time ~Stay Safe ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 5

positive test result

It’s drizzly this morning. I placed an on-line grocery order last night and we picked it up this morning. Ah, it’s good to have fresh produce again. We do most of our shopping at Whole Foods Grocery and I must say I am impressed with their grocery pickup process. The food was good, gently handled and ready when we arrived to pick it up which is particularly awesome considering that it included some frozen items which made it home, still frozen. Yeah baby! We got this!

This afternoon, the drizzle turned to full out rain. Beautiful, straight down, no wind, just beautiful drops gently falling on the parched earth. It’s what we used to call a “farmers rain.” Gentle, thorough soaking and just what our poor grass, shrubs and flowers need. I have felt better today, maybe it was getting out a bit, maybe it’s the rain, maybe I’m getting over the virus, don’t know but I’m grateful regardless.

I got a little writing done and this evening I played more video game. Got a little obsessed (OK maybe more than a little) but had a good time. My new bedtime ritual includes elderberry syrup, a magnesium cocktail, tumeric ginger tea, and a chant of “heal, heal, heal.”

Til next time ~Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Sanitized ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 4

Testing positive

Well, it’s morning and I pretty much feel like cr*p. I’m not quite as massively achy as yesterday but my cough is worse and painful. The nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite are starting to wear me down. Not being able to smell anything is a lot harder to cope with than I would have thought. I guess I never realized how much I depend on my sense of smell. I decided to use my aromatherapy diffuser to help lift my mood and plllltttt ;-p I can’t smell it. I went ahead and used it since I believe that essential oils have healing properties even though I can’t really appreciate them right now. I honestly can’t say how well (of if) it worked but I did feel a bit better just for doing something.

In an attempt to combat boredom and keep my mind off of being sick, I loaded up an old video game I used to enjoy. It’s been many years since I’ve played this particular version much and I must say, it worked! I spent a couple of hours glued to the computer, taking potshots at monsters and stomping/busting everything in sight. Ahhhh yes, leave none alive! Buahahaha. I was able to get in a short nap this afternoon and feel better for it, perhaps the worst is over.

Til next time ~Stay safe, stay sanitized ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 3

On Tuesday July 5, 2022, I tested positive for COVID. Herein is my attempt at documenting the process for a 65 year old spoonie with multiple chronic autoimmune diseases.

Day three progresses with much the same symptoms, intermittent fever/chills, severe lethargy and body aches. The big change is the mucus. I mean seriously, just how much snot can one nose produce? Or for that matter, one set of lungs. I mean really? I am currently known in our home as SWBHA (She Who Blows and Hacks Alot). Cough has degenerated into a croupy bark and one particular coughing fit nearly brought me to my knees.

I did manage to call me PCP to get one of my prescriptions sorted out and do a little mending but that’s about it. I am so tired, I barely have enough energy to breathe and forget about blinking. On the positive side, Superhubs seems to be improving every day, I’m just a few days behind him.

Late afternoon, I turned on my computer to play a little bit of video game and the blasted thing tried to take off again. It does this weird thing where the fan starts whirring really really fast and loud and it’s just scary as heck. Seriously, it’s a “this message will self destruct in 30 seconds” kind of noise. Superhubs has sorted it out before but this time mentioned that perhaps the whole system just needed to be sent back and refunded and we’ll get me something else. THAT was all it took to set me off. I’m utterly exhausted and the thought of setting up a new computer AGAIN was more than I could handle, situation rapidly devolved into tears because “I should be over this by now.” Yeah, right. Note to self, do NOT listen to the voices in your head, they are liars.

While preparing to take a relaxing, medicinal bath, I realized I have lost my sense of smell. ARRRRGGGHHH!

Til next time ~Stay Sanitized ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 2

Day two of this nonsense. I’ve been sicker, I’ll say that much.

  • Fever is controlled with acetaminophen but keeps popping back up
  • Pain level is high as Every. Single. Muscle. in my body screams in pain
  • Still have all the same symptoms as yesterday including chills, fatigue, massive sinus congestion and deep racking cough

I don’t feel incredibly bad, just really not good. Not much in the way of energy but I did manage to do a load of laundry, participate in Superhub’s Telemed appointment, do a little blogging and rework our meal plan to eliminate a trip to the store. Oh yeah, and I also prepared meals for both of us. :-p take that COVID.

We had a thunderstorm pop up in the evening, when I feel at my worst, naturally. Storms are a panic trigger for me and between the threatening skies and worry over this stupid illness, I wound up needing a sedative. I experienced my first “brown out” and it was really weird. We lost power to some stuff, not everything, but enough to be really inconvenient. We lost our central air, stove, refrigerator, and about half our lights. The rest of our lighting dimmed or flickered ominously so we just turned everything off. Ultimately we totally lost power and so I prepared a “no cook, don’t open the refrigerator” meal for dinner which turned out to be quite tasty. The power did come back on shortly after dinner and before full dark.

Watched a little TV, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. That’s it for my day ~Stay Safe ~JP

Coping with Covid – Day 1

On Tuesday July 5, 2022, I tested positive for COVID. Herein is my attempt at documenting the process for a 65 year old spoonie with multiple chronic autoimmune diseases.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling excessively fatigued. Since Superhubs tested positive for COVID on Friday, on the advice of my Nurse, I tested myself with the quick at-home COVID test. WOW! The positive line popped up in like 10 seconds. I let the test sit as instructed for 15 minutes and, sure enough it’s positive. My symptoms include:

  • Fever – only 98.5 on my at-home thermometer but since I normally run no more than 97, that’s a fever. Plus I DO NOT run fevers, like ever. The last time was, well when I had the stupid Delta Variant in 2021. OK so apparently I do run fevers, just not much and not often.
  • Chills – wow, seriously, we have a heat advisory going on, my home thermostat reads 75 indoors and I’m shivering? Are you kidding me?
  • Congestion – I can’t breath through my nose at all, I’m constantly blowing and sniffing and sneezing … oh my.
  • Cough – Deep, racking, productive cough; painful but not busting capillaries
  • Body aches – holy moly every single muscle and joint in my entire body hurts
  • Headache – pounding, throbbing tight band around the skull, Aleve helps, acetaminophen is pretty much useless
  • Fatigue/exhaustion – by afternoon, I can barely move

I decided that somebody on my medical team should know about this so I put in a call to my Pulmonologist. Got a prompt response from my Nurse, and was offered Paxlovid and steroids. I declined both for the time being. I am moving air fine, my peak-flows are over 300 (400 is “good” for me). I have reservations about drugs that are “investigational” and only authorized for the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) from the FDA. Nobody really knows about the drug interactions and, folks, I take a LOT of routine medications. As for the steroids, I have to be a lot sicker than I am before I’m willing to put myself through Prednisone Purgatory. I was advised to stay in, don’t leave the house unless it’s to go to the emergency room and be mindful of my breathing. If it gets worse, get my hiney in to the ER.

Superhubs is on day 5 of COVID, improving slowly. Symptoms have begun to lessen, except for Blood Glucose readings which are annoyingly high, not panic time but put in a call to his diabetes specialist.

So that’s it for today, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Til next time ~Stay safe, Stay sanitized ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday, PPAC and coping with COVID

As you may have deduced from the title, Castle Serenity has been invaded by the dreaded COVID-19. Superhubs and I both tested positive and are sick as the proverbial dogs. Although we are both fully vaccinated and boosted, my pulmonologist is standing by with prescriptions for Paxlovid and, of course, prednisone. *insert raspberry pllllttttt* So our walkabout this week is a quick tour of some chalkboard art found in the Starbucks in Casper Wyoming, which was about all of the town we got to see on our way back to South Dakota due to last summer’s encounter with the Delta variant.

Coffee and inspiration, always a winning combination

I love these quotes and the creative decorative drawings on the chalkboard.

Inspired by Marsha’s PPAC # 53

Til next time ~Stay safe, stay sanitized and choose wisely ~JP