life

Day 35 of Isolation: Recovery and Regret

So, yesterday, the elementary school decided to deliver the kids’ workbooks and anything else the teachers could find in their cubbies. They did this by boxing it up and driving to the morning bus stops on a three-hour delayed schedule. No big deal.

I waited outside with my son because he’s suddenly got anxiety about seeing his friends even though they couldn’t even get close to each other. We live on the corner and the morning bus stops across the street (afternoon bus lets out on our corner) so I figured we’d just sit on our porch and wait. But we got bored and the weather was very nice so I opened the garage and found the electric hedge clippers and decided to do a little yard maintenance.

It was much needed.

The bus was, of course, even later than anticipated because of stopping to drop stuff off so I was able to finish the hedges and was working on some bushes that were originally shaped like topiaries that are now horribly overgrown after nearly four years of basic neglect. I was making headway on the one when the batter on the clippers died. Sigh.

And of course, I couldn’t find the charger anywhere in the garage or house. At this point, the bus showed up, so we collected my son’s books and he went inside to pretend to do homework. I was cleaning up and staring into the disaster zone that is our garage (and also the boys’ bedroom) and decided I needed to do something because you could barely even walk through it to the kitchen.

So I spent a good hour, moving a few things around and picking up the piles of literal trash my eighteen-year-old left before he went to stay with a friend during the pandemic (if he didn’t have asthma and therefore be at greater risks of complications, I would have made him come home and clean it up himself).

Anyway, I gave up after a while because the garbage truck hadn’t been by to empty the can so I had no more room to dispose of the trash and decided I was done.

At that point, I was still feeling okay, but this is where my chronic anemia is a problem because I’ll feel okay for a bit and then, BAM, I’m not okay anymore. It will hit me suddenly and feels like someone dropped several hundred pounds on top of me as I try to move. Thinking is just as difficult.

I managed to put things back enough to close the garage door (leaving an actual clean, open area for my son to play with his LEGOS so they aren’t right in front of the kitchen door) and grabbed some lunch on my way upstairs.

As soon as I finished eating, I knew I was in trouble because I was so tired. I ended up napping for several hours, waking up just as tired as when I laid down which is pretty standard. I was supposed to cook dinner, but I used up all of my energy in the garage so everyone had to fend for themselves.

But it doesn’t end there because here it is Friday now, and I still have almost no energy. I can barely move and I have a tightness in my chest that is new (thinking partly aggravated allergies). Now I’m stuck just sitting here because I’m still exhausted.

And that’s a huge problem with this illness–recovery takes forever. There’s a reason I really don’t do anything anymore. I can’t even handle simple chores like laundry or dishes. It wears me out for the rest of the day as my body fights to get oxygen to critical areas with my limited red blood cells. It sucks.

On top of the exhaustion is also an overwhelming regret for doing more than I knew I should. I never seem to learn, though. I keep trying to do things like I used to even though it’s been years since I’ve had the energy. There was a time I could spend eight straight hours cleaning the garage and just have to deal with sore muscles, not feeling like I’m about to die after forty-five minutes of light organizing.

Who knows how long it will take to recover from this bit of work either. Could be hours or days. Taking a nap doesn’t work because the tiredness isn’t from overworking so much as just how my body is. Napping probably isn’t going to replenish my iron levels. But at that point, I’m so tired, I can’t do anything else.

[Apologies that this is rambling and incoherent because another side effect of the anemia is I have a hard time organizing my thoughts so everything in my head is a jumbled mess all of the time.]