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Archive for the tag “coronavirus”

Day 65 of Isolation: Poor Baby

arroweaster_041220My grandson is sick. He’s just 11 months old. I guess he was up all night with a sudden, high fever that just would not go away even with Ibuprofen so my daughter called her ex’s mom to take them to urgent care (my husband was already at work with our only car so I couldn’t help even if I was awake).

His symptoms were sudden, high fever, rash, and peeling palms. Very bad signs. But my daughter refused the COVID test for some reason.

Now it’s a waiting game to see if he develops any new symptoms of those get worse. He’s currently staying with his other gramma while my daughter at work because she’s better equipped to deal with a sick baby. I don’t have the energy and my husband is still at work.

She said he seems to be feeling better already now that the Tylenol they gave him has finally kicked in. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious and just one of those things kids pick up randomly. It’s concerning that those symptoms happen to be the main ones for this Kawasaki disease kids are getting related to COVID-19.

My heart does not need this extra anxiety.

Day 63 of Isolation: Unisolated

I left the house and went somewhere for the first time during lockdown, not including my trip to the ER which was unavoidable. Other than that, I’ve driven my daughter to the store twice and rode along with my husband when he got gas the other day just to get out, but I’ve never actually gone anywhere myself.

But the women of the house needed certain supplies my husband refuses to buy so out I went. Originally, I was just going to run to the Safeway in town to pick up a few things, but instead, my husband drove me to Walmart.

It was a weird experience starting with the fact the Walmart parking lot was practically empty on a Friday afternoon. My husband’s done all of the shopping the last two months. I haven’t been to a store since March 13. With my health issues (anemia and now severe hypertension), I’m considered high risk. It’s bad enough I have to worry about catching this virus from my husband and daughters who go out to work/babysit. We decided it would be better if I don’t put myself out there as well, upping my chances of infection.

This was just one of those essential trips that had to be done, though. I mean, my 19yo could have bought the stuff on one of her numerous snack runs or on her way home from work, but instead, she’s just been taking my personal supply. Then suddenly three of us had our cycles hit at the same time and we were nearly out. She still didn’t think to pick more up, leaving it to me. Figures.

So, yeah, I went out. And now I’m full of anxiety and guilt. Guilt because I’m still not completely sure I’m well and these symptoms are related to my hypertension. What if they’re not? What if I am sick and passing it to everyone? Nevermind my husband refuses to wear a mask (I was wearing mine).

I got us some groceries and other things we needed, and by the time we checked out, my chest was killing me. Coronavirus? Possible heart attack? Anxiety? Who knows. It hurt to breathe and having the mask on wasn’t helping. I was exhausted by the time we got home and then the anxiety kicked in. Every difficult breath, every slight cough, every scratch swallow makes me wonder if I caught something. Am I unintentionally passing it to my family? To my grandson?

The anxiety is making my blood pressure worse. It’s been way up the last few days to begin with, but I can feel my chest tightening the more I worry. I’m ready to dig out the leftover supply of anxiety meds I have except those are actually blood pressure medication that happens to help with anxiety. I no longer have a doctor so I have no idea if they would be safe to take with my actual blood pressure pills. This sucks.

I don’t ever want to leave my house again except to walk around my neighborhood. There’s just too much anxiety involved. Now I’ll be worried for weeks if I’m developing symptoms. I can’t deal with this right now.

If anything, mental health professionals are going to have a boon when this is all over and everyone needs to get their anxiety and depression treated. I’ll be in line for sure.

Day 56 of Isolation: Is That a Cough?

Woke up feeling not so great today. My head is hurting, throat a little scratchy, nose completely stuffed up, and every once in a while, I get this little cough. I feel like crap.

Normally, this wouldn’t faze me. I’d ignore it and hope the symptoms went away, but with COVID-19 out there, any time I feel the tickle of a cough, I start to worry.

Of course, having just spent two weeks in quarantine on the off chance I picked something up while in the ER, I’m even more paranoid. The last thing I want (or need) is two more weeks in isolation.

I was planning on going outside and doing stuff because I finally can, but now I’m low-key freaking out. What if it’s something more than just my allergies acting up because I have the window open? What if I get other people sick?

The anxiety is eating me alive so I’ve stayed in my room most of the day worrying because I cooked dinner last night and what if everyone gets what I have.

Then there’s the “sane” side of my brain that says this is just allergies because Occam’s Razor. Allergies makes a lot more sense than suddenly showing symptoms for COVID-19 after two weeks or maybe catching it from my husband or daughters who are also showing no symptoms.

If only I could make the crazy side of my brain listen and calm down so I can go get something to eat. Ugh.

Day 43 of Isolation: Day 2 of Quarantine

Because my symptoms (chest tightness and difficulty breathing) could possibly be the beginning of COVID-19 and because I spent several hours at the hospital on Thursday, I’m in complete quarantine now.

Well, as complete as my family will let me be because my husband isn’t taking any of this seriously and my 9yo is apparently in charge of checking on me.

On top of being depressed, lonely, hungry and bored out of my mind, I’m now also filled with guilt at the thought that I might have this and be spreading it because my husband refuses to isolate/quarantine at all. He comes in here all of the time and touches me, uses the bathroom, touches all of my stuff, stands a foot away from me. He doesn’t care. He thinks it’s “just the flu” and we’re all overreacting.

Of course, he went back to work because in his opinion, if I have it, I got it from him so what difference does it make. Ugh. I can’t even explain the logical fallacy and idiocy of his thinking. He’s just going to spread it at work if he had it and gave it to me but since he has no symptoms, in his mind, there’s no reason to isolate further.

So fine, maybe I didn’t have it or get it from him (or one of the girls who have been out at work), but I could have picked it up inside of the hospital and now everyone in the house has been exposed through him because he can’t stay out of my room.

I’m just so frustrated because if I was really sick or if he actually gets it, there will be no way to stop it from spreading to the rest of the family. The house isn’t big enough.

On top of that, I’m not sure if it’s anxiety psyching me out or allergies or what, but I keep getting his tickle in the back of my throat that makes me cough, and I swear there’s a burn in my lungs when I take a deep breath. I don’t want to think of the implications.

This is only the second day of quarantine, and I’m already losing my mind.

Day 42 of Isolation: Defeat and Depression

I just… ugh.

Tried to make a follow-up appointment with my regular doctor only to find they’re dropping me as a patient. Actually, dropping my entire family. They said they’ll try to get me seen in the next month but after that, I have to find someone else. At a time when a lot of practices aren’t accepting new patients.

I just feel so defeated. I didn’t have a PCP (primary care provider) for most of my adult life because I either didn’t have insurance or every time I found a doctor something would happen–we’d move or they’d close/retire, they’d stop taking our insurance or drop me for some other reason. I mostly gave up but my mental health provider kept prodding me and we found this doctor for the kids. She was in family practice so I decided to just see her myself. I really liked her.

Now I have to start the process all over again. Explain all my issues to yet another doctor. Go through all of the tests, trials, and errors as they decide what they want to do with me.

I’m so tired. I’ve been crying all day. It’s too much. I’m in quarantine and all alone which normally would be fine, but I also have no access to food in my room. My husband went to work despite saying he was going to call in so I’m dependent on the kids. My 19yo took off to a friend’s until she’s sure I don’t have the virus. That leaves me in the care of the other three kids: 17, 14, and 9.

No one has checked on me all day.

I hate being helpless and dependent.

Day 41 of Isolation: ER Trip

me_042320So, I got an up-close and personal look at how our local hospital has things set up during the time of coronavirus. It went rather smoothly, and I was only there a few hours, so I give them a high rating.

I think I might have mentioned last week that I had a weird tightness in my chest after doing some work in the garage. It was really weird and came on suddenly. I remember just standing there for a few moments considering the feeling and finally understanding what people with the virus meant when they felt tightness. Every time I’d been sick and had trouble breathing it was because my chest was congested (or I ended up with pneumonia). This was different.

But it wasn’t painful, so I finished what I was doing, took a nap and went about my life. I noticed the tightness off an on over the last week and had this weird feeling of being bloated like I just ate a full Thanksgiving meal and couldn’t catch my breath.

Last night, I was sitting here trying to ignore the feeling when I noticed a new ache in my right shoulder/neck area. It didn’t seem related to a muscle or joint–just the entire area felt tense and ached. Something clicked in the back of my head from an article I read years ago about symptoms of a heart attack and how they differ for women.

Then this morning our local health department put this out:

heartattack

I shared it with my husband who immediately called my doctor and they recommended I go to the ER right away. My husband left work early to drive me over there.

I hate hospitals (I mean, who really likes them?) and doctors give me all sorts of anxiety. Never mind, as a woman, we’ve had this idea ingrained in our heads over centuries that we’re overreacting to whatever ails us and being hysterical even though we now know women have been suffering with way more pain than anyone imagined without saying a word (cramps anyone?). Still, whenever I’m sick, I get this overwhelming guilt if I ask for help or need to get checked out. Is it really that important? Am I wasting the staffs time because I’m making the symptoms out to be worse than they are? Ugh.

Anyway, my husband insisted I go get it checked out.

Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be anything glaringly wrong with my heart. The EKG was clear and so was my chest x-ray. They couldn’t find anything wrong with my heart or lungs in any of the tests they did. The only issue I had was my blood pressure which was 191/92 when I got the ER. Yikes!

So, after a few hours, they sent me home with a prescription for some blood pressure pills and an order to contact my doctor for a follow-up to monitor that. Of course, if I have any worsening symptoms or new ones I should go back.

There’s also a very minute chance this was the virus which I highly doubt. I would have had to catch it from my husband or one of my eldest daughters (oldest works a few days a week at the dollar store and the 17yo has been babysitting when her friend’s family also has to work). No one in the house is sick, and although people can be asymptomatic carriers, it doesn’t seem statistically likely in this case that I’d be the only one sick when there are seven of us in the house. But who knows. On top of that, I’ve now spent several house at a hospital so I’m supposed to quarantine myself in my room and wear a mask if I go into the other rooms.

It also means I shouldn’t be cooking or the family anymore. Great. That means we won’t be eating anything for the next couple weeks since I do 99% of the cooking. My husband and kids have no problem living off of cereal and PB&J, but I can’t do it. I need real food, preferably stuff with iron in it. My husband did bring me some dinner when we got home (the first thing I’d eaten all day) but no one has checked on me since then. It’s been like 3 hours.

So, today has been tons of fun. /sarcasm

Hopefully, the blood pressure meds do the trick and that’s what’s causing the tightness, and I don’t develop anything else COVID-19-related. I don’t think I can handle that right now.

Day 31 of Isolation: A Month in Review

I can say, without a doubt, this has been the strangest month of my life. Never would I have thought that my natural tendencies to isolate thanks to social anxiety and being an introvert would actually come in handy someday. But here we are, and I’m living it up, lol. No more pressure to go out and do things and being forced to interact with people because being social is the acceptable format of life.

On the other hand, I’m isolated with six other people, and it’s starting to weigh on me. It’s noisy and chaotic, and I thought I was done with this kind of pandemonium when my kids became teens and were no longer around all of the time. Now they’re (almost) all home all of the time.

Anyway, we’ve been isolating for a month now. The kids haven’t been in school since March 13. That was also the last time I was at a store or went anywhere besides walking around the neighborhood. I waited in line to check out for almost an hour that day and managed to snag one of the last packages of toilet paper (which we are currently coming to end with right now–this was back up for when our regular supply ran out but we managed to make it last longer than I expected).

Since then, I’ve driven to that store twice, but didn’t go inside. Otherwise, I’ve been at home. I’ve walked around the neighborhood on four different days, never getting more than a few blocks from our house.

I painted rocks with the kids which is something I haven’t done in years because I haven’t had the energy, but with nothing else to do, managed to drag out the paints and harvest some rocks from the landscaping.

Those rocks were hidden around the neighborhood on our walks. It’s a little extra motivation to actually get out. Not sure if any have been found. They were all still there last time I checked (on Easter).

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I did find two, including this one which made my day. I absolutely love finding rocks painted by little hands. They are the best rocks. This and its sibling joined our collection we’ve had going for four years. Not sure if I’ll ever release it back into the wild. Sometimes we do, but some of them we’ve kept because we love them so much.

I’ve spent a lot of time working on other craft projects because I have nothing else to do with my time. I’ve crocheted a bunch of washcloths out of scrap cotton  yarn in case we run out of paper towels. I’ve made baby blankets and keep adding to a throw blanket I’m making for myself (that won’t be finished any time soon because I’m nearly out of yarn and craft stores are closed).

And since I am running so low on yarn and officials are now recommending everyone cover their faces in public, I broke out the sewing machine and my old quilting supplies to make masks for the family.

We’ve celebrated a birthday and Easter stuck in this house together. I filled out the census and helped my 19yo shave off all of her hair to cope with her anxiety and also got part of my Girl Genius Kickstarter I helped fund (my first and only Kickstarter so far). I can’t wait for the rest of it to arrive.

 

And now my grandson is starting to walk! Of course, every time we’ve tried to get video or pictures of it, he sits down. He took his first official steps on Easter. Now he occasionally walks four or five steps across the room before he realizes what he’s doing and stops. He turned ten-months on the 7th. My daughter asked how long before he’s actually walking, and I told her by the end of the week probably. We’re going to be in so much trouble.

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chiliskilletOther than that, I’ve kept busy with cooking dinner most nights (often making up new recipes as I go with what we have on hand), watching Netflix (got through Lost in Space and Another Life), and now playing board games online since I can never seem to coordinate with the kids to play actual board games with them.

Of course, not everything has been great. We’re still under a lot of stress and worry about the virus and money. Right now my husband is still working. So we have money for food (unlike some people), but with a constant worry of him bringing this home every day he works. And with my health, that could be very bad. I haven’t been sleeping well because of chronic insomnia and anxiety (which I’m out of medication for).

jack_040620The kids officially started digital schooling last week as the buildings are closed for the rest of the year now which is another headache added to my life. It’s necessary, but there’s a reason I didn’t homeschool my kids. I just don’t have the energy for all of this.

The past month has been completely strange, and yet, oddly the same as always for us. And it’s just the first month. I’m sure the next month will be more of the same dichotomy of strange but the same. The kids aren’t going back to school. Graduations (I have a senior and an 8th grader) are up in the air. Summer might be spent in isolation and even I’m starting to go stir crazy.

I’m sure 2020 will go down as the craziest year of my life.

 

Day 26 of Isolation: We Have Masks

Well, it took a while, but I finally got some masks done–two each for the kids (actually, three for the oldest who works at Dollar Tree so she can wear a clean one each day) and one for me so far. My husband wouldn’t wear them even if I made them so I didn’t bother.

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The pattern I mostly used was from our local hospital on what they would want in homemade masks. Not that I plan to make and donate–like I said in that previous post, I don’t have the physical or emotional energy to do stuff like that right now–but I figured if the pattern was good for the hospital, it would be good for us. I did combine some with another pattern (that I can seem to find anymore) so that you could insert a filter of some sort if you’d like.

I decided on fabric straps instead of elastic around the ears. I did find some elastic in my stash, but everything I’ve read, including the hospital pattern, says straps are preferential. The problem is they take forever to make. None of the bias tape I have is small enough so I have to make my own.

masks_040720a

Ironing, cutting, piecing the masks themselves… that all takes maybe an hour to do a dozen of them. But the straps? I’ve got a system down now so ironing them out takes about 15 minutes per set of straps. I need one of the bias tape makers I saw advertised on Facebook. It would save me so much time (and burnt fingertips).

I will say, I’m happy my sewing machine has been cooperative so far. When I used it in October to make Halloween costumes, I couldn’t get the bobbins to wind correctly and wasted a ton of thread. And the needle threader is a little wonky, but I have it working now. So far no issues.

I’ll probably make more once I’ve recovered from making these ones and give them away or sell them. I do enjoy making them, it just exhausts me completely.

Anyway, the pictures are of the second batch I made. I need to get some of the first ones and of the kids wearing them.

Day 19 of Isolation: Allergies or Cold?

endofworld

These are uncertain times in many ways, and for me right now, one of them is constantly playing the game of “is this symptom just allergies or is it the start of something more?”

It’s not a fun game, and there really aren’t any winners.

It’s allergy season which means trees are blooming, the grass is growing again and flowers are blossoming. It also means I’m a miserable wreck. I spent most of the day sneezing into my shirt and trying to convince myself I don’t need to take a precious sinus pill to relieve the growing pressure in my head. I only have so many pills and have no idea when or if I can get more. I’d hate to use them now then really need them later.

If the sneezing wasn’t bad enough, a little tickle starts to grow in the back of my throat. Allergies? Sore throat? The start of more? Sometimes that tickle makes me want to cough. But is it a real cough or a reaction? Who knows.

Do I have a fever? Hard to tell. I don’t feel any hotter than usual to the touch. We don’t have a thermometer in the house (unless my daughter has one for the baby) and the stores are sold out so it’s anybody’s guess.

It’s all so very frustrating. I’ve been good–staying inside and away from people as much as possible. I haven’t physically left the property since March 18 when I took my grandson for a walk around the neighborhood. I haven’t been in a store since March 13. But my husband still works. He works at the airport and every day is a potential to bring something home and spread it.

It’s really hard to tell what these symptoms mean. One is fatigue, but I feel fatigued 24/7. I’m exhausted from the moment I get out of bed until I fall back asleep. I hurt everywhere all of the time because I’ve put on so much weight since I don’t have the energy to move around and the depression manifests in overeating.

I have to keep telling myself it’s just the allergies, though. This happens every year. If I let myself think something else, the anxiety takes over. Ugh ugh ugh.

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there and hopefully not dealing with allergies.

Day 9 of Isolation: What Day Is It? (also Rock Painting)

Seriously.

Apparently, it’s Sunday. When did that happen?

I can’t keep track of the days anymore with the kids not in school. I’m so confused most of the time. Too bad we never got around to buying a 2020 calendar before all of this started.

UPDATE:

Jack (my nine-year-old) and I also painted rocks today. It’s the first time I’ve really painted in over a year. Or was it two years? Obviously, it’s been a long time.

Going to seal them tonight and probably put them on the side of the house (we have a retaining wall that runs along the sidewalk) since we aren’t going out walking. Let’s hope everyone washes their hands really well if they take one. Or just admire from a distance, please.

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Bonus pictures of my grandson who joined us in the sun for a bit.

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Found that little ball cap in the closet. It used to belong to Jack and was covered in cat fur, lol. But it kept the sun off his head and looked better on him than the floppy pink Easter hat that used to belong to his mother (didn’t get a picture of it).

 

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