social distance diaries: day 21

Day 21, Sunday

Slept in until 8, which is later than usual for me but much needed. Still have a mild headache that may be weather-related (I hope). Tried to write, but it’s been hard to concentrate for obvious reasons. My anxiety is manageable today and no heart palpitations so far (good!). I’m mostly drained after the emotional roller-coaster of the last two days.

Took a very short walk, simply to get out of the house for a few minutes. Watched PS. I Still Love You and it was as perfect as the first.

Migraine still going strong this evening, but it’s mild by my standard. Hoping it starts to rain soon and that it’s just barometric-pressure related.

I have to pick up my mom’s Rx refills tomorrow and I’m dreading the thought of going. The pharmacy doesn’t have a drive thru or delivery option and she has so many scripts, it’s too much of a hassle to have them transferred. Going to pick up whatever she, my BF, and I might need and hope I don’t have to go out again. Pray for me.

 

social distance diaries: days 15-20

* TW: my mental health declines in these.

Day 15

Another rough night, barely slept and had a hard time waking up in the morning… which meant I had to start out of bed and hop right onto chat with little prep. Not ideal, but made it work.

Day 16

The days are starting to blend… things have slowed down a bit, work-wise, and I’m trying to find the mental space to work on more than the basics, but it hasn’t happened yet…

Day 17

The usual, plus a very long meeting watching faculty trying to figure out how to use a survey tool. It was a looooong meeting.

Ordered dinner from a local Greek restaurant for the first time since I started the work-from-home sitch. I tried ordering from two Chinese places and both were closed, which makes me wonder if they were experiencing racism or decided to be safe (hoping it’s the latter and not the former).

Day 18

What day is it again? (it’s Thursday, for the record)

Went to the Outside after doing my first round of chat… more people wearing masks, so that’s good. I wore a makeshift scarf mask and prayed for the best. To keep my mom and gran away from contagion, I’ve been doing their groceries along with mine, which means I spent an obscene amount of money at Walmart, all while dodging people (still no toilet paper or disinfectant. Also, men need to learn to respect the distance). The elders and the cats will be fed for some time (my mom feeds her own cats plus the local colony that she’s TNRed).

Donated to Feeding America. https://www.feedingamerica.org/

Every time I have a cough, I wonder if this is it 😦

Day 19

Started having anxiety attacks again last night after doing what I shouldn’t do and reading covid accounts. I can’t tell if the weirdness my body feels is the usual weirdness or more, which only spurs the anxiety and makes my chest hurt more. It’s hard to focus on anything right now, but I’m eating well, moving, and trying to take care of myself as much as I can.

Had a major panic attack at night and thought I was having a heart attack. It was terrifying and happened more than once over the course of a few hours until I felt like I was dying. Called a 24 hour on-call nurse and 911. My vitals and EKG checked out, so that was a relief, but it took a while for me to fall asleep.

The Weekend

Day 20, Saturday

Called my doctor’s on-call service and spoke with the weekend doctor. She prescribed anxiety meds because I need more than my regular interventions can offer. My usual pharmacy is out of stock at all the nearby locations so I had to call around to find a CVS that had it in stock. It’s an obvious reflection of the times we’re in when all the anxiety meds are out of stock at a major retailer. Waiting for them to be filled and hoping they can stave off the next attack.

Got the meds after a mishap with the Rx transfer. Took the first dose with dinner. The anxiety gets worse in the evenings. I also have a mild migraine and sinus pressure that has been bothering me all day. I slept through most of the morning into the afternoon because I had no desire to do anything. I’m ok at the moment. I just don’t want to feel like I’m dying again.

 

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social distance diaries: Days 11-14

Day 11

6a – roll out of bed and drive over to the boy’s to deliver banana bread surprise.

7a – breakfast while watching more Kim’s Convenience, skincare because it’s been days…

8-10 – chat

11-12 – walk and lunch – starving all morning!

1pm meeting with my department, mostly for the social connection

2-ish – call from mom, trip to pharmacy and near panic because of the sheer number of people NOT distancing at her local grocery store.
[came home to wash from head to toe. gotta admit, my anxiety was triggered by this trip, as was my fear]

more email in the afternoon

more Kim’s Convenience – possibly the best binge ever, so fun and lighthearted. The appa reminds me a bit of my grandfather and my dad rolled into one.

———————

Day 12

kind of tired today, likely PMS (hope). It’s been a struggle to focus this week. Today was a blur of video chats and email. Morning yoga before work and a walk in between meetings. Second day in a row that I take care of my skin (the lack is starting to show).

Super lazy today, not much interest in getting things started. Have to admit, creative work is a struggle at the moment.

———————

The weekend

Day 13

Woke up with a racing heart on Saturday around 3am. It was a rough night and a late morning. Felt like I missed most of the day and had to work 4 hours of chat in the afternoon/evening. Got in an hour of writing and a quick trip to the grocery store for necessaries.

I’m trying to limit my outings as much as possible, but I’m also responsible for myself and my mom/gran :(. Every visit to the Outside feels like a risk but I’m taking as many precautions as I can (including packing wipes, antibacterial gel, wiping everything down, and showering as soon as possible).

———————

Day 14

Sunday was a better day. I suspect my racing heart may be a combination of hormones and anxiety, and I can’t wait for this to end!

Wrote for a little under 3 hours, though that amounted to one scene [dev edits]. I had a plan to have this novel ready for betas by July, but my mental state has led to very little progress. Staying healthy and keeping my family safe is my top priority. It’s been tough writing during the week… at work, I can engage in different activities, working remotely means 8 hours of being online, in a single space. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is switch to a different laptop and write some more.

Right now, I’m relying on weekends to edit and make mental space for creativity.

 

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social distance diaries: days 8-10

*this has been a WEEK

Day 8

5:30 am – Really tired this morning and barely want to get out of bed. Had an anxiety attack at 1 am and another at 3 am that left me reeling. I think I slept for about 4 hours, definitely no enough.
breakfast toast, biscotti, and two cups of coffee (I’m running low on biscotti)

7:30 am – check email and plan out my schedule for the week

8 am – back on chat

9ish – manager type stuff… signing forms electronically because no printer.

[neighbor always has a loud cough, but now it sounds particularly dire]

11-12p social distance chat with work friends

lunch and test zoom with BF who is semi working remote

1pm very awkward work meeting with all faculty and staff…

[took a nap because the tiredness was too much, came back to a million emails – the curse of remote work]

3:30+ emails, surveys, answering questions, scheduling meetings

———————

Day 9

woke up ok, soon entered crisis mode after learning my gran was injured and headed to the hospital. My fear for my family’s health is now code red.

8-10 – did my job as planned to stay busy and keep my mind occupied. chatted for an hour with one of my coworkers who was very kind. chatted with BF to feel a connection. Waited for calls from mom and updates.

I am going through all the stages of grief.

the rest of the day was a wash of meetings and anxiety. Good news, my gran had no fractures, albeit lots of bruises, and was sent home to recover.

———————

Day 10

one of my coworkers traded for my morning hours, so I decided to take the morning mostly off, check email, and forget about everything for a while. Finished the day with the usual work stuff, but I felt much better.

Things that have been helping: l-theanine for my anxiety, walks, checking with the boy on google hangouts. lots of calls with mom.

Also, reading a heck of a lot of romance, but that’s unchanged since the world became a trash fire in 2016. Let’s just say, my choice of reading material is a reflection of my inability to focus on much of anything. HEAs forever! At least in fiction.

i’m fraying

My grandmother fell out of bed this morning. She’s being rushed to the ER and I can’t be there to help. My mom is already at risk and now she has to put herself in greater risk. I’ve been having anxiety attacks. This is two ER visits in less than a week for two people who should be as far away from hospitals as possible right now. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it together.

social distance diaries: Day 6 & 7 (the first weekend)

Saturday

Slept ’til 8 (ignoring cats as long as possible). I’ve been going to bed later than usual and it’s definitely taking a toll. Feel a bit better this morning. Had a pb&j for breakfast because my appetite is starting to come back after the anxiety of the last two days. Tidied up a bit, wrote a weekend to-do list, and started revising/writing at 10am.
Wrote for about 2.5 hours (lunch in between) and had a nice, long walk.
Listened to podcasts (Smart Podcast, Trashy Books and Secret Feminist Agenda)
Did the dishes because I can’t handle the mess.
Had dinner and finished re-watching Derry Girls (my favorite crisis watch) and started Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)
Did mom’s taxes

Sunday

Slept in again, really needed the rest. Lots of driving to and from BF’s house to do laundry but NOT be socially near… Trip to grocery store to pick up stuff for mom after arguing about why I don’t want HER going out to buy things. People with recalcitrant elders, I feel you.
Jittery hands = dropped lunch. Such a waste. Glad for leftovers.
Cleaning frenzy at home… lots of vacuuming and scrubbing but all is clean for the first time in a while… (sad, but true)
Have been having less anxiety/rapid heart beat by NOT watching videos about the virus (every time I watch something, I start coughing)
Took a walk
Watched more Kim’s Convenience episodes
30 minutes of writing – less than I wanted, but more than I expected after the day I had.
Completed the Census for myself and mom
Caught up with podcast duties
Planning to read and go to bed early

Meanwhile, some people are not getting the idea of social distancing—having a backyard party with your family and friends is not practicing social distance (as evidenced during my walk this afternoon). Every one of your relatives and/or friends comes with a social circle beyond your own. This virus spreads rapidly and symptoms may not be evident. Stop mingling! I’d rather be bored than dead. If you can stay home, STAY HOME.

 

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social distance diaries: day 4 & 5

Day 4

6:15 – morning as usual, breakfast, cat time

7 – morning Yoga with Kassandra flow

7:45 – one of the ferals who disappeared after the daylight savings shift returned! yay!

8 – hurry to get back on chat…

11-12:30 deal with mom stuff, phone calls, lunch, wonder if I’m sick tired or just “I’m always tired so what else is new” tired

1 – ordered myself the $20 surprise box from Love’s Sweet Arrow (bookstore) as a Good Thing of the Day

2-3:30-ish monitor online faculty meeting/chat simultaneously

3:35 – get call from mom that her pain has worsened, plan for worst case scenario and drive over…

5-6:30 mostly panic over whether or not my mother, grandmother, and I are now infected after visit to ER facility. Contact was limited, mask was worn, hands were cleaned, all clothes was stuffed in a bag for disinfecting upon arriving home

[a lot happened, lots of fears were tapped. I did some rage tweeting.]

8 finally go home. wash wash wash! feed self. try to relax

went to bed around 11 because couldn’t come down from the high of adrenaline for a while

———————

Day 5

all the emotions today. woke up, waited for pharmacy to open, went for a walk, bought a social distance latte because I needed it (our county is take-out only), back to pharmacy for pickup and supplies for mom (just in case). back home. quick lunch (finally had an appetite), caught last 5 minutes of a meeting, chat with coworkers, another walk, shower and try to relax, call with university therapist because I NEEDED IT.

Going to finish a book and write a review because I need something normal.

Trying to mitigate little panic attacks with deep breathing and podcasts. Every cough feels like a death knoll.

 

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social distance diaries: Day 3

*note, these are always a day behind and are intended to keep me grounded with reality

6:30am back at it…

8-10 work work work online…
lots of med faculty and students signing on to chat for help -I think this means people are settling in to their new normal
students asking for procedural stuff re: library closures
[simultaneously, get back to working on a review I need to finish]

10-10:30 – took a break, yoga quickie, calls

11 work on review

11:45 -12:15 social distancing with coworkers online

12:30 lunch

1 back on chat… how to explain that we don’t have laptops for every student… lots of questions about returning books by mail if they’re not returning to campus next semester (we’ve waived fees but these students are probably graduating)
lots of emailing to find answers to questions I can’t answer

2:30 – 3 break for walk

3:15 learned one of the students from earlier got a laptop 🙂

5 – called it done. Made a lot of eggplant curry for the next few days (also, my freezer is now overstocked with pre-made meals.)

Around 8:30 I had a bit of a panic attack over my mom and gran and their health in general. It was hard to come down from it.

in the meantime, my insta stories are getting more action than ever…

 

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social distance diaries: Day 2

so this is my new normal.

6:30am wake up, coffee, don’t make the bed because the cats have taken over…

7am search for a foldable laptop/tray table because if this is my new normal, I need a better solution than working on my lap [I have a desk, but I need a dedicated work station for work brain]

8am sign on to work work work the chat service for the next two hours

9am get my ire up because local uni (NSU) is still letting students hang out in the library, where staff are required to work (local news is reporting that NSU has 6 COVID student cases and many more in the county)

9:50am try to explain to student that we don’t have hotspots for every student 😦 [in-need students were identified for first dibs]

10:30am we have a tray table!

12-1pm lunch and google hangout with coworker

1:45pm learn we’ve gone remote through end of term and maybe into the summer

2pm zoom zoom zoom meeting with department folks

3pm took a walk and a quick workout for the sake of moving and deep breathing

3:30pm lots of texting with staff that I didn’t get to connect with earlier

4pm get back to reading for reviews and emailing

call it quits at 5.

dinner and finish the night with more reading for reviews

 

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social distance diaries: day 1

a snapshot of my day thus far

*officially went remote for work

started with the usual – feed the cats, coffee & biscotti, make the bed, etc…

2 hours of working the library’s online chat service

schedule online meetings with department to catch up tomorrow

drive to work to take care of remote staff needs

[stop by Whole Foods for cereal and cookies because I ran out of the first and craved the second]

back home after taking care of business

lunch and panic call with mom

meeting and emails

walk and quick workout to get the jitters out

more emails and a quick check-in meeting on updates to our services that needs to go live ASAP

phone meeting on library-wide situation

heat up dinner because we’re meal prepping again

get to work reading review books that I’ve been too mentally drained to read 😦

I’m checking in on Insta stories throughout the day. Expect #quarantinecats and mental health walks.

———————

on a side note, I posted my February reads 🙂

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