social distance diaries: days 331-337

in which there is too much to absorb…

Day 331, Monday

Week started with meetings, and it only went downhill from there…

Day 332, Tuesday

Signed in to my email to find a message from our president asking that we double down on the return to campus. No real plan, no real details, completely unsound reasoning IMHO. Spent the time between meetings creating a plan, schedules, and rationales for each should I need to be ready to state my case.

Had an emotionally draining meeting that requires a follow up later this week to figure out whether or not we’re facing a potential HR situation with a coworker whose behavior is starting to feel like harassment. Then, found out the boy spent his day at work on Monday with someone who now tested positive for covid.

Day 333, Wednesday

More meetings to discuss this repopulation situation and my department chair is missing? Our last exchange suggested we continue as we have been, but I’m not sure how the HR meeting today might affect that plan. Met with my department today to discuss contingency plans. At least, I’m prepared and they’re on board with my rationale to keep everyone safe.

The boy had a preliminary test (we know it won’t work for Monday’s exposure, but there were other reasons for the test). I’m testing tomorrow as a follow-up to the DMV fiasco. He’s retesting next week as well.

[I’ve been vlogging this week’s emotions in real-time, so you get to see them live on Monday]

Day 334, Thursday

Went to campus to get a covid test as a follow-up to last week’s DMV fiasco. Receiving contradictory updates and my unit head is still missing, so I have no real answers yet. Proceeding as we have been (based on the last exchange we had) until I hear otherwise.

Had an upsetting phone call from a colleague. Not their fault, it’s an old situation that resurfaces on the regular, but still upsetting (and particularly disheartening as it involves people who should know better).

Late in the day, my mom and gran received a call from the city to schedule their covid vaccines…

Day 335, Friday

Test results arrived around 10 am, they were negative (big sigh of relief). I was able to drive my mom and gran to get their vaccines, and spent the night without having the dread of potential asymptomatic spread. I kept my mask on while I was in the room with them, and my distance any time removed it to eat or drink, but I didn’t have the constant sense of anxiety I had last time I spent the night (last hurricane season… knock on all the woods that we don’t get another insanely active season).

I recount my mom’s symptoms in Monday’s vlog but, briefly, mom had a short-lived headache, tiredness, and body aches, but nothing beyond what she feels when she gets a flu vaccine. Gran displayed no discomfort. They received the Pfizer shot.

Day 336, Saturday

Back home after spending the night on my mom’s couch. They’re were doing well when I left and my mom is feeling herself. I, however, was exhausted after a draining week and a terribly stiff couch (if only I could convince my mom to get a new one… still working on trying to talk her into getting a new mattress).

I took the day off from writing, though I’m way behind on my goals for the week. Either way, it was a necessary and deserved rest. I relaxed, put together a new storage unit for my closet, re-homed all my sweaters, and enjoyed uninterrupted reading time before recording tomorrow’s minisode for the podcast.

Day 337, Sunday

Happy Valentine’s if you’re reading this on the 14th! I don’t care what anyone says, Valentine’s has always been my favorite and I am here for all the kitschy heart swag. Enjoyed takeout sushi from the fancy Japanese place that I always pass up as too pricey for anything less than a date night. We sat outside and had a nice chat on my covered roof/deck area. The boy’s initial covid test was negative, but it feel outside the desired window of testing for a PCR test, so I couldn’t risk anything closer than that. We’re getting another test tomorrow and hoping for the best. I’m fairly confident I’m in the clear, I’m on day 10 since potential exposure, but just in case.

Hope your Valentine’s was the best it could be.

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social distance diaries: days 317-323

in which I seek inspiration

Day 317, Monday

Back to work…

Day 318, Tuesday

I signed up for a 3-day revision workshop and really wish I could’ve taken the time off this week, but I’m scheduled for a bunch of meetings I can’t miss. It was a long day, but a productive one overall.

Day 319, Wednesday

And I thought Tuesday was long…

Day 320, Thursday

Day 3 of revision workshop. I still haven’t found my people, but the lessons have given me plenty of food for thought for the next round of revision. I have a plan! Actually, I already had a plan, now I have a roadmap to jazz up the draft for readers and subs.

Sudden cold front rolled in late in the day; it’s going to be a lovely weekend for cool weather. Whip out the sweaters!

Day 321, Friday

I felt an overwhelming sense of dread, thinking about the next revision. Decided to take a chance and print it at my local FedEx. I normally print at least one draft during my revision process, but I haven’t had regular access to a printer since March, so this is the first printed copy. My sense of overwhelm relaxed when I started to look through it and outlined my plan.

Day 322, Saturday

Completed a couple of revisions that I started during the workshop and started the read-through. My initial plan of 5 chapters a day to read suddenly felt too ambitious. I wish I were faster, but I’m not. I’m reading with a critical eye and marking up the page with different colors, focusing on three particular areas for revision.

Day 323, Sunday

5 chapters was definitely too ambitious. I don’t have the time or energy to manage 5, but 3 is doable. Unless a migraine strikes, I should be done reading the draft by Friday. Now, to clean the house a bit because two cats = two much shedding (among other bits of fluff).

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video: quiet days weekly vlog – 1.18-1.23

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video: week in the life vlog – 12.21 – 12.26

Because I really needed another creative outlet, I’m trying my hand at weekly vlogging… ordinary days at home, kitties, and more.

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social distance diaries: days 268-274

a day late because Sunday was a DAY

Day 268, Monday

Back to work so I recorded a “study with me” work from home video :). It’s chatty in the middle, because this was entirely unplanned, but I might make some no talking videos in future.

Day 269, Tuesday

Because I was inspired by yesterday’s video, I recorded a “day in the life” vlog. I briefly considered trying Vlogmas this year, but I really didn’t need another daily project while editing and working…

Day 270, Wednesday

MRI done and, since I was in the area, I popped into my local(ish) Asian market to treat myself to all kinds of stuff (only two of which I was actually there for)… It’s like a Target run, but tastier.

Since, I was on a roll… I recorded a haul 🙂

Day 271, Thursday

Woke up at 2am in a panic because something was obviously burning in the area and the smell of smoke filled my bedroom. Searched all over and woke up my BF just so I could be sure it wasn’t the office downstairs that was on fire.
It was not.
But, yikes, was that scary. My heart goes out to all the folks on the West Coast who lived through the recent fire season. It’s terrifying! Of course, the smell and interrupted sleep triggered a migraine and I was still experiencing side effects from the MRI. Not a fun day. Ended up needing to call it quits when my dizziness made it impossible to work.

Day 272, Friday

Back to the lab to drop off my mom’s specimen (see vlog for first lab visit). We will speak of it no more.

I was craving Argentinian croissants (media lunas) and fries, so I indulged in both (separately, of course). Unlike a French croissant, Argentinian croissants have a sweet glaze and what I suspect might be cream (perhaps cheese?) in the dough.

Day 273, Saturday

In an unexpected turn of events, I slept in until nearly 9am, something I haven’t done in ages. Somehow, the cats’ meowing wasn’t enough to drag me out of bed. I suspect I needed it after so many days of migraine.

Did some writing and started the de-cluterring project that I’ve been putting off for months. First to go: all the bras that don’t fit the way they should. I am OVER uncomfortable bras.

Day 274, Sunday

No extra sleep today. I woke up in the middle of a weird nightmare and was too rattled to get back to sleep. Early start to my writing session and a bit more decluttering. I might document some of it, but so far I’ve cleared out paper clutter, an old toaster, and some perfumes that I’m giving to my mom to rehome. My old vacuum will be going with them and the bras I culled yesterday.

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social distance diaries: days 100-105

keep wearing those masks. make it fashion.

Day 100, Tuesday

Trying to get back into the swing of things after being out for two days. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but emails have a way of multiplying even under normal work circumstances… meetings kept me from getting much done TBH.

Day 101, Wednesday

Day off for doctor’s visits (for myself and mom).

One of my coworkers had a heart attack recently, and my mom’s neighbor had a stroke… that spurred me to finally see a cardiologist to discuss the heart palpitations, faintness/dizziness, shortness of breath I’ve been experiencing for a little over a year.

For the record – I’ve seen my GP twice (after the first time I nearly passed out and, more recently, when he prescribed anxiety meds), as well as my endocrinologist, and my gyno to check all my hormone levels… none of them found anything, but I’m not fully satisfied with anxiety as a diagnosis. For one, my mom has mitral valve prolapse; I don’t want a misdiagnosis if it’s more than anxiety (there was no pandemic when it started), or a regular part of my body being slightly different.

I have a followup scheduled for an EKG, stress test, and Holter monitor.

Day 102, Thursday

Finally catching up on work… It’s surprising how quickly things pile up, even when I tend to stay on top of tasks and prioritize.

We’ve finally hit the summer heatwaves and it’s been miserable being at home (I don’t have central AC and my wall units can barely cool the room when the sun hits in the afternoon).

Sunset was at 8:15pm FFS. The sun was unrelenting.

Day 103, Friday

It’s HOT. I ordered a second fan to try to cool my home office (ie, my living room) while I keep working from home. Kitty is as languid as I feel. I think she’s shed some of her undercoat because she looks slimmer. I feel ya, kitty.

Finally feeling better after a three day migraine attack. I’m pretty sure it was caused by my lack of restraint over the weekend (there was dairy and other stuff that doesn’t sit well with my body) and the heat.

No heart palpitations today, so that’s a plus.

Meanwhile, the state just announced 9000 covid cases in a single day. Wear your masks, people! I have zero tolerance for selfish disdain for human life.

Day 104, Saturday

I’ve felt decent for the last two more… more than decent actually, and I’m taking full advantage of the ability to focus and write.

Since I haven’t been going out to eat (I can count the number of times I’ve had takeout), I decided to take the plunge and try Daily Harvest. 1) because I’m tired of coming up with lunches and snacks, 2) because I’ve been eyeing their ads forEVER. If you want to try it yourself, I have a referral link.

Day 105, Sunday

Another good writing day. Using a timer and setting pomodoro type sessions has helped me reset my writing routine for the weekend. My weekday writing sessions are usually an hour long, but I’ve had a hard time sitting with the words when there’s so much to do at home. This is an improvement.

Listened to an excellent episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books. Highly recommend. It was just what I needed to remind me that it’s ok to just take care of myself and stop. Episode 411. Caring for Tired Brains with Alexis Rockley

Meanwhile, the number of covid cases keeps hitting new highs. I’m still working from home, my risk is minimal, but I’m also an empathetic person. Between the fear and sense of collective grief, it’s been tough. YouTube videos from folks who’ve survived the virus are one of my weird ways to find hope.

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social distance diaries: Days 71-77

Day 71, Monday

It’s Memorial Day. It’s raining and I’m in no hurry to return to anything that looks like a gathering.

Was a little short of breath this morning. I have a pulse oximeter and my sp02 was 94-95 for a little bit, but then rose to 96/97/98 later in the day. I’m hoping it was a fluke, or maybe a sign of the mild anemia that I’ve started to suspect post-period. Either way, we’re back to careful monitoring. TBH, I’m anxious after last week’s emergency trip to the ER vet and my mask situation at the time. I’m not as anxious as I was following my mom’s ER visit in March, but I’ve had heart palpitations again. Anxiety or the potential anemia? Who knows. My labs were normal last time. I really want to see a cardiologist, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. I’m waiting to see those numbers drop in my area… that two-week drop is still a distant dream.

Day 72, Tuesday

Still having a hard time finding the energy to do much beyond the basics. I’m working, but taking it slow. There’s no writing today.

Posted a check-in video, if only to confirm that I’m still around.

Recorded June’s podcast episode, which was a nice distraction but wired me too much for sleep…

Day 73, Wednesday

Vet got the results. Confirmed lymphoma. At least he didn’t suffer for an extended period of time. Still hard though.

Old department issue came circling back… I’m out of ideas on this one.

Flash floods all over town. Lots of anxiety as the boy got stuck in the middle of the storm and I couldn’t help.

Day 74, Thursday

Took a scheduled day off to celebrate mom’s birthday as best I could. Baked funfetti muffins for her (frosting-less cupcakes, if you will) and picked up dinner for her at KFC, which is her favorite. I ordered her a lovepop card but was too late for it to arrive on time.

Spent some time with the boy. Have to admit, it makes me incredibly anxious every time.

Day 75, Friday

Panic attack or general, un-diagnosed bodily weirdness? I don’t know, but I had to drive the boy to work (his car got damaged in Wednesday’s flash flood) and proceeded to start shaking/going numb/have heart palpitations as I was driving back home.

Day 76, Saturday

I’m starting to learn that extreme exhaustion is a side effect of the attacks I’ve experience. No energy to do anything and dealing with some low-level depression.

Day 77, Sunday

Neighbors started dragging furniture and slamming doors at 5am. This after I couldn’t fall asleep the night before. Another low energy day.

looking beyond myself

There are complicated things happening in the world. My words are not adequate to express the injustice that black and brown folks experience on a daily basis. Take care of yourselves. Protect yourselves.

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