social distance diaries: days 169-175

in which I am in injured…

Day 169, Monday

Kitty woke me up too early, so I decided to get to work right awayā€¦ missed my morning walk, decided on a post-lunch stroll and bam tripped on a massive pothole behind my building, twisting my ankle šŸ˜¦

An officer was driving by and saw me fall. It was pure serendipity because I’m not sure how I was going to hobble back to my apartment without something to lean on.

Glad it wasn’t a break, but not feeling great about being injured, alone, and unable to get much help from my family because of covid. Not being able to reach my mom or boyfriend for well over 30 minutes while crying and stumbling around my apartment with a swollen ankle and a bloody knee brought a lot of my living alone fears to the fore.

Day 170, Tuesday

Living that peg-leg life. Wasn’t able to sleep with the boot, but at least the pain decreased and managed to get some rest after switching to a brace. Being a chronic painer means I’m well-equipped to deal with the situation. sort of sigh Slathering on arnica, triflora, and cbd cream between icing sessions. Elevating all day with my WFH setup. It makes for some interesting zoom sessions.

The knee that I scraped is badly bruised, but my knee feels fine (thank goodness!). Not an attractive sight.

Called the city to report the pothole. I can see it from my bedroom windowā€¦ hoping they fill it.

Day 171, Wednesday & Day 172, Thursday

Apparently, my body doesn’t like naproxen. Two days of dizziness, drowsiness, brain fog, and near inability to function. The side effects of the meds were worse than the sprain.

Day 173, Friday

24 hours after my last pain killer and I feel significantly better. Switched to advil as needed, which isn’t often. As long as I’m wearing the boot, icing, and taking care to rest, I don’t feel pain. The bruising is well and truly purple now.

Getting my head back helps.

Day 174, Saturday

I stayed up reading, something I haven’t done in a VERY long time, which means kitty was most displeased when I didn’t get up for her breakfast. I received a nip on my arm for my disrespect.

Still having a hard time finding my focus. Edited for about 25 minutes before my attention was shot.

Spent some time with the boy, which always makes me a little nervous (he has to physically go to work twice a week and goes shopping more than I ever do), but he wears his mask and I really need the help if I want to leave the house.

Day 175, Sunday

Back to writing (focus on point today), but there’s so much that needs doing, I have to split my time, even on the weekends. Plus, my leg feels uncomfortable if I sit too long—not that standing is any better. I mostly have to lay, which has me feeling all manner of dejected after 6 days straight.

Started working on a cookbook review project, but I’m limited by mobility and ingredients at the moment, so this is going to be interestingā€¦

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social distance diaries, days 162-168

in which my sense of time only gets worse…

Day 162, Monday

First day of the term, still working remotely. Attended the virtual resource fair as a rep for the library, but it was really too early in the term to host a virtual event IMO. It’s not the same as a pop-up event on campus, where serendipity lures them in (and freebies).

One student showed up for my “table,” with 10 or so showing up for the event as a whole (based on my count).

Day 163, Tuesday

Back to the vet for scheduled surgery. I’m going to call the kitty Cookie Cat, so he has a moniker in these posts. Vet called after the surgery to say the growth may be a tumor rather than the hardened pus pocket he expected to find. Hoping it’s not a sarcoma. My feelings have been pretty tender since I lost my cat in May.

We’ll have to wait and see. If it grows back, we’ll talk next steps. Praying it doesn’t.

Day 164, Wednesday

Cookie Cat was cheerier than expected. The wound is bigger than I expected, but makes sense given the vet’s findings. I hate seeing him in pain, but he has such a sweet temperament. He’s back at my mom’s house to recover.

Watching the hurricane forecast and sending lots of love to the folks in Texas and Louisiana.

Day 165, Thursday

Been frustrated lately by the level of “service” that I’ve been semi-compelled to commit to this year. One of my colleagues tried to volunteer me for another committee and I had to nip that in the bud right quick. On my annual assignment, I have service listed at 20%, but it’s more like 25-30% of my time, if I tally the hours spent in meetings. Then there’s the administrative side of my job and all the meetings attached to that. It’s frustrating because I have a small department and a lot of pressure gets placed on whoever is available when the rest of us are in meetings. Long, complicated story. It’s an uneven level of expectation for my unit because of inter-campus politics.

Day 166, Friday

Woke up early, but feel extra run downā€¦ Took a walk before settling in for work, but a migraine is threatening to start (massive storm clouds looming, sinus pressure building). Trying all my interventionsā€¦

One of those days where too many people tried to turn their problems into mine… not going to happen.

spoiler – my interventions worked

Day 167, Saturday

My sense of time is a messā€¦ Woke up slightly earlier than I have during the last few months, and suddenly it felt like I had hours to get stuff done. Thought it was lunch time at 10 am and it only got more confusing from there. Still, managed to get a lot of stuff done.

Released the bird I rescued last month. Its mother was hit by a car and its wing was injured, but a few weeks in my mom’s care too care of that and it flew straight into the sky.

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Rescue bird šŸ¦ graduated to free bird šŸ˜Š

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Day 168, Sunday

Tired after yesterday’s day of high energy. It’s to be expected. My energy has peaks and valleys.

Recorded a life update… now, to find the will to edit it.

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social distance diaries: days 155-161

in which we miss a storm and do too much

Day 155, Monday

A Monday like any other. I wasn’t ready to get back to work after my short break and it took some time to find a groove. A lot happened while I was gone (just two days and shit hit the fan), so it was a matter of sorting through the backlog in order to catch up.

Day 156, Tuesday

An unexpected return to the vet for a follow-up no one mentionedā€¦ A weird encounter while waiting to pick up the kitty that involved a woman who refused to pay her vet bill after leaving him in the office for 10 days and then proceeded to open the carrier in the parking lotā€¦ on the edge of a main road. Cat got out, chase ensued. Luckily, her cat went into the bushes and wasn’t as skittish about being handled as mine because my heart was in my throat the whole time.

Lots of meetings in between drop-off and pick-up and a bit of emotional turmoil throughout. It was a difficult day, but I’m glad we’re almost done with vet visits for this one (minor surgery next week).

Day 157, Wednesday

Trying to recover from yesterday’s upheaval. I settled in and managed to catch up on projects, meetings, and cleaning my inbox (which was completely unmanageable). My mind hasn’t been clear enough to focus on creative writing, but I’m on target to meet my goal for the month if I can push through the weekend fingers crossed.

Paid bills after dinner, which is an event of late. Since I’ve started managing my mom’s orders and payments, it’s been hard to keep track of my budget using my account. I’ve resorted to a manual list of purchases to sort between her stuff and mine. The total always gives me a shock, but I have to remind myself that I’m managing bills for two homes and ordering stuff I would normally buy in person with cash, so it’s not breaking my budget, but highlighting our spending habits (and all the vet bills I’ve been charging to my card).

Day 158, Thursday

So much happening as we prepare for the term to start on Monday AND we have a will-it-come-our-way tropical storm/maybe hurricane situation on the rise. Long, tired sigh. If it does, I’ll have to pack up and head back to my mom’s with a cat that hates being picked up and REALLY hates her crate. Ordered delivery for lunch because I couldn’t handle the thought of dishes.

Day 159, Friday

After an Instacart fiasco wherein the groceries I ordered for my mom ended up at someone else’s house (felt really bad for the shopper, but there was no way to communicate the error for a number of reasons)ā€¦ I packed myself off to the grocery store at 7am to avoid other shoppers and get out before things got busy.

A long day. Didn’t get enough sleep. Caught up on work stuff to make up for my slow start.

Day 160, Saturday

No hurricane watch (for now)! One of the local meteorologists recently called it “selfish, but good news” when he reported that the forecast track had shifted far enough to keep South Florida out of the storm’s path. It does feel selfish, but I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with the mess of another trip to my mom’s with my catā€¦ plus the fear and anxiety that comes with every threat.

Day 161, Sunday

Another sleepless night. Got up to feed the cat and went back to bed. I hate sleeping in, because it feels like I miss most of the day, but I was desperate for sleep. Didn’t do much good though. Got up to a cat litter box incident (hoping it was bad aim and not another urinary issue–she literally just finished a round of antibiotics), impromptu cleaning session ensued. Sigh.

Didn’t meet my writing goal for the week, but I’m still likely to hit my goal for the month.

Podcast (recording) time in the afternoon. Reading time until bed.

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social distance diaries: days 141-147

in which we reach the cleaning frenzy stage of quarantine…

Day 141, Monday

So glad to be back home, but still tired despite getting a full night’s rest. Two days of sleeping on my mom’s couch with three of her colony cats to keep me company means I’m still catching up on lost sleep and dealing with a crick in my neck.

A slow start to my week and another return to the vet, though this time for a planned visit rather than another emergency.

Day 142, Tuesday

Slightly more rested today, so I managed to catch up on some of the project’s I abandoned during last week’s storm prep. Work writing, but no novel writing because the energy isn’t quite there.

Ordered some pizza for dinner with what I hope was vegan cheese (I really couldn’t tell and part of me suspects it wasn’t). My tummy will tellā€¦ Cheese aside, had a really weird moment where some random lady “literally” got up in my face before I could dodge out of her way—mask hanging from her ear and all. My anxiety could’ve done without a stranger invading my social distance bubble. In brief, it was a small pizza place, I was standing to the side, blocking the soda fridge so I wouldn’t block the register. Woman walked in, didn’t pause or give me a chance to shift before walking straight at me (it was three steps from the door to the fridge at most). I twisted away, but it was still too close for comfort on a day when the state reported more than 7000 covid cases. Not pleased.

Pizza was good though.

Day 143, Wednesday

Much more productive today. Managed to get started on several projects between meetings and chat. I’m not mentally prepared for the start of Fall, if I’m being completely honest. I’m so grateful that I’ll be able to continue working remotely (and that’s a privilege I don’t take lightly).

Randomly, decided to sweep on some eye shadow. It was unexpectedly invigorating after nearly 5 months of 0/minimal makeup.

Day 144, Thursday

Just tired today. Kitty’s random cough/sneeze turned into a series of cough/sneeze attacks that concern me, so off to the vet tomorrow.

Day 145, Friday

Kitty has to stay at the vet because they had too many appointments and she needs to be sedated to be treated (she vicious). My mind has been drifting all day and not having her around has me anxious.

On an ever-in-the-back-of-my-mind sidenoteā€¦ I live in a tiny, privately owned apartment building that is attached to two commercial spaces (all under the same property owner). There’s been a lot of discussion about rent and evictions and everything that is happening in the worldā€¦ I’m not in that situation, but I am constantly worried about the possibility that a) my landlords won’t be able to pay their property taxes (because 1 office and 1 apartment are currently empty, and they haven’t been able to keep their business going) or b) they die (because hello, hotspot). It’s a very real fear that rears it’s head at the worst moments and my “worst case scenario” personality has been spinning circles. I don’t feel sorry for my landlords — they definitely have more options than I do, but the possibility that they default on their taxes makes me nervous and definitely makes me feel sorry for me.

Sigh. Just praying for some good neighbors.

kitty had to spend the night at the vet’s because they were so swamped with cases(!). She’s so small, they just needed one xray (tiny nugget!)

Day 146, Saturday

Kitty came back home. She hasn’t sneezed or coughed since her treatment started, but we’re waiting on a radiologist’s report to see if anything is going on in her lungs. I’m hoping it’s a run-of-the-mill infection and not asthma or anything chronic.

Spent most of the day in a funk. Low energy and not much desire to get things done. I hate feeling this way, but it happens.

Day 147. Sunday

Started writing again, but it’s a VERY slow start. I don’t have the energy to focus and the mood I’m in isn’t helping. I don’t think August will be as productive as July. It’s also increasingly hot, which makes me feel lethargic.

To feel some sense of accomplishment, I organized the storage in my closet. Having one closet means that EVERYTHING gets stored in there and, while I don’t have that much stuff, it piles up when there’s only one shelf.

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social distance diaries: days 127-133

surviving the summer of our discontent…

Day 127, Monday

Completed my writing goal for the month, which gives me enough time to start an extra chapter before July ends (if all goes well). My goals are super modest, but they’ve been keeping me on track for the last few months.

Day 128, Tuesday

Started my new running plan using Nike Run Club. Also gave in to an unplanned splurge (damn you clever marketing!) and upgraded my fitbit alta with a fitbit inspire, so I can finally monitor my heart rate.

Day 129, Wednesday

Planned to get started on a review, but best laid plans were unlaid. Oh well. If this strange period has taught me anything it’s to accept the unexpected with as much grace as possible.

Trying not to obsess over the possible hurricane churning in the Atlanticā€¦ I’m more prepared than ever because of my pandemic stock and excess of batteries from last year’s hurricane prep. Stillā€¦ I really DON’T want to deal with another crisis on top of the current one.

Day 130, Thursday

IBS? PCOS? Who knows, but I felt pretty rotten. Hoping it’s a passing symptom and not a sign of something else. I’m one week into my post-Dr’s visit quarantine and feeling fine otherwise. And by fine, I mean low-key tired, but what else is new?

Day 131, Friday

Back to the vet. Mom’s outdoor kitty with the abscess has some sort of resistant infection, so he got a new round of antibiotics and the Dr. sent a sample to the lab. Same thing happened last time šŸ˜¦

Met with one of my department faculty to figure out some plans for the Fall. Finding the motivation to plan activities for the Fall term has proven difficult. Not sure how successful we will be, but it’s a start and we both need the motivation.

Received my 30 day heart monitor. Maybe I’ll have some answers after thisā€¦ maybe an inkling?

Day 132, Saturday

Completed my weekly running goal and a return to my old habit. It was hard. I can barely manage a few minutes without feeling like my legs are going to fall off, but it’s a start.

Writing and podcast recording in the afternoon. I completed my writing goal for the month a few days early, so I upped that goal by a chapter.

Day 133, Sunday

I planned to write but gave in to the siren call of a cleaning frenzy. Deep cleaned the bathroom, did the laundry, and sorted through my linen closet/supply cabinet. It’s not perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than it was before I went through it.

Spent the rest of the night reading, which felt pretty glorious.

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social distance diaries: days 120 – 126

wherein depression hits hard…

Day 120, Monday

Balancing work stuff and life stuff in this weirdness that is the WFH life while providing elder care from a distanceā€¦ Picked up mom’s kitty from the vet. He looks a lot better than the last time he had an abscess (then it took nearly a month to heal, multiple trips to the vet, and several tries to find the right antibiotic to get rid of the infection. We thought he was going to lose his tail, but he didn’t). I’m not yet ready for another cat, but the possibility is possibleā€¦

Time to prep the special, multi-category grocery list for this month’s trip to Publixā€¦ where I will freak out several times and possibly have a nervous breakdown if the cart gets too full to push (again).

Day 121, Tuesday

Grocery timeā€¦ and an epic migraine that knocked me out for most of the afternoon into the evening. Was it the weather? Was it tension? Was it hormones? Who the F knows?! At least it was strong but quick to leave fade.

Day 122, Wednesday

Back to the cardiologist for my resultsā€¦ I have a slight valve defect! Which might account for some of the weirdness I’ve been feeling for the last year and a half (and maybe more?). Waiting to be approved for a 30 day monitor to try to capture the events I feel. Like a wonky car, I had no symptoms during any of the previous tests.

Day 123, Thursday

I can’t even remember what happenedā€¦ meetings?

Day 124, Friday

Back to the vet, which is a whole experience in lockdown. Kitty needed to have his wound flushed again and a new round of antibiotics. It’s been an emotionally draining week.

Day 125, Saturday

Writing for the first time since Monday. Finished the chapter I was working on — a long one that required more focus than I had this week.

Worried because more people are testing positive in my parents’ buildings (yes, plural, 2 separate homes). Started noticing the frequency of sirens over the last few days as well. I live on the same street as the local Fire Rescue/Police station, and the number of emergency calls is definitely on the rise.

Also worried about the boy and his risk at work and home šŸ˜¦

Day 126, Sunday

Another morning of writingā€¦ I’m in a mood and it’s left me drained.

Boy changed the oil in my car, so I’m all set for future grocery and vet runs (although, please, no more EMERGENCY vet runs).

I want to start running again. I stopped when COVID started because I was anxious about getting hurt and needing to go to Urgent Care (not an unlikely occurrence), but I’m going to try short jogs and see how it feels. I’m months out of practice, so it’ll be a fresh start.

Also, not gonna lie… the days are starting to blend into each other and this “diary” is one of the only tools I have to make them feel distinct. Since visiting the Dr.’s office, I’m committing to a 14 day quarantine and hoping for the best. I debated getting tested, but I’m going to wait it out this time. There are so many cases, it feels futile to get tested right now. (It took 10 days to get my results last time.)

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social distance diaries: days 106-112

you know the drill… wear your mask.

Day 106, Monday

Kitty is still adjusting to being a single cat. Another weird, sleepless night where she kept calling for me.

Despite the tiredness, I was in the mood to dance. Spent an hour playing Just Dance and got a proper sweat session. I’m too anxious to run for fear of hurting myself and ending up in urgent care (wouldn’t be the first time), so my workouts have been limited to walks, yoga (when I can focus), and lately resistance band circuits. Dancing is a nice change.

Spent $75 on summer dresses to enhance the sans pants life. I’m tired of wearing the same three t-shirt dresses I’ve been wearing for three years.

Day 107, Tuesday

A quick morning laundry session as I struggle to find the best way to limit laundry timeā€¦ it’s tough when you have to borrow your partner’s laundry machine because you don’t have your own and don’t want to risk the laundromat.

Learned that one of my aunt’s had a stroke last night. We’re not particularly close, but it’s still troubling to learn of a third person that I know having an attack in as many weeks.

Day 108, Wednesday

Learned my aunt’s stroke is COVID related and she’s been moved into a special unit for recovery. My uncle and cousins have to get tested. We’re not particularly close, but I hope they recover. Unfortunately, they’re the sort of people that were having house parties with more than the county-recommended 10 guests or less. They all probably got it at a Father’s Day party. Not surprising.

More troubling for me, my sister needs to get tested after one of her coworkers tested positive. She lives with my dad and her mom, both of whom are in vulnerable categories. I’m trying to remain calm and hope she didn’t have contact with that person.

Had to teach my mom how to use Zoom so she can meet with her doctor next week. Some of her chronic issues have been causing some concern. I hope it turns out to be nothing.

Day 109, Thursday

Planning meetings for future reopening of the university. I’m not going to stop working from home any time soon, but I’m part of the review committee to ensure a safe return for students and staff when we start to reopen.

My cat has been acting odd. Vet was closed by the time I called, so I’m going to have to call Friday morning and hope that they’re open. Otherwise, it’s going to be a complicated weekendā€¦ I really don’t need more complications.

Day 110, Friday

Took the cat to the vet and he couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with her. Gave her b12 and a steroid in case it’s inflammation or arthritis. Also gave her some fluids in case of dehydration and said to return on Monday if she doesn’t change.

Went to the cardiologist for myself in the afternoonā€¦ had an echocardiogram and stress test done (the tech asked “do you ever have chest pain?” while doing the echo, so there’s thatā€¦ but the stress test was fine.). Sent home with a 24 hour Holter monitor.

Day 111, Saturday

Kitty is not eating much, though the b12 should’ve opened her appetite. I suspect she has a hairball again (there was a big one about two months ago). I have to monitor and see what happens this weekend. I am so tired of being worried about everyone lately.

Day 112, Sunday

Late to bed = late to rise. All the noise was hard to handle and I had a migraine that made it even harder to fall asleep. Finally, rolled out of bed around 9, which meant a late start for everythingā€¦ A less productive weekend than I wanted, but I managed to have a few pomodoro editing sessions.

If my neighbors actions during the weekend is any indication, we’re in this pandemic for the long haulā€¦

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social distance diaries: days 29-35

Day 29, Monday

Did not sign up for the early morning chat sessions and managed to sleep in for the first weekday in a long time. I normally get up at 5:30 and this was a much needed luxury.
Work stuff, writing, and laundry.

Day 30, Tuesday

Another late start to my morning. Still waiting for results, but stomach issues are improving…
Took a walk between chat and meetings. Wrote for an hour(yay!).
Got my results from my doc – CBC, TSH, and LDL all good. Also found out I might be losing my doctors because my insurance hasn’t renewed their contract. This upsets me a lot because this office includes my PCP and my OBGYN (they’re married!). Not the time to need to find a new doctor! Hoping they finalize the contract.
Treated myself to an order of Copper Cow Coffee. It’s pricier than I would normally pay for at home coffee, but less than Starbucks, so it works out.

Day 31, Wednesday

Animal Crossing date with one of my work friends šŸ™‚

Day 32, Thursday

My covid results came back negative. I’m glad but also mildly skeptical because I didn’t have respiratory symptoms, but GI and I’ve read too many articles about the testing issues.

Day 33, Friday

Vitacost had beans and a few more staples I needed… accidentally ordered 3 bags of organic sugar because I clicked the wrong button. Oh well, it will be used.

Day 34, Saturday

Writing, cleaning, a walk, and yoga. This almost feels like a normal day. More stuff arrived in the mail… Did not realize the two boxes of thin spaghetti I ordered were 3 lbs each. Oh well, it’s not like I don’t love carbs.

Day 35, Sunday

More writing, laundry, afternoon coffee, and a nap with the cats. I’m planning a grocery trip on Monday morning to get supplies for myself and my mom+gran. I normally shop as needed, usually every two weeks with the occasional trip to my neighborhood grocer for fresh stuff, but now I’m shopping with 3+ weeks in mind and purchasing staples online as needed. It means the list is HUGE and requires a full sheet rather than a notepad sheet.

My mom and gran get EBT (yes, y’all I grew up poor and they earned very little from low wage jobs so the retirement benefits are not all that), but because of a poorly timed glitch, I’ve been paying for their supplies along with mine since we went into lockdown. Hoping the new pin works, as the last trip made my eyes bug out when I saw the total.

Wish me luck.

Stay safe!

 

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