The Long Haul

The Logical Heart Knows Best

I’ve been coming across more articles about COVID-19 long-haulers. I joined a Facebook support group today for people who have had lingering symptoms after the virus. What a relief to read about others who are having similar flare-ups of symptoms months later, where they have days or weeks where they think they’re better only to be besieged again.

You doubt yourself because you think there’s no way you could still be sick. It teases and taunts you into thinking you’re finally over the hump. You feel better so you increase your activity only to pay for it later. I will sift through the group’s postings to see if anyone has found effective treatments. Mostly it’s helpful to know that it’s not just you, there are others too, so you’re not alone wondering if it’s all in your head.

After this most recent relapse, which I’m still recovering from, I am resigned to the fact that I am sentenced to low activity/productivity for the unforeseeable future. Good thing I have technology. So thankful for our modern times. It’s a strange limbo. I want to do things, but my body won’t cooperate, yet I can’t make myself sleep or totally rest, even though I feel best when horizontal. I’m constantly struggling to do what I can.

When I feel good, I make progress in my activities, and when I feel bad, I try to make myself rest, but I don’t like it! I keep trying to power through on non-strenuous activities, even when my brain feels like ramen, and my body is protesting, I drag myself along like I’m trying to make it across an imaginary finish line. I have stopped my walks though for now until I’m better, then I will probably try again, lol. I mean, this can’t last forever, can it? I keep trying.

I’m just thankful to be alive, truly, I need to keep remembering that, I’m one of the lucky ones.

I added to my family tree on Ancestry DNA, I’m figuring it out. It’s so interesting, there are links to documents, records, and photos so you can find your relatives and add the information to your tree. That distracted me for a while. It was flowing and required little bandwidth. It soothed me because at least I could get that done. I also attended the CGC Movie Club video meeting to discuss Gattaca! I love this! So thankful for CGC. That lifted my spirits so much.

I need to vote, but I have to research the candidates, so I’ve been procrastinating. My brain is saying no, don’t make me, lol. I have these workbooks and writing projects in a stack. I choose a few, only to put them back and do something easier, like reading. I need to take stock of my quarterly progress and make my next quarter goals too, maybe tomorrow.

What is this illness teaching me, and how is it helping me to grow? How can I embrace my situation in a way that empowers me?

I look back on similar situations from my past to gain insight into what my current situation may offer me. Illness has been an opportunity to go within, to take care of me, and to reassess my priorities in life. Illness is a reminder to slow down and put me first, treat myself with the utmost care, and to listen closely to what my deep inner truth is trying to tell me, to pay closer attention to what’s best for me. It’s a time to re-evaluate my life and to make changes, to discard, abandon what isn’t working to release whatever is holding me back, or keeping me stuck. It’s a time for painstaking reflection and honesty. It causes you to take stock and get clear about what really matters most to you.

I view illness as I do the winter. Everything goes dormant for a while, you rest, snuggle in, hibernate. Then spring comes and there’s a rebirth. Everything here is in constant flux. I can resist or I can flow with the seasons. It’s up to me. I don’t enjoy being sick, but I can choose to be easier about it by remembering that spring always comes.

It’s a reminder to be flexible and make the best of it so you’ll get better faster. I give in and make the changes that are most sensible, because I’m an adult now and behave responsibly, heh. I get over my fears and go to the doctor. I eat healthy foods, I rest, even though it’s hard, I do it.

I learn the lesson that I’m not invincible and life is precious. I better make the most of it while I can, so why not savor more instead of lamenting the lack of progress? Just be for a while. The world won’t end if you stop and blow bubbles for a bit.

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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