Thursday, June 29, 2023

April Snow Brings May Slow, But I Keep On Fighting

The biggest challenge in my life right now is Long COVID. The post exertion malaise leaves me depleted with no extra energy for blogging. All that energy is directed towards my Daddy Duty (I have an adult, learning disabled, autistic child at home) and my current work in progress. Yes, I am writing, and it’s filled with attitude and humor, but I’m not writing here. Let’s change that.

I’ll start with recent Facebook posts, elaborate on them, and then start charting my progress—perhaps even with a bit of cheek.

A Snowy Spring

April 4, 2023: Nice weather we’re having! 🌱🌿πŸ₯€

(To be honest, snow in April means I have to continue staying indoors. The reprieve from illness that I typically get with warmer, sunnier weather is delayed with every day that Spring doesn’t return from Arizona or wherever the heck she gets off to during Winter.)


April 12, 2023: Just working on getting healthy again. Not succeeding very well.

Current location: Bed
Current mood: Annoyed.

My Post COVID became worse with my 2nd bout of COVID last February. I’m currently increasing my stamina, but the effort takes me down afterwards. I’m desperate to get back to normal before I get this blasted virus again. But! I’ve made it up a local hill 3 times this past week. Progress!

What baffles me is the large amount of people I bump into who dismiss COVID–19 as a mere cold. Maybe it was for them, and bless their superior hearts, they were truly fortunate, but some of us didn’t fare so well.

I consider myself blessed that I avoided hospitalization the first time, but I have to admit that I’m a bit bitter because that virus ravaged my vision, health, and quality of life. When ppl treat me like I’m overreacting, I feel rage. Then the rage saps my stamina, and I have to lie down. I’m a veritable dragon of fury from underneath my covers.

It’s a touch pitiful, to be honest, but I’m determined to reverse this damage. Part of my efforts to recover is achieved by avoiding the people with glib advice, the cynical retorts, and those who assume I didn’t vaccinate (and therefor deserved to get sick) from my life. None of them are helpful.

The worst thing about Post COVID (or Long COVID) life is that I’ve lost my ability to laugh things off. That’s all on me. I’d dearly like to see the mirthful, cheeky side of me come back to full health, too. I want to spread my wings and cackle and caw as I soar above my hardships. This bird with a wounded wing routine is getting boring.


Old Man Selfie

April 17, 2023: Hipstamatic’s Tintype app is fun to play around with, and it simulates the effect well, but I always appear years older than I actually am, and often unrecognizable as myself. And those bug eyes! Makes me laugh.

At least Old Man Selfie brings a smile to my face.

Yesterday, I went out for a walk and caught some much needed sun and exercise. I tackled a local hill, and I’d like to tackle it for the next two days in a row. Sometimes post exertion malaise kicks in, and I spend the next few days in bed, but I’ll live with the downtime if it means I can push my uptime forward.


April 26, 2023: Dealing with a bout of depression today. Going for a walk.



April 28, 2023: The walk on Wednesday was a success. It felt good to get out. It felt good to fight my depression.

The first thing I noticed was all the barren trees. There were birds in the branches, but no leaves. This initially discouraged me. I had hoped that the rebirth of Spring would bring liberation to my doldrums. We’ve had many false starts, so there were dead buds in stages for each week Mother Nature decided to head south to Arizona again.

Yet although many buds died, but there was still hope for Spring. The dogwoods were in open defiance of Spring’s absence. As I turned a corner and walked deeper into the neighborhood, dogwood blossoms greeted me. They don’t have a notable scent, but with flowers erupting everywhere, perhaps Spring will come after all. It’s been eight months of cold, wet weather, and I welcome the change.

Later that day, I decided to ride my longboard. I managed five minutes on the board before my heart threatened to burst through my chest while my legs became jelly. FIVE MINUTES. It’s not the usual 3–4 hours I am used to, but it was a humble start.

Then I recuperated on the couch before going for a two mile hike. The only way to overcome this limited stamina is to exercise my way through it. I was so tired afterwards that it didn’t feel like progress, but it was.


April 29, 2023: Yesterday was wonderfully productive, but I pushed too hard. Now I’m sick in bed. I’ll try again tomorrow.


Stamina Chart

April 30, 2023: 3.8 miles walked today, plus I did 60 modified ab rolls. I feel like a phone battery at the end of a long day, but I’m also feeling better about myself. Here’s to dead batteries!

I’m experimenting with one day of stamina training and one day of recovery, then repeating. So far, I’m pleased with the results, although overall, I am fairly exhausted from the effort. Post COVID syndrome is not made up. I believe the chronic fatigue is my hardest challenge to meet. Tomorrow will be a recovery day whether I want it to be or not.

Until now, I’ve been trying to string together more and more days of exercise in a row, but it takes me down, i.e. bedridden, for three to four days afterwards. It used to be two days of exercise and FIVE days of recovery, but I’m pleased to report that I’ve improved on that, even if only meagerly.

I’ll just keep at it until I win.