I’m convinced patience and positivity saved my life. I don’t believe I would have gotten through my two-month hospital stay without it.
It has equal importance to me now, as this long haul stuff is no joke. I work hard to continue to look on the positive side of things. My lungs are improving. At my most recent pulmonologist visit, he said they are now at 80%. The weekly laser treatments I am having on my lungs is helping. I still feel a heaviness across my chest and at times have difficulty breathing, but not as often as before. For this I am grateful.
I stay patient, as what isn’t improving is my overwhelming fatigue and the issues with my brain. Each morning I wake up early and work on my writing, then I pace myself with a thirty-minute walk, then exercise, and then finishing with yoga. Yoga has been amazing for both my breathing and my demeanor. Stacey, my former assistant at Jackson Whole Grocer, teaches me by Zoom each week. I use what I’m learning from her throughout the rest of the week.
The fatigue starts to become overwhelming around lunch time and lasts throughout the rest of the day. Early each afternoon, I need a nap, which lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. The fatigue is like nothing I have ever experienced before. On the days I don’t get a nap, by evening I often can barely even function.
The situation with my brain is taking a lot to get used to. Being Shelly’s caregiver for nearly ten years, we are seeing many similarities to her traumatic brain injury. I often do not remember what just happened or what I was on track to do. I can’t multitask and often get overwhelmed with the simplest of tasks. My brain’s ability to process is a shell of what it was prior to getting sick.
I have my first appointment with a neurologist tomorrow. It’s funny how in my new situation, I get very excited about certain doctor appointments. I’m hopeful to get some insight from that appointment.
I’m still not working. With the fatigue and the cognitive issues, it would be very difficult to. I refuse to worry about how that all turns out and what the future will look like. I can’t waste any time on thoughts that aren’t productive. In the past, my nature was always to dwell on things and imagine the worst. I’m proud of myself for not going down that path anymore. We will make the best of whatever is next.
My first book has been written. My publisher and I just went through a round with the grammar editor, and it’s now with the final proofer. Over the past couple of weeks my publisher, myself and family have been brainstorming for the title and subtitle. This process of writing this book over the past four years has done wonders for the continued development of my patience.
I feel like in many ways, Shelly and I are closer than ever. Adversity has a way of strengthening us. This experience has been so difficult on us both. It was a living hell for her when she was also sick while dealing with my hospitalization and my insane fight for life. Her strength continues to amaze me. It has taken a lot of adjustment to be off work and to be reliant on her for many things she had been reliant on me for. But between the two of us we try to keep it fun and light, while managing to get things figured out.
Recently I found myself still fidgeting often with the computer and phone. One day it occurred to me how ridiculous this was. I now work to minimize my screen time, which feels like an important goal to help my fatigue, my brain, and my overall wellness.
Being away from work, I currently don’t talk to very many people.
Many years ago, I learned that it always is a little surprising who stands by you during crisis. The past several months has been no different, and I am so grateful for the handful that have stayed close.
“One day at a time” may be a cliché, but it sure does fit.