Cabin Fever

This is all going to sound like I'm breaking out the tiny violin and begging for sympathy. I hope it doesn't come across that way. Everything is fine. We're healthy, the dog is okay, we have each other and I am so thankful for that. Things could be a lot worse I am well aware. But sometimes you just have to vent and that's all that this is.

I'm so very tired of this. "This", meaning 800 varieties of covid, monkeypox, possibly polio again (I'm aware there are only a few cases in New York, but it starts somewhere, right?). In the beginning, in the wayback times of March 2020, this was supposed to be a temporary sacrifice. Those of us that were fortunate enough to be able to hole up in our homes were assigned to isolate for just a few months until things settled down. It lasted a year.

The beginning of 2021 arrived with the promise of vaccines. We all scrambled in those first few months, waiting our turns for shots, struggling in a scavenger hunt for shots and appointment times. After my family and close friends were all vaccinated we started seeing each other again. My brother and sister-in-law, whom I had not seen in a year and a half, came for a visit in June. We met with Ryan's family inside of houses. Dinners with friends (still not in restaurants) started up again. Nature seemed like it was healing.

Covid was also healing. And mutating into different forms. At the end of the summer we went back into semi-lockdown. Things got better again in time for the holidays. Doug and Kristen came again for Christmas and we were able to celebrate with the whole family. 

Then Omicron arrived. Lockdown again. Then it got better again. We celebrated birthdays with the family, ate outside at restaurants, and had a great weekend with Doug and Kristen when we all went out to Canyon Lake to a lake house to celebrate my dad's birthday in May.

On Memorial Day Ryan got covid. After avoiding it for over two years he got it without even leaving our house after we had two people over for dinner. Luckily the day he started feeling bad he got on the phone with his doctor, got prescribed Paxlovid, and really only felt sick for the weekend and then rundown the week after that. I never tested positive.

I don't know how I managed to avoid it. Maybe it was my second booster, maybe just dumb luck. But I am mostly thankful that we weren't both sick at once and that I could take care of Ryan.

So now we're back in self-prescribed lockdown. At this point you might be rolling your eyes and saying, "Troubles, you are overreacting. Everyone else has gone back to life as usual. Just wear a mask if you're worried! You can't be scared to live."

It's not that easy for me. If you've ever read this blog you know that I have serious medical problems. You know by now that I have had two kidney transplants and have been on dialysis for a very long time. Because of that, I also have a weakened heart. Three years ago I had a S-ICD (subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) placed under my left arm.

I pride myself on staying as healthy as possible. Partly because I don't enjoy feeling like crap and partly because I know what an uphill battle it is to get back into shape. I'm pretty careful about what I eat, watch my fluid intake, and exercise regularly. Because I don't have a full functioning heart or kidneys, I don't have the same amount of energy as most people. If I don't exercise for a couple of days, not only can I feel it, I can see the impact through my elevated blood pressure readings at dialysis.

So it's not just "getting sick" for me. Getting covid could have a serious impact on my heart, and that could have long term implications I could possibly never bounce back from. 

Where does that leave us? Stuck at home. Again. At this point I'm past being able to say, "this will all be over in two months/a year/ two years." I can only hope that there will be another lull in contagion so that I can see my friends and family again. But even then we will be pushed back into isolation when the next wave comes.

This summer has seemed particularly brutal because of the oppressive heat. We are having record-breaking temperatures that remind me of living in Phoenix. It's been in the 100s since May, nearly every day cresting the century mark. This means every day at 7am we are out walking the dog in the brief window where we won't clonk over from heat exhaustion. I spend the rest of my time at dialysis, trying to keep the house clean, Andre happy, and juggling various doctor's appointments. Ryan is stuck going into the office one day a week (where he sits in his office by himself) and being shut in his home office. Occasionally he will do a podcast and get to speak to someone who is not me, Andre, or a work colleague.

I am thankful for so many things. We have a roof over our heads. I have access to good healthcare. The electrical grid is (knock on 10 tons of wood) so far holding out. I am thankful for our wonderful neighbors who let us use their swimming pool to escape the heat. I am thankful for this goofy dog who entered our lives seven months ago. He has settled in nicely and seems to think of us as his family now. Most of all, I am thankful for Ryan. He is keeping me sane, making this all do-able, giving me happiness.

But I'm still so very, very, tired of this.

Andre is us all


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