The sore throat and cough started right at the beginning of the pandemic. Most of the sleepless night was spent assessing if I was having trouble breathing. No doubt I acquired the virus traveling across the Midwest, contracted at some rest area in Ohio. It had to be Ohio, the state that never ends. Surely not my beloved Chicago or Madison could harbor such a nasty germ.
Thankfully I stockpiled Zicam, Airborne, Tylenol and throat lozenges. By morning I decided it was just a cold and would be back to life and work in no time. Ten days and ten fitful night sleeps later, the sore throat and cough persisted. Wellness and daily life seem a distant memory. What was initially a fun hiatus at home was getting stale. You can only enjoy so many Coronavirus toilet paper memes, and review so many graphs on impending doom. Depression sets in, especially when looking at the endless to-do list, full of projects that require energy and stamina.
Perhaps the best way thru this was to focus on the positive, count my blessings, etc. etc. I turned to the internet looking for guidance, but reading inspirational quotes online was not very uplifting. It felt counterfeit, and actually had the opposite effect on me. Especially when I couldn’t be doing what I do best, medicine, pets and people. I started feeling guilty about being home, when everyone else was struggling. I missed my work family terribly. But it wasn’t rocket science to know being on the front lines coughing was never going to happen.
Accept the facts. Figure out what was enjoyable in this new Emily Dickensonian apocalyptic world. I discovered with this extra time off, there were a few things missing in my old life. I now have new favorite things, which I may be reluctant to give up once I do stop coughing.
- The power of daily naps – nothing beats a 2-hour nap in your own bed on a sunny afternoon.
- Reading- a book! Not just the newspaper or journals or social media. An actual book!
- Television is actually pretty boring.
- Hot, hot long showers before bed.
- Breakfast. What a fun meal, who knew?
- Eating meals together as a family at the dining table.
- Board games can be fun, and I can still hold my own at scrabble.
- I do love a clean house.
- There is nothing wrong with sitting and thinking, or not thinking, just musing.
- Life is good, to quote fatheur.
Dr. Elizabeth Bruce