Thoughts

Feels like First Day of Summer

One hundred years ago yesterday my father was born. I hear his voice and see his smile like it was just yesterday that he was here. Somehow, then, it seems fitting that today feels like a fresh page has turned for me.

I feel good today ,I have felt good today, all day, for the first time in many weeks.

Early June I had a sore throat. Felt wretched the next day. Next day tested positive for Covid: classic breakthrough case. While I don’t have much memory of ever being dreadfully sick (memory from that time is blurry and unreliable), the post active-infection effects lingered.

My doctor’s stance discouraged me from taking Paxlovid. She said it could cause nausea and other side effects, said that if she thought I was at risk of being hospitalized that she’d recommend it, that there were shortages of it and others might need it more than me, though she left the final decision to me. I declined. I got better on my own, but it may have happened faster with the Paxlovid, I just don’t know if it would have made a difference.

I’m writing the following lines to offer what was helpful to me.

When I first got sick, and word got around among a small circle, I got quite a few email messages from people. It was wonderful to get emails from people during this time. The emails I loved the most were chatty, and which gave me something to respond to. I was a virtual chatterbox for awhile, and loved the exchanges I had with people. Talking on the phone was no good for me. Speaking was just too much of an effort. Email was great. Thank you my darlings!

A few weeks after getting sick I called my Lebanese cousin in Boston (note: Lebanese cousin means anyone who I am maternally related to with whom I might share any amount of common blood) . My concern was that I was just so tired all the time, and that it felt like the fatigue had moved in for good.

My cousin, who had been there and back, told me to listen to the fatigue and rest. She gave me the expectation that I would be well again one day, and that it might take 2 months to get to the other side.

While it’s hard to feel like wellness will ever come again when all I wanted to do was watch videos. read, and sleep, at least her words gave me something to hold on to. Her words were helpful.

Which brings me to the next scary sensation: I had a complete lack of interest in anything and was thoroughly unmotivated to do anything. Covid-brain?

Thank goodness I have access to Hulu and Amazon Prime Movies. I spent hours a day absorbed in them, especially in the evenings so I wouldn’t fall asleep at 6 pm, just to find myself wide awake at 10:30 pm. (Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids is such fun, and Kirk can actually play a role other than The Captain). I also did a good bit of reading. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom was a good one for me to start with. It bugged me, though, that I had no interest, none at all, in doing anything with my hands.

The most recent book I finished was Breath by James Nestor.

My breath was most definitely impacted while I was sick, so this book spoke directly to my heart.

I know many people who have read Breath, and have walked away with something of great value. Same here. My favorite exercise from book is to breathe in (through the nose) for four counts, hold for two (so that the lungs have that much longer to absorb oxygen) then repeat on the out-breath. Doing series of breaths like this was helpful in getting my lungs fully back on-line. These breaths feel good to me.

As the fatigue waned, creative urges slowly began to reemerge.

When I felt the first slightest tug of interest in anything outside of Boston Legal (starring James Spader & William Shatner) I clung on to it like a life raft. As I’ve inched towards firm ground again, I’ve realize I didn’t have to be concerned. It has finally occurred to me that it was a kindness on the part of the muses to leave me alone for awhile so that that I could simply rest.

Susan Joy Share, Paula Krieg, Compound of three cubes in progress
Susan Joy Share came for a visit this past weekend, We did paper things.

That’s about all I have to say right now. I hope this might be helpful to anyone else who is going through this.

I am so glad to be feeling good, so grateful to my husband for his caretaking, and thankful that our little dog kept me company every time I napped.

Now, itching to get back to doing what I love.

20 thoughts on “Feels like First Day of Summer

  1. Paula,
    I’m glad you’re better! I noticed your absence out here in the book arts world.
    Your first comment about your father hit home with me. My Dad would have been 100 in 2024. I told my husband the other day that I feel his presence while we are out and about in the “countryside” where he lived and largely spent all of his life.
    I’m glad you had lots of “visitors” and that you are back wanting to create.

    Like

    1. HI Kelli, it’s so nice to know that my absence was noticed. I tend to think that people only notice when someone is there, not when someone is gone. Thanks for mentioning your dad. I don’t know why, but it feels important to acknowledge these milestones, and it feels good to acknowledge them. I will continue to think about this for the rest of the month. thanks for your comment, and especially thank you for writing so right away after the post went up. It was nice to hear from you…oh, and I looked at your website right away, and was delighted to see your beautiful work.
      So nice to meet you.

      Like

  2. I’m sure you are getting lots of responses. I have never met you but so loved your Saturday zooms. Am sorry you endured being so sick with a breakthrough case, but that your long Covid seems to have lifted finally.
    Yours is a good reminder to stay as diligent as possible; this newest Covid is very elusive. Stay well and keep breathing.
    Lynne looklogical@gmail.com “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.”
    >

    Like

    1. OH, Lynne, you are so right about staying diligent. I am more careful about masks etc than about 95% of the people I know, and I have no idea where I picked this up. Was it getting into an elevator for a moment that one time without a mask? No one else around me, not even my husband got it. I now just assume everyone has it and act appropriately. Thank you for saying you loved the Saturday sessions. I loved them too. I may do them again this winter. Stay tuned. Thanks for your note.

      Like

    1. HI Steve,
      I know that healing is familiar territory for you, so I appreciate your words. Even though I am feeling so much better, I will be pacing myself. There is this urge to do everything all at once, but I will temper that. Hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for putting this out. I’m feeling exactly that right now, trying to do stuff but not really up to it. I know it will pass.

    Like

    1. Thank you Judith. And thank you for the link to your website. I loved looking at your Rabbit Redux images (yes, I think it works!) but I especially love the way you stitch your way through pieces. So glad to meet you.

      Like

    1. HI Teresa, so one of the silver linings to this cloud of covid was that sitting in a chair and making polyhedrons was about all I could do, hence I’ve showed up for the class we are both in, and I have gotten to have this time with you. I doubt I would have thought of taking the class if things had been different, and I am so enjoying it! thanks for the net that you sent to me.

      Like

  4. Dear Paula, I had no idea you had gotten Covid. I’m sorry. You must have gotten ill soon after teaching the incredible Zhen Xian Bao class. It’s hard to imagine you needing rest!
    I’ve not experienced Covid, but have had health concerns for most of the spring and summer. Your letter is helpful to me. The day that I need not nap, feel like talking with friends and enjoy creative activities can’t come soon enough. Thank you so very much. May your days continue with ease and peace,

    Like

    1. Oh Lorrie, I can’t imagine you needing rest either! The part of being sick that took me most by surprise was my lack of interest in most things. There was just none of that curiosity that keeps my fires lit, At one point I wondered if this is that way some people feel all the time? I hope whatever ails you gets resolved and you are able to return to your wonderful creative endeavors.

      Like

  5. Thank you Paula for sharing your journey with COVID recovery. You chose the Wise Woman approach of resting, listening, breathing and stopping offered by the illness–rather than the muscle under and resume without delay. We learn so much about ourselves through these Life lessons. Thank you for your sharing. Be well.

    Like

    1. I would be remiss not to admit that resting, listening, breathing and stopping are some of my favorite things to do. As much as one can enjoy being sick, I did. It’s just that worrying that I’d never be well again that hounded me at times. It’s been a long time since I’ve been sick. There was something welcomed about having to drop everything. For awhile….Missed you earlier today. Maybe next week…..?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s