Palace of Care – Slump

Photo by Aleksandr Barsukov on Unsplash

I thought I was invulnerable. I was wrong.

I tried to continue writing daily posts even during my COVID infection. I failed.

I wanted to think my way through brain fog. It didn’t work.

After three days of being unwell, I thought the fourth day would be better. It wasn’t.

Being sick sucks. How do my patients cope with it?

I found myself unable to do anything on day 4 of my COVID experience. My brain had slowed down and it felt like I was swimming through treacle the whole day. I stopped writing and didn’t do any reading. I didn’t watch anything, my head was too full of mist. My mind was clouded and refused to compute.

The treacle started to dissolve and I found my way to the keyboard again. I haven’t felt like myself for over a week.

At least it stopped raining today. Sunshine returned to evaporate the vapours in my head.

Palace of Care – The Band Plays On

Photo by Matthew Kalapuch on Unsplash

My little coronavirus rock band continue their tour of my body. They wrapped up their sold-out concert in my throat and the music was so loud my ears are still stinging. Today’s destination was my lumbar spine and they played their achy breaky music with gusto. No matter how often I stretched throughout the day the music of the band drowned out all other signals.

I have to be honest I am sick of all the merchandise the band brings along to each venue they play at. The congested stands of my nasal sinuses couldn’t stand the pressure any longer. The burning man set up in my throat yesterday is still smouldering and ready to reignite at a moment’s notice. The worn-out muscle fibres evidence that this band of players have worn out their welcome.

The uncertainty of each day of illness. Will I feel better when I wake up again? Will I be in less pain than yesterday? These are questions I am considering each day and are they similar to what my patients must ask themselves? I’ve only been unwell for a few days but my compassion for those who suffer from chronic illnesses is growing.

Maybe tomorrow the band will head down to my feet and then it will be my pleasure to kick them out of my body. There will be no request for an encore.

Palace of Care – COVID Symptom Trading Cards

Photo by pisauikan on Unsplash

New day, new symptoms. The whole body aches and pains subsided today which was a relief. Just as I was lulled into a sense of lessening unwellness, something else arrived to knock that idea out. A sore throat the likes of which I had not experienced since I had my tonsils taken out as an adult came to say hello. I would describe it as swallowing rusty liquid razor wire. It was such a lovely greeting that with each swallow I was overwhelmed with emotions and tears came to my eyes. I threw all the medications I had at it, and then some, but nothing worked apart from lying down in the foetal position, but that didn’t bring any relief. Or was I lying down in the recovery position? Probably not as I do not feel recovered as of yet.

I was hungry and had to eat through each painful mouthful. The dry crusty parts of the bread were like sandpaper on my disease-ravaged throat. I winced and grimaced through each gulp of food. My appetite had returned but had to contend with the pain barrier. I persisted and after a few minutes, the pain started to abate. If the drugs don’t work make your own. As a response to the pain, my body produced endogenous opioids, bringing relief to my agonised throat. The second half of the meal was swallowed with relative ease.

Both of my Latissimus dorsi, those big wing-like muscles on the sides of our backs, were aching today as if I’d had a huge workout yesterday, which I hadn’t. My pectorals on the opposite side of the lats also felt similar. I had not done any heavy lifting at all but had done some coughing yesterday. Curious symptoms continue to be collected. What will happen tomorrow?

Palace of Care – Love Changes Everything Part 1

Photo by Carlos Nakazato on Unsplash

Childhood had not been a happy time for her. Somehow she had survived to adulthood, and she was able to make her escape. Moving to another country, eight hours flight away. Leaving her family history behind her, she embarked on her new life. It wasn’t easy to start with, the language barrier especially hard with English being her third language. She worked hard at her job, and took extra English lessons. She made good friends with a bunch of ladies, the sisters that she had always wanted. For the first time in her life, she thought she was happy.

That all changed one fateful night, she was out with her girls, and he was out with his boys. They met each other and both of their lives changed. They had found the loves of their lives, and what she thought was happiness before, was nothing compared to what they were like when they were together. A fairy-tale romance, she had found her prince, they soon married. He was seven years younger than her, but it didn’t matter, his family accepted her as one of their own, she had found out what the real meaning of family was.

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