Understanding Limitations

I have come face to face with myself during this pandemic, as I’m sure many of you have, as well. So many things have happened during a time when nothing was going on. Politics, for one. That was enough to keep a person busy everyday if you went down the rabbit hole. I tried very hard to stand at the edge of the hole and just dip my toe in a little. Eventually I had to back away even from that to keep my peace of mind. I ended up unfriending people that I once had wonderful conversations with because they just couldn’t let go of the politics. There was plenty in my own world to keep my attention, anyway.

I helped my youngest daughter with virtual school, which was amazing. I got to decorate part of our house in second grade chic; colorful paper adorned with spelling words and homemade art projects. Seeing Dani’s love of numbers, invigorated a love of math I wasn’t aware I had.

My oldest daughter came home with her kids and we did virtual schooling together with all six of the children. We had 3 grades in the house. Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd. We also managed some pre-school activities for the youngest 2. We quite literally were running a one-room school room with 2 of the teachers wired in from another state. This was my favorite part of the pandemic. The house was busy from morning until the last child fell asleep. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It helped to push me through my illness. It motivated me to move and stay mentally focused. I feel like I regained most of my cognitive abilities while they were home. Partly because of medications catching up with me and mostly because I want so desperately to stay relevant to my children and grandchildren.

My Hashimoto disease is finally coming under control. I know full control is not permanent, but with medication I should never have to feel as awful as I did this year ever again. A normal TSH is around 2-4. Mine was at 184. I am aware of people who have been much worse than I. I was very close to being in the hospital. I believe if it weren’t for Covid-19, admitting me would have been an easy decision for the doctor. I was quickly moving into a condition called myxedema coma. I was on the edge of a life threating condition that would not only take my thyroid but most likely damage my heart and other organs. I am very lucky to have been diagnosed when I was.

Due to the extreme nature of my condition, I have lost a lot of hair and gained a crazy amount of weight. My hair has just recently stopped falling out and my weight is now starting to come under control. I have stopped swelling and my face and limbs look like my own again. I am starting to recognize myself in the mirror.

I have never had a head full of flowing hair but losing the amount I did was insane. My new doctor suspects that I have been dealing with this disease for a very long time. She suggests I treat myself to extensions and she thinks she will be proven right when my hair starts to grow back thicker and fuller than ever. I love the positivity in this woman! I do believe she’s correct though. There have been so many times when I should be full of energy that I have come to a full stop and had to sleep. Right before band jobs I often would fall asleep in my car. I’m sure every one of my bandmates has found me sleeping and inquired if I was okay. I wasn’t, but I said I was and just pushed forward. I have had to pull over on the way to work in the morning and catch a nap or on the way home so I could get home. This did cost me at least one job. These weren’t everyday occurrences and sometimes I would go almost a year without incident. There were times though when it would drag on for months and then disappear like it never happened.

Taking care of other responsibilities became something I couldn’t do. I am so thankful for friends and family. My brother stepped up and helped more with our mother and one of our bandmates was able to take care of her grocery shopping through the months I had been unable. I’m really looking forward to my mom getting her vaccine. She needs to be able to keep living, not just being alive.

I missed playing in the band. I didn’t realize what a life line it had come to be for me. Although, since I quit smoking, it was probably a good thing to be away from other smokers to ensure my success. That was probably one of the good things about the pandemic (for me anyway).

The tide is turning and I hope most of the people I sail with are still aboard this boat. I have gotten 2 doses of Moderna, and due to my medications am feeling much better. My daughter is back to school and I am back to work part time, until I’m stronger. I feel a little better every day and I am so glad to be in the presence of other adults for part of the week again.

I hope this update finds you all well. I’ve decided to renew the blog. It’s been a great experiment and it’s a changing platform. Again, if anyone I know has any ideas for it’s use let me know. For now, I’ll just keep writing and hoping others will join in. I welcome everyone to write about their pandemic experience and submit it for posting. I would love to read about it. Hang in there everyone, we are almost through this.

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