Monday, January 02, 2023

New Year, Same Old Me


After three weeks of isolation, my test finally came back negative on New Year's Day. I'm still feeling weak, dizzy, and oh so nauseated, but thankful to be here. It was bad. My sense of smell is gone (I even tried smelling a vintage bottle of Youth Dew which is like the strongest perfume I own, and no luck), and everything tastes like metal and rancid meat. The rebound infection was much worse than the initial one, and I'm not sure how long it will take to get back to a reasonable amount of activity. Still, I managed to stay out of the hospital, and I'm sure that's only because I was fully vaccinated and up to date on boosters. Don't play with this, the new sub-variant is awful.

When I had the first vaccine, way back in spring of 2021, I registered to take part in the CDC V-Safe monitoring study. I'd get questionnaires from time to time, and after my positive case, all that information was entered. Today, I had a call from the CDC to follow up. That was a surprise, but it also made me feel good to know they're still looking at the efficacy of the vaccines, and collecting data. It was a long, detailed call, and I can understand that people might not want to be bothered, but between coughing fits, I was really happy to help. If nothing else, I can feel like some tiny bit of good came from me getting sick. I'd have rather not gotten sick of course.


I won't tell you how long it has been since my hair has been washed. I get a quick shower every few days, but then need to air the bathroom out for hours before Dan can use it. He wears a mask all the time now anyway, and he's still isolating in his room, but as he's the only one still covid free, we'd like to keep it that way. It hasn't been a very nice winter break for him, but he's getting plenty of sleep. That's all I would have wanted as a teenager. Two weeks of sleeping would have been fantastic, but even sick, I doubt my parents would have permitted it. We weren't permitted to get sick. That was my mother's monopoly.

So that zodiac curtain? Not a decor statement, just a very cheap, but heavy shower curtain serving as a wind-block during the winter weather. There's another bit of fabric behind it showing through as well. It isn't fancy, but it does a great job of keeping the bedroom warmer against those 50 mph north winds. So no, I haven't gone off and joined a cult or anything exciting. Dressed all in white sitting in my bed like this I could nearly pass for a guru of some sort. Tell you what, I don't have anything enlightening to share, but if you send me money I'll try to come up with something­čśÇ .If everyone comes over (after I'm recovered) we can say a few hallelujahs, call ourselves a church, and try for tax exempt status. I mean, we're already praying to the Vintage Gods, so why not make it profitable? 

I shouldn't have to say this but please, don't send me money. 

You could send me a few more of these tests though. I'm becoming expert at shoving swabs into small orifices-exactly what mother always said not to do.

Christmas Eve I was still able to cook (I really shouldn't have been on my feet, but I did it anyway-I kept getting worse after that) and I made a paella-ish dinner with arborio rice, sofrito I had in the freezer since summer, tinned beans, and some smoked turkey legs vacuum sealed and waiting for an occasion to use. The boys both noted that they preferred it to the usual fish (too bad it isn't a Feast of the Seven Turkeys instead) and there was more than enough for them to eat the day after. That was good, because I was in no condition to cook. The second unused turkey leg ended up in pasta that fed them for the two days after that.

I haven't been eating much beyond tea, popsicles, and gelatin. The occasional clear broth. I am sleeping though, so that's good. I was caught off guard by just how bad this was going to be since I had recovered so quickly after the antivirals and first five days. Sort of like walking out into the calm after a hurricane only to realise you're directly beneath the eye. Ah well, at least I'm not dehydrated. I spent the last year trying to gain weight, even if it took an entire year to gain five pounds. When it is liquids/soft food, and in a spoonful at a time, that's harder than it sounds. My days are more or less structured around eating as I can't manage that much at once. I really hope all that progress and struggle isn't wiped away from oral surgery followed by being sick with a virus I did my best to avoid. I'm certainly trying my best, but it is difficult (and the kitchen in downstairs). UPDATE: I lost exactly five pounds. *Mumbles* This really wasn't what I was hoping for *Stares disgustedly at bottle of Ensure (liquid nutrition)* Fuck this, and the horse it rode in on.

The deep freeze is over in Nebraska, and I can hear the ice melting from the roof as it hits our metal windowsills. It looks like we are having some beautiful weather at the moment, at least from the bedroom window. I feel for the people in Buffalo, New York. What an awful situation they're having. Sure, they always get snow but this was well beyond what even the tough people of Buffalo are accustomed to. 

Western Nebraska was hit horribly as well. The winds have been so bad that as soon as a rural highway gets cleared, the wind puts the snow right back. I saw a story about medicine being delivered to a sick child via snowmobile in a sub-zero, high wind blizzard. There are good people in the world, even if we don't hear about them as much. 

Water pipes burst across the city which made our low pressure in the toilet seem like very much, a non-emergency. It resolved with the temperature rising, so we're thankful it didn't end with a burst pipe. Still will have it looked at eventually because the water pressure was always a bit low in there. People have been going days without a plumber as they're stretched thin at the moment. We also managed to keep power, for which I'm thankful. Internet went out a few times, but that's hardly a terrible problem given what others are dealing with. 

I'm frustrated that even being in bed I'm not able to do much more than scroll my way through tumblr. I can't concentrate enough to read a book, the television is downstairs (not much worth watching on broadcast anyway), don't even have the energy to sort through my holiday clothing to start putting it away. I'm dreading taking down the tree and all the decorations. I usually take everything down 6 January, but might have to leave everything up until Candlemas or beyond. The tree is fake, so it isn't a fire hazard or anything. Even the sewing repair pile is just sitting there because I don't feel up to it. I hate this. Even after major surgery I was able to do basic things. This is unfortunately not the sort of thing I can just push through, and it is difficult for me to just sit here, existing. But existing is (I think?) better than not, so there's that. UPDATE: It was making me sad and resentful every time I had to look at the decorations, so I've started pulling down/putting away one thing at a time when I go downstairs. The Christmas wall is now down in the hallway, so that's good. I didn't want to start the new year angry at the selfishness of people. I mean, I am still angry, but I don't need a constant reminder. It isn't like I can confront anyone, and my spouse still needs to work with these people. 

I'm turning the corner though (fingers crossed I really am this time), and I'm sure this will all just be a memory in a few weeks that might give me pause rather than full-on anger. That's the hope anyway, because I'm not the sort of person that likes throwing my energy into pointless things. I really do know and appreciate how lucky we were compared to others, and that we didn't get sick before vaccines and treatments were available. People have been working in much more dangerous places than offices, and been exposed to much worse earning much less, so I do understand how fortunate we were. We don't work in a meatpacking house.

And a brief rant:

If I see one more story about people having the fat removed from their cheeks, I'm going to scream*. Wake up babe, new insecurity just dropped! I mean, really? We have to do this, "New Year, New You" thing heading into 2023? If you want the surgery, have it, but the more the media harp on about it, the more it plants the idea in people's heads that there's something wrong with a round face (says the woman with a round face). Humans vary a lot. You don't really need to remove what's essentially a protective layer of fat to get that look. Hasn't a decade of Kardashians taught us anything about contouring? Live long enough and it disappears anyway. You should have seen my grandmother at 104. Cheekbones that could cut you. I know five years from now we'll be seeing New Year's stories about facial fat injections for a fuller look. Mark my words. *mutters to self* My god these kids want to deliberately make themselves look sick, old, and gaunt. SMH.

Happy New Year? Happy New Year!

*Honestly, this isn't about anyone having plastic surgery at a personal level-there's a million reasons people do, and it is none of my concern. At a societal level though, that IS my concern. Whenever something like this suddenly becomes widespread, you know it is because of money. It is always about money. Can't get basic healthcare, decent housing, adequate food in the US but you can get your fat face fixed on easy credit and installment payments. I don't want to live under communism, but maybe a less brutal form of capitalism would be nice? Maybe? 






Emily said...

Hang in there, Goody, you are indeed going to turn a corner very soon, and then another, and another, and another, and then you'll be perfectly free of COVID. (I find that with chronic or hard-to-treat illnesses, there are multiple corners to round. You just gotta keep walking.)

It does my heart good to know the CDC followed up with you on the phone. They need the data, and they need people like you who are willing to participate.

I've had chipmunk cheeks all my life, and while I wish I could transfer that buccal fat to my boobs, I think I'll just go on with my life.

Go easy on yourself, and don't work too hard at un-decorating the house.

Beth Waltz said...

In your guru garb, seated before the esoteric background, you're the image of the hippie roommate my folks didn't want me to have in the 60s. (As it happened, the hippie on the hall was a vegetarian teetotaller; the church leaders' daughters partied heartily.) Would that you were recovering in a warmer clime, although using that shower current as a draft block reassures us that your flair for style and sense of humor remain robust.

Emily is right, you're moving in the right direction, step by step and spoonful by spoonful! Please keep keeping on, snacking and napping, sharing your observations on the human condition. Yes, a "less brutal form of capitalism would be nice".

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for participating in the CDC study. Real time data helps everyone. I am so sorry your covid bout has lasted this long . Thankfully you are getting fidgety and while not getting to the jobs that probably can wait anyway , you are thinking about them. That is progress in my book.

The midwest is getting hammered with all kinds of rotten weather. Thank-goodness you did not loose power. That can be one major inconvenience.

Pa. was extremely cold for awhile, I was sleeping with my wool sweaters on , then we had torrential rain and 56 degree days. Crazy.

Take care and while you recover dream of all the beautiful vintage outfits you will create when you are up and about.

Best Wishes,
Gail from Pa.

Vix said...

I'm glad to hear you're on the mend and are now testing negative. Isn't it a strange virus in that it affects everyone differently? There was a man on the BBC news a couple of weeks ago who'd tested positive for 411 days, been hospitalised countless times and lost TEN stone and there's freaks like me,Liz & her 81 year old mum who tested positive for a few days and didn't get a single symptom. The sooner Covid mutates and dies out the better.
I know nothing about this plastic surgery trend but I'd quite like some of that excess fat injected into my face, I've always wanted chubby cheeks!
Happy New Year! xxx

bahnw├Ąrterin said...

wonderful to hear from you and see you sitting up and smiling - a bit ;-D - in the camera!
i really worried about you getting covid the second time..... and i´m very sorry that you lost your hard earned pounds.
glad the toilet issue has sorted out by itself.

your x-mas dish sounds yummy - much better than mayonnaise-loaden potato salad with "w├╝rstchen" which is the "traditional" thing here (which we don´t do because for health reasons).

church of vintage - ha! thats genius :-D
as for plastic surgery only to follow a hype.... this is so sad. but yes - its capitalism - making money with people´s insecurities. plastic surgery is only the top of the iceberg.......

sending healing vibes! xxxx

Polyester Princess said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Covid hit you so hard, Goody, but thankfully you seem to have turned a corner now. What a shame you lost those five pounds you worked so hard for. And losing one's sense of smell and taste is just horrible! Re. plastic surgery: I really can't get my head around hypes like these. Who wants to look like anybody else anyway? Long live diversity! xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Oh dear you've had a shit time of it indeed! I do hope you are now on the road to recovery and that things improve from now on. Happy New Year!

Goody said...

Thanks hon, I appreciate it.

I've noticed similar behaviour with the children of ministers. I guess it isn't that surprising.

Hasn't this been the strangest winter? Pretty much whatever we get, you feel two days later and yes, we're unseasonably warm again. Remember last winter when we had tornado outbreaks in January? Glad I'm no longer attempting to plant a garden=frost zones are becoming meaningless.

Oh god, I can't imagine going over a year testing positive. That poor man. I knew it would probably be bad if I got sick because of all the other stuff, but I still was surprised it was *that* bad. I'm glad you had an easier time of it. This shit is miserable.

I had to Google the potato salad. That's not too different from the Midwestern versions except we chop the eggs and mix them through the salad. The American sausage of choice is a "Hot dog" sometimes beef, sometimes beef and pork. Here that would be summer picnic food though. Probably responsible for many cases of food poisoning from sitting out in the heat!

Thank you. I'm really trying to keep my spirits up.

Thank you. Happy New Year to you!

Miss Magpie said...

It drives me mad how people just dismiss covid ans something and nothing when some people get hit so hard. I have everything crossed you keep on recovering. xx

Sheila said...

Happy New Year! Well, that sounds rather pathetic with all you've been through! I do hope your sense of smell is back by now.

I rolled my eyes SO HARD over that fat removal. Seriously, people, you know gravity? That will carve out your face, so hang onto every bit of fat in it you can!

All the best to you, Goody, and to your family! I hope this is a better year for you ahead!