I have been writing about recovering from a setback. The positive side of this setback is that I have many tools from life experience after concussion and from rehabilitation (when I finally got there) to deal with my setback.
This week, I came down with bad summer cold. It started with a sore throat. I thought it was one more thing that was part of the setback. And then it went to my head and my head started being congested. By Sunday morning I was miserable. I wanted to take my son to Church anyway. Church is part of our routine, and when I am off routine because I am sick, its harder on him. I have learned from experience that it will be better for me health wize to push a little harder, so that he’s on his routine. So we went to Church.
What I didn’t expect was to find out that other mom’s had been sick from something that started as a sore throat and ended as a bad summer cold. They said the sickness lasted for five days. Another mom told me that it had become pneumonia for her and for 4 of 5 of her friends.
I came home armed with information for my husband. I had a cold that might get worse. I would need his support to rest, I would see the doctor on Monday. If I had what was going around, it might last as long as 5 days. 5 more days! Man am I tired from compensating around my setback and feeling my grief. Now this!
But the choice was accept it and deal with it well, or not.
And its brought me to my knees. Chills, Fatigue, Fuzziness in the head, congestion, the works.
Seeing the doctor was incredibly validating.
Yes, I had whats going around,
yes, it was in my chest and had become bronchitis,
yes, it was long lasting,
yes, I was doing all the right things,
yes, I was getting better on my own (from sleeping and resting and limiting my activities further than previously including cognitive rest), and
yes, if it lasted much longer then it was bacterial and not viral and to take the medicine he prescribed.
It was so good to see him and be validated and told more about my path and what to expect and what others around me could expect.
The funny observation that I have to make here about having this bad cold is the following.
Everyone understands what a setback a bad cold can be both in terms of energy, time and in terms of head fuzziness.
So everyone around me was very supportive. People helped with my son, my husband really leaned in more than he already had been doing, and I could get empathy and support easily in conversation with friends and strangers. I could use short hand about what was wrong and they got it. People gave me leeway and wished me well.
So even though I had an awful cold and even though I had been needing to rest for 6 months, I was actually able to relax more into getting well. It was what it was and I got it and they got it.
So different from my experience of my setback caused by my dental appointment. Where no matter how well I explain what my head is doing as a result of the sleeplessness and headaches, its so far out of people’s reference that they often look quizzical. Not that I would have understood it either if I hadn’t lived it!
As I was getting better from the cold but head still fuzzy from the cold and from the setback and probably some combination of both, I did something that was really funny if you think about it. I thought I would make myself a smoothie and I used a metal spoon to get peanut butter out of the peanut butter jar. My brain wasn’t working so I am not even sure my thought process would have gotten me to a wooden spoon, I just did what I needed to do to get the peanut butter out of the jar.
And then I left the spoon in the high speed blender because the peanut butter wouldn’t come off it. And I made the mental note that I needed to find something to get the peanut butter off the spoon. My head was fuzzy and perhaps I got distracted or perhaps my executive functioning skills were worse since my brain was fuzzy or perhaps I couldn’t focus or concentrate or compensate around my attention issues like I normally do. Who knows?
But I do remember later, seeing the mental spoon in the blender and thinking I need to do something about that. I added frozen blueberries and some very frozen broccoli. And then I put the top on the blender and pushed the button.
You might be thinking that there would be a noise when the high speed blender met the metal spoon. And there was!
But my brain was fuzzy. I did react to the noise. I had forgotten what my eyes had told me about the need to pull the metal spoon out, or perhaps the signals in my brain were so loud and no executive was acting to regulate them as an unfuzzy, uncompromised brain would do automatically.
In response to increase noise, I actually turned up the speed of the blender. I thought the noise was coming from over frozen broccoli, and surely higher power would help.
And, when that didn’t work, I tried turning up the blender for longer!
When that didn’t work, my frustration led me to decide I just wouldn’t have a blended up smoothie.
So I took off the blender top. And found a very mangled spoon. I also discovered that my high speed blender blades were mangled too, but hadn’t lost the toussle completely.
I poured out the smoothie, decided to throw away the spoon and wrote a gentle not to put in the blender that I had mistakenly “hurt” the blades.
Being gentle on myself seemed to be the most important thing to do right then.
And then I went back to bed to try to get better.