In the darkened bedroom I keep the curtains open just a slit to tone down and tune out the claustrophobia.
The bathroom wall moves. It ripples and sways with the mournful, desolate sound of the radio. Ocean blues and greens meant to calm only inspire vertigo. What are those things I see? Leaves? Seashells? Jealous sea foam? I lay back, releasing my grip as the tub empties and my consciousness follows circling slowly, among the dirty water before it all disappears down the drain together.
Waiting for your call I pace, I sit, I lay down, I stand up, I check the time, I wipe the sweat away, I pretend to read, I sweat more, I change shirts, I remember to breathe, I evaluate my chest pain, I fidget and tic, I freeze, catatonic as the phone rings, and I am exhausted before I even begin.
My husband is a special education teacher and he starts back to work this week. Even though covid rates have been rising in the area and many schools near here who opened earlier have already had to close down due to spreading coronavirus cases, my husband’s school is still opening at full capacity, full-time. I’ll admit it worries me.
I don’t want my husband to get sick. I don’t want him to bring it home and get me sick. I don’t want the other teachers and employees to get sick. And I certainly don’t want the kids or their families to get sick.
To me, this all seems like it might be a really bad idea. I expect that they will only be open a short while before they have to close down again anyway. Especially with fall coming, when there is likely to be a true 2nd wave (not just the 2nd rise in cases we’ve already seen due to poor handling of the whole thing from the beginning).
I want to be positive, and part of me has felt this whole thing seems really off from the beginning, so maybe it isn’t as bad as they make it out to be, but I still worry.
I’ve had a really bad couple days. The day before yesterday I had a total meltdown because I couldn’t get a painting right. It was kind of the last straw, as I have been struggling terribly with irritability, anxiety, ocd, and anger lately. At first I thought it was just a phase or one of the mood swings that mood disorders bring, but it has lasted a long time now and I am starting to wonder if it has to do with the new med I have been put on (Lamictal). The irritability and worsening ocd definitely seem to have started as I began taking higher doses of the drug.
Yesterday all the anger, irritation, and anxiety turned into depression and I cried a lot, felt helpless and hopeless, and entertained some pretty dark thoughts. I was in one of those moods where I felt utterly worthless and felt that no one liked me or cared about me, I even felt like my husband was sick of me. That was probably projection as I’M sick of being around me in this state.
Today I’m a bit better (no crying yet), but still feeling low and exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well lately at all, which isn’t helping. Just not in a good place right now.
The whole covid mask thing has been a struggle for me. Probably for several reasons:
#1 – I have bad asthma, especially in hot weather and wearing a mask makes it much worse. Sometimes to the point that I have to escape a store or building immediately so I can breathe again before I have a full-out asthma attack (masks are required in buildings in our county).
#2 – I’m autistic. I have sensory issues galore and masks drive me crazy. I don’t like the feel of them and for me, I never really adjust. Of all the kinds of masks I’ve tried, the only ones I can even kind of stand are the surgeon ones, but even those bug me, and I can only bear them for a short time.
#3 – I have a little piggy nose, so I can’t keep a mask up, it is always slipping below my nose. It has gotten to the point that sometimes I quit pulling it up because it will just slip down again in 2 seconds, and it is easier to breathe with my nose uncovered anyway.
#4 – Anxiety. I think this plays into the asthma and the sensory issues thing. The more my asthma and sensory issues worsen, the more my anxiety kicks in, till the point where I’m not even sure if I’m having trouble breathing because of the mask and asthma, or because of the anxiety.
At this point, I pretty much just try to do outdoor activities or if I do have to go to a store or something, I get in and out as quickly as possible. Thank God I don’t have to work at a business. I don’t know how I would survive.
So what has your experience with masks been? Do they bother you? Did you adjust and get used to them? Are they required where you live? Do you have any of the same issues I have with them?
During the Coronavirus quarantine, I have had to do several doctor visits by video chat. So far, I’ve had to do them with my family doctor and psychiatrist, and starting this week, I will be doing them with my counselor too.
I must admit I’m not big on the whole televisit thing. I always worry about our internet connection during them because we live out in the middle of nowhere and have satellite internet (which sucks). But even aside from that, it makes me more nervous for some reason and makes me feel awkward sharing personal information. I have always hated talking on the phone and feel this is kind of similar.
I guess the upsides are that I don’t have to get dressed and ready to go out, or sit in a boring waiting room, but I still prefer the face to face contact. My counselor did offer in-person appointments but we would’ve had to wear masks, and I can’t wear a face mask for long because it irritates my asthma.
What about you? Have you had to do doctor televisits during Covid? If so, how do you feel about them?
I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist yesterday (my old doctor unexpectedly retired last month). Yesterday’s appointment had to be via video because of Covid. I was super anxious about it beforehand, not knowing what he was like or if we would be a good match. For a first visit, I would MUCH prefer an in-person appointment, but that wasn’t an option for now.
Fortunately, he seems caring and understanding and listened to me very well. I felt like he was trying hard to understand my situation and symptoms and that he took all of my concerns seriously. I guess I couldn’t ask for much more.
Because my anxiety and depression have both been bad lately, we are trying a new medication combo to see if that helps. I will no longer be taking the Seroquel and instead will be taking Lamictal. He is hoping I might be able to wean off the Prozac too if the new med works, since the antidepressants don’t seem to do much for me anymore (and if I take higher doses it tends to cause hypomanic symtoms).
Lamictal is known for not causing as much weight gain as other mood stabilizers, so I am all for that! I hope I won’t have many side effects from it, but we’ll see.
Here in Ohio, non-essential retail stores reopen today! I have been in a depressed funk this past week, so I plan to go out and try to cheer myself up. I know I want to go to the bookstore (bookstores, how I have missed you!) and probably Goodwill. Don’t worry, I will be cautious and try to maintain my distance from others, but I need to feel a bit of normalcy return to my life!
Honestly, I think I likely already had coronavirus a couple months ago anyhow, although I would need to be tested for the antibodies to know for sure. Of course, I have heard reports that you might be able to get it more than once, so still doesn’t hurt to be careful.
Hair salons reopen at the end of the week I think, and it will feel good to get my hair cut again. Funny how you miss little things like that when you can’t do them for a while.
What is going on where you live? Are you still under lockdown? Are things slowly opening back up? Do you plan to go back to normal activity if they do reopen?