Shelter in Place: Days 50–51

This is the update for the weekend of Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 2020.

I spent most of my time this weekend working on a piece of writing that is past due. I made considerable headway on it, but it’s still not quite done. Unfortunately I’m not feeling well today. I took a sick day and I am not sure I am up to accomplishing much of anything beyond feeding myself.

The weather was beautiful this weekend. I went out in it twice, briefly. On Saturday I drove to Shane’s to pick up my lunch curbside. On Sunday I drove to Smoothie King to get smoothies for Sean and me (they also do curbside pickup now). I didn’t go for a walk or anything, and I didn’t sit on the patio, but at least I got to see some green. I should have gone for a walk on Sunday like I did last weekend, but I didn’t get up early enough to feel comfortable doing so. People are out in force now, as if the pandemic were over. It’s not over, y’all.

Shelter in Place: Day 39

This is the update for Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

I haven’t written anything creative in I don’t know how long—a week? Longer? I don’t feel like there’s much to look forward to right now. With so many people, including the governor of the state of Georgia, being shortsighted and foolish about this pandemic, it seems like shelter in place will never end. Not having an idea of when it might end makes it hard to be positive. I can’t make plans. I don’t know when I’ll see my friends and family again.

I went to the store this morning because I had a prescription ready. I covered up as much as possible, including wearing a hat and tucking my pant legs into my socks, and of course I wore a mask and gloves. While I was there I looked for a few things that we didn’t get in our curbside pickup order on Saturday and that Sean wasn’t able to find in the store when he checked that same evening. I snagged some toilet paper and paper towels (which I had been really worried about), some frozen fish and veggies, a couple frozen dinners because I figured I could make them fit in the freezer (and I did, with effort), some more dinner sausage, lunch meat, cheese sticks, Slim Jims, various Knorr noodles, two boxes of au gratin potatoes, and soy-flavored ramen.

The only thing I really wanted and couldn’t find was Knorr Alfredo noodles. I got a bunch of imitation crab, so I hope I can find Alfredo noodles online or something. Maybe the crab would be okay with garlic shells? I dunno.

I miss sushi. I’m going to look into whether any sushi restaurants are doing takeout. Maybe we can have some on Friday. That would be something to look forward to.

Today I had planned to do a video chat with a coworker and friend at lunch, but I wasn’t feeling up to it, so I rescheduled with her and spent my break watching Haikyuu!! instead, starting season 3. Seasons 1 and 2 had kind of accelerated pacing; character arcs I would have expected more time to be spent on were done very rapidly, with some even wedged in as retcons/flashbacks. It wasn’t bad, per se, but I like it when the story spends a little more time on things like that. Season 3, on the other hand, is all about a single 5-set volleyball match, the final prefectural match before nationals. They stretched things out so much that an entire episode was spent just on the opening ceremony. It’s quite a contrast to the first two seasons, but I enjoyed it. I enjoy the show in general; all the characters are really fun. I finished season 3 after work and look forward to checking out the OVA and what’s out so far of season 4 soon.

I’m at a point with a lot of my work where I have to wait on other people, which can be hard for me. I also had a lot of trouble focusing for much of the workday, I think because of anxiety over going to the store/the situation in general. I had to drink some sweet tea in the early afternoon to get myself back on track. Fortunately, it seemed to work. My brain got unstuck and I was able to make good progress on a project that involves a lot of problem-solving style thinking. By the end of the workday I was actually feeling pretty good.

After work I made frozen fish, creamy garlic shells, and Italian-style veggies (Sean did not care for that mix of veggies) and we watched Haikyuu!! and an episode of NCIS.

I went to bed feeling pretty decent.

Shelter in Place: Day 37

Today is bad.

I was very anxious yesterday and that seems to have bled into today. I read a description of what it’s like to die of COVID-19, which was probably unhelpful. I also saw a bunch of news stories about the morons who are protesting shelter-in-place because they can’t stand being inconvenienced and don’t care who dies as long as they can get their hair cut. Out there spreading the virus around even further, trying to kill everyone.

I got up sometime after 8 and sorted my pills for the week. I didn’t bother getting dressed. I warmed up the leftover sweet and sour chicken and rice from last night and ate it over the next few hours as a combined breakfast and lunch. My day started at the dining table, but I got really upset and started crying, so I decided to go back to bed. I took my laptop and watched some Haikyuu!! and tried not to get any more anxious.

I’m afraid Sean was exposed to the virus when he went into the Kroger and he brought it back to me and I’m going to get sick. It’s not really an irrational fear, but it’s certainly an unhelpful one.

My chest feels congested and I’ve been coughing the past couple days, but this could be related to pollen. I’m really trying not to overreact to everything.

I’m just a giant ball of fear and anxiety and despair today. It’s not pleasant.

Shelter in Place: Day 36

This is the update for Saturday, April 18, 2020.

I was up about an hour later than usual last night, and I let myself sleep in, so I got up sometime around 10:30am. My standard morning routine these days is:

  • Get out of bed, leaving bed unmade
  • Go into the bathroom
  • Take morning meds and set out midday meds
  • Brush my hair, if it looks ridiculous
  • Sit on the porcelain throne for a while and:
    • Check my personal email
    • Play Words with Friends
    • Play The Arcana
    • Read Twitter
    • Scroll Instagram
  • Take a shower if necessary (I shower every other day, unless I have gone outside or worked out, and in those cases I may end up showering twice in one day)
  • Get dressed, brush hair, and put on makeup
  • Treat my gross toe (that is all the detail you’re getting about that)
  • Collect midday meds and carry them and my phone out of the bathroom
  • Make bed now that it has cooled down (this is an anti-bed bug precaution, not that I have ever had bed bugs)
  • Put midday meds in my beautiful English rose pill box (thanks Mom!!)
  • Have breakfast

This is all basically the same whether it’s a workday or not. Today’s Saturday, so instead of yogurt and a boiled egg made by Sean, breakfast was sunny-side-up eggs and toast made by me. I tidied the kitchen a bit while I cooked, emptying most of the contents of the sink into the dishwasher, and then I cleaned my dining table cover of cookie crumbs, and then I sat at the table with breakfast and my laptop and goofed off all morning and into the early afternoon.

In between shitposting/having Deep Thoughts on Twitter, I finished loading the dishwasher and started it running, then started two loads of laundry. I wanted to get my jeans washed since I wore them out yesterday (even though I didn’t get out of the car, lol). I also wanted to wash Sean’s jeans since I’m not sure they were cleaned after our last grocery run (which I believe is the last time he wore them). The virus would totally be dead by now, but still. And I wanted to do whites even though it wasn’t that big a load, just to do it. (I seemed to be in Chore Mode.)

Around 2 o’clock I fixed myself a lunch of leftovers: the rest of the casserole I made last week, some mashed potatoes, and some mixed veggies.

My therapist has been out on medical leave, but she’s coming back, virtually, in May. She emailed last night to let everyone know (all patients BCCed) and to ask if we wanted appointments. I definitely do, so I replied right away.

Sean woke up around 4 and I started cooking dinner around 5:30, but we ended up not having time to eat before going to pick up our grocery order from Kroger. During the drive I felt extremely anxious. I had put on long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a mask, a scarf, and gloves, but I still felt really vulnerable. The knowledge of what COVID-19 could do to me has been sinking in more and more.

When we got there Sean went into the store to see if they had any toilet paper. I wish he hadn’t. They didn’t have any, anyway.

The store associate brought our stuff out on a cart, handed us the eggs, and put the rest in the trunk. We drove home and put the stuff away; I kept my outside outfit on while touching the bags but then once everything was mostly sorted I washed up and switched to night clothes. I finished putting things away (including breaking up meat and bread and putting it in the freezer) and then scoured the kitchen with 409 and took a shower. The whole day I had been feeling paranoid about my hair not being clean.

We finally ate our meal, which was grilled chicken breasts topped with some leftover sweet and sour sauce, steamed white rice, and microwave edamame. It was actually pretty good, though the chicken was a little tough from sitting for so long. While eating we watched a few episodes of NCIS. The grocery store had ice cream sandwiches this time, which made me very happy, and I had one for dessert.

I have been playing Words with Friends with Mom for a while now, and it’s really fun. I check in throughout the day and right before bed. So I did that and went to sleep a bit before midnight.


I had a couple of bad dreams last night. Nothing horrific, just stuff that I wouldn’t want to have happen.

In the first one Sean and I were having a home built, and we hadn’t heard anything about it for awhile so we went to check it out, and we discovered that 1) they were building the wrong floor plan and 2) a bank now owned it, and if we wanted to get it back we would have to take out another loan. So we could forget about moving into the house, but still have to pay on our original loan for it, or we could move into a house we didn’t want and pay double.

In the second dream I went to the doctor for some procedure that had apparently become routine. They gave me a drug by IV and then (inexplicably) started shampooing my hair. But then they got all worried; apparently the drug had made my heart rate go way too high. I basically sat there wondering what was going to happen while doctors and nurses bustled around, coming in and out of the room. There really wasn’t an ending to that dream.

Today I have an appointment with my GP, Dr. B, although I’m not sure why. I will try to remember to take my calendar with me this time. I’m not seeing Dr. G again until the Monday after Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been watching my Twitter you may have noticed that I’ve been going through a lot of anxiety lately, over my job and my health. My boss has been really supportive during all this, and she talked me down from freakout mode the other day. I think I’m getting a better handle on things. I’m probably just overwhelmed by all the changes that are happening in my life–so much that is out of my control. I just need to create a plan so I can get done what I need to get done. Not just at work, but at home, too. I’ve not cooked anything this whole time; we’ve just been getting takeout. Bleh.

Now if I can just make it through the day…

Last night was not fun, and I hope it’s not an experience I have to repeat anytime soon.

I tried to get to sleep at around 11. Thinking it would help clear my sinuses, I put a cough drop in my mouth. Three hours of fitful sleep later, I awoke feeling like there were gobs of mucus in the back of my throat and with that old familiar hitching in my lungs. Lovely.

I got rid of the cough drop and tried to get back to sleep, but no matter what I did, it was impossible. I got up several times and messed around online, but I was really too tired to enjoy or care too much about what I was doing. Whenever I tried to get back in bed, I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t relax.

Finally I tried the decongestant that worked for me the other day. It dried my throat out, which was sort of a relief and sort of made me nauseous, but I still couldn’t actually get to sleep.

It was around 5 or 6 when I finally asked Sean to please come sit next to me because I couldn’t calm down. He snuggled into bed behind me and wrapped his arms around me and stroked the skin of my back and legs.

And I was able to concentrate on the niceness of that feeling, instead of all the other things that always race through my mind when I go to bed these days. It seems like every night I think about how I wish I was back in the old apartment, or I miss some item we used to own, or I think about how I’ve “chosen” not to worry about having kids since it’s impossible, or I ponder how far away I live from my family, or I wish I could figure out if I want to buy a house here or move away. I think it would be pretty ridiculous at this point to try and claim that stress isn’t a factor in how I’ve been feeling. I’m just not sure what to do about it.

Anyway, I am so thankful that Sean calmed me down enough that I finally slipped off to sleep. I’m not sure how much sleep I actually got, and I feel like crap right now, but I know I’d feel even worse if I hadn’t gotten any sleep at all.

Side note: I noticed yesterday that the veins that normally stick out of my feet don’t, anymore. It kind of weirded me out.

Side note #2: I think, constantly, “Remember back when I could breathe?” or “Remember back when I didn’t feel terrible?” I’m really annoying myself. It’s not that clever, Heather.

Side note #3: I’m going to a specialist tomorrow who will hopefully figure something out about my respiration/pulmonary function. I’ve had friends who’ve said it sounds like allergies and friends who’ve said it sounds like sleep apnea. Looking forward to a doctor’s opinion.

Side note #4: Why am I so sweaty all the time?