Not 2020 or 2021, but it was the holiday season of 2022 that my daughter dubbed “Covid Christmas.”
For her family it meant positive tests for husband, son, and finally, herself. Maybe the symptoms were not severe—thanks to vaccinations—but still, the isolating, not feeling well, and the specter of lasting effects was plainly there.
For me, it meant postponing a visit with my only child and grandchild, taking walks and watching movies on Christmas Day, and then waiting for the indicator line on rapid tests when a friend I’d spent time with reported a positive.
Nothing tragic, just inconvenient.
I have to say what’s bothering me most about the summer, fall and winter of 2022 are new-to-me ailments without a cause. Head and neck pain (“feels like my head is not screwed on right”) that seems unaffected by chiropractic, physical therapy, exercise. Then, the supposedly unrelated bouts of vertigo over seven months; the most recent lasted a week.
The community of the vertiginous is larger than I knew, with almost everyone I mention it to either knowing someone afflicted or has experienced it themselves, and worse than I (like when driving a car or hiking in the wilderness). I could read at times, watch television, or walk around (albeit feeling like I was on the deck of a rolling ship.)
I scared myself on morning when I thought I might faint (living alone, who would find my body?) My doctor advised sitting on the floor when something like that happened to avoid injury from falling. “When you wake up, call 911,” she said.
The vertigo ended after doing the Epley maneuver twice on the sixth day. After a 48-hour respite, I “caught” the first cold in three years, starting with a sore throat and still continuing with a persistent cough. All this distracted a bit from the headache (I was taking plenty of meds), yet on Dec.20, there I was rolling into the MRI tunnel, still seeking answers.
Are the doctors and technicians on vacation? Six days later, no results, not that Dr. W. expected anything “bad” to show on the MRI. But I’d still like to know. Is it muscular? Stress? Old age? Friends have recommended Feldenkrais body work, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs…
I just want to be able to play pickleball full out, without ailments I’m not accustomed to interfering with the pleasure of my newfound sports addiction—the pandemic’s outdoor substitute for the indoor intimacy of partner dancing.
To get through the period from Thanksgiving to today, I’ve indulged in two main escapes, 1) the “beach read” novels of Elin Hilderbrand (I enjoyed: Barefoot, What Happens in Paradise, Troubles in Paradise) before I’d had enough, and 2) films, including an excellent Netflix documentary miniseries, The Last Dance, which fascinated me, who is not a basketball fan, for 10 episodes.
More about the film faves of December in my next post.