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  • Nishat

Living with Long COVID: The Middle, pt. 1


 

So, here we all are. Post-pandemic, still infectious, but we're here. When I wrote my first post, I wasn't too far into my long covid journey (I just posted it really late - kinda like this post too hehe). Now it's a little more than 3 years in and like many, many others I'm still stuck in limbo. What does that mean? I still have lots of my initial post infection symptoms such as extreme fatigue, joint pain, headaches, brain fog etc and a whole bunch of new symptoms that come and go as they please BUT, I'm learning to cope and push through it. Is that healthy? No. But am I still going to do it? Yes. The phrase "fake it til you make it" has never applied more to me than now.

 

When I say I'm coping, I really mean I'm masking and I have to say I think I'm doing a pretty dang good job. I definitely have those depressive dips where I spiral because life as I know it hasn't been the same and that's just really hard to come to terms with. But, I've always been good at slapping a smile on my face no matter what. And honestly, sometimes I wonder if I do that a little too well. I mean, I have family members to this day that ask me "when are you going back to work" or "when are you getting a job" as if I chose this. Yes, they probably are coming from a good place but it still makes you feel shitty. Like I've said before, one of the things that sucks the most is that everything that's wrong with me is internal. I don't look sick. So many people assume that hey, if she looks fine she must be fine. And I can't even blame them because I'm sure I've done the same thing to someone else before. That saying about not judging a book by it's cover rings so true, especially now.

 

Having to explain myself and this strange illness, answering a plethora of questions, and then going through the whole thing again the next time I see someone gets old really fast. And then comes the dreaded question of "So, how can you do 'xyz'?". I know, I know. They're probably just curious and there's probably no ill intent. But it still irks me. Mainly because... a lot of the time I can't do whatever I've set my mind to. And if I can do it, it's because I've prepared myself or I'm pushing myself way too hard. Let me explain - take being social and hanging out with my friends. Does that not take a toll on me? Of friggin course it does! Every single thing I do affects me. Usually I try to plan these things in advance so I have days to rest up in preparation for this one social activity and more often that not, I'm drinking lots of coffee or some type of energy drink. And, though I don't ever recommend this to anyone, sometimes I just keep pushing myself to do things even though I know I'm well past the point of exhaustion. That usually results in me being flat on my butt in bed for the next couple of weeks like I'm a 70 year old woman so, definitely do as I say and not as I do.

 

How can I do this while being a housewife? Straight up - I think I'm the worst housewife in the history of housewives. (My husband says I'm dramatic lol). My home is maintained sure but it takes forever to get that way. Dishes pile up, laundry piles up, and I barely have the energy to cook. My husband, who works a full time job, does a lot when I can't. And that's shitty too. I used to be a person that worked long days, had an equal partnership in home duties, and could hang as little or as much as I wanted when I wanted. And now that's all changed and it wasn't even a choice - I didn't get a choice in becoming a housewife. It just happened after having covid. I know I'm still in a more fortunate position than some others given that I have a loving, supportive partner and that my range of doing things has improved a bit. And while I know I'm complaining, I'm still very grateful and appreciative of what I have. Yet, I can't help but wonder...can I do this forever? Given the mysterious nature of this "condition" and the complexity that surrounds it, will we ever get answers or even treatments? I'm hopeful but at what point do I give up and just accept things for the way that they are?



~ Nish

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