Woke up today and the sun was shining, which means I’m a cranky bitch right now. Well, crankier than normal, which is pretty cranky to begin with. The face-eating aliens are back, and they are having a feast of it lately. An added bonus is that my knees are feeling sore and tender, and I’m blaming it on the weather as well because why the hell not? My head is pounding, and I have no motivation.
I’ve been going down the Gordon Ramsay rabbit hole on YouTube for the past several days, mostly watching clips of him eating horrible food prepared to him by deluded chefs. However, I’ve also watched clips of him cooking, and oh, baby. He could banger my mash any time. Here’s a video of him cooking 5 dishes for winter. I miss winter. *sigh*
I have to be very quiet because the aliens are sleeping, and I most emphatically do not want to disturb them. They are taking a break from chewing on my face, and I much appreciate the respite. Oh, shit. They’re stirring. Gotta go.
I’ve been joking for the past few weeks that I have aliens chewing on my face, but that’s what it’s felt like as I’ve struggled with sinus issues that have dominated my life for the past FOREVER. I’ve said this before, but one of the worst things about me being sick is that it made me a fucking boring person. All I could do was lie on my couch and feel ill or sleep. That doesn’t make for fascinating conversation. “Hey, what do you think of the current president, Minna?” “My nose hurts. Leave me alone.” I withdrew from social media for the most part because it took too much energy to act like a civilized human being, and I drank so much honey lemon ginger tea, I should have bought stock in it.
I could tell I was starting to recover a few days ago when my sleep became worse. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s one of the sad/weird things about my body/brain that I can only sleep soundly and for a length of time when I’m sick. Otherwise, it’s fitful and relatively short, though it’s more than it has been in the past. I had a slight relapse at the end of last week, but I think I’m on the mend now. I’ll be flying at the end of the week, so that’s going to wreak havoc on my immune system. Hopefully, I won’t catch anything else while trapped in a flying box with hundreds of other people and recycled air.
I will say that I hate myself when I’m sick. I feel so fragile, and I’m acutely aware of how much I take my body for granted. It’s very clear when I’m trying to do my morning routine. I’ll tell you what it usually is and what it’s been reduced to for now. This isn’t going to make much sense if you don’t do taiji, but bear with me. Normally, I start with sword drills, doing a chunk of the Sword Form, left side, and then doing half/the whole Sword Form, either right side or left side, depending. I haven’t done the Sword Form at all while I’m sick because it’s a weight-bearing exercise, and it’s too tiring when I’m sick. Then, I do some exercises like wall push-ups. I’ve kept these while sick and recovering. Leg stretches, I’ve kept. I used to do twenty Golden Roosters and twenty Repulse Monkeys, which I cut down to ten each while sick. During the past several months, I’ve been working on the left side of the Solo Form, and I’m up to the first third of the third section. However, my brain can’t handle doing the left side while I’m sick, so I’ve reverted to doing the first section, right side, which is my least favorite section, but it’s the easiest on my brain. I’ve also done a revised chunk late in the third section, but that’s the extent of my morning routine. I’ve also not been doing the actual weight set which I usually do three times a week. In short, I’ve gone from about a twenty minute practice to seven or so minutes. Less when I was feeling really shitty.
In addition, I skipped classes for two weeks. I felt bad about it, but when making it to the bathroom was a triumph, there was no way in hell I’d be able to make it to class. Even when I slowly started improving, I was hesitant to drive to class, especially at night. That’s actually a lasting effect from my minor car accident last summer plus me getting old–I really don’t like driving at night. In addition, driving is exceptionally draining when I’m sick, and by god, I’m tired of that phrase–when I’m sick.
Fortunately, I could still work and write while I was sick, but that was about it. When I was at my worst, I’d just lie on the couch and stare blankly at whatever video I had playing. I slept a lot. A LOT. It didn’t really help, however, as I’d still be exhausted when I woke up. I can’t overemphasize how constricted my life has been in the past three weeks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–illness makes me selfish. I don’t care about what’s happening in the world–all I care about is that my face feels as if it has aliens chewing on it. I will say it puts me firmly in my body, which is unusual for me. I spent the first thirty years of my life acting as if I didn’t have a body. When I did acknowledge I had one, it was mostly to think of it as a vessel for my soul and my brain. After several years of practicing taiji, I’m more aware of my body, but I still treat it as if it’s more of a nuisance than anything else. It’s why I walk into things–I don’t think about how my body fits into space. I just hurt myself less because I automatically relax when I fall or get hit (like in my car accident) rather than tense up.
When I’m sick, I am 100% aware of my body because it’s hurting so much, I can’t ignore it. At my worst, my nose felt as if it was on fire, and my skin was prickly. Even if I didn’t touch it, it hurt. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it did ground me firmly in my body. Every cloud, silver lining, and all that.
I’m slowly getting better, but I know I have to be careful not to overdo. My immune system is shit. I used to get bronchitis all the time, and now, apparently, it’s a cold/flu. It doesn’t help that because of climate change and other man-made disasters, we’re growing mutant bugs that are more resistant to being treated, but that’s another post for another day. Anyway, I’m glad to be getting better, even if it seems to be taking forever. Hopefully, the worst is behind me.