Underneath my yellow skin

Finally! No longer feeling like warmed-up puke

I started feeling better Sunday night, and when I woke up on Monday, I was markedly improved. Sinus was clear (although my ears were still scabby and crusty. Yes, they become filled with pus when I pick the scabs), cough was mostly gone (one or two hard coughs every few hours), and better yet, I had more energy than I’ve had in the last month. I didn’t feel like death warmed over, and I actually looked forward to going to taiji. More to the point, I had enough energy to propel myself out of the car.

It’s difficult, though, because I don’t like leaving the house in general. It’s my low-level depression that makes it twice as hard for me to get in the car and drive. My BFF and I have talked about how fucked up it is that we’d set up a date to go out dancing. We did that maybe once a month, which isn’t a big ask, really. Both of us would spend the whole day psyching ourselves up to go out and begrudgingly get dressed. I’d leave the house, feeling extremely reluctant to go. I’d reach my BFF’s house, and she wouldn’t be dressed yet.

Side note: We have a running joke about her being perennially late. Like other issues in our friendship, once we hashed it out, it was fine. I just mentally added twenty minutes to a half hour to whatever the start time was supposed to be, and it worked out. Funnily enough, one time, she was supposed to pick me up at my house at, say, eight. That meant I’d change around eight-fifteen. The doorbell rang at eight, and I exclaimed, “You’re early!” She said, “We said eight, right?”

We’d chat while she decided what to wear. She often roped her husband into the process (if he was there) because he had a sharp eye for fashion.

Another side note: We were shoe shopping once, and I was griping about my wide feet and how shoes looked so bad on them. She said she once asked her husband if a pair of shoes made her feet look big. He said, “_____, no guy has every looked at a woman and said, ‘Damn, she’s fine, but those feet are too fucking big!'” I laughed, but the message has stuck with me, even though that was probably twenty years ago.

We’d smoke a cigarette on her porch before reluctantly leaving. Once we hit the club or restaurant or whatever, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but it took a lot of wherewithal to get there in the first place.

It’s the depression. When it was chronic and really bad, I could barely make myself brush my teeth, let alone leave the house. Now that I ‘only’ experience low-level depression, I can make myself do the things I need to do outside the house. However, I don’t have an office job, so I don’t have to drive every. That’s another thing. I hate driving, and I’m terrible at it. There are many reasons for that, but suffice to say, it makes it easier for me to cancel on outings whenever possible.

When I’m sick on top of the low-level depression, leaving the house is nigh impossible. Even going to the grocery store was a laborious chore that would exhaust me by the time I made it home.

When I woke up today feeling much better than I have in ages, I nearly burst into tears. I was so used to waking up exhausted, ears crusty, nose stuffy, and throat scratchy. I still have some ear crusts, my throat is a tad scratchy, but I can actually propel myself around without supreme effort.

I went to taiji yesterday, and the thing I wanted to focus on is that I have this pain problem. Initially, I thought it was a problem with my right leg, but I soon realized it was a most likely a back problem. and a sitting for so damn long in a bad position problem. It started about six months ago with a sudden pain flaring down my right thigh from time to time after sitting for a great length of time. It started happening more and more frequently, and sometimes the pain lingers (though not the intensity of the flare up).

I asked my taiji teacher about it, and she gave me several helpful stretches to try at home. I’ve already been doing some of them, so I’ve just started adding the others. Plus, I know i need to get up more. Sitting at the computer for such long stretches of time isn’t good for me. I’m especially concerned because my father just had surgery for three fused vertebrae (I think. My mom wasn’t especially clear on the details) that started with pain in his leg. Before the surgery, he had a hard time walking for more than a few minutes at a time, and he was in pain most of the time. He’s better and can walk without the walker for short periods of time. He was upset, however, because he thought he’d be 100% after the surgery. As he wasn’t 100% before the surgery, that was naive at best. It’s indicative of my father’s thinking, however.

Anyway, I don’t want to be him. I don’t want to have to have surgery ten years from now if I can help it. Now that I can actually move without feeling like I need a nap, I’m planning on seeing a doctor and an acupuncturist to see if I can get to the root of all my health problems. I get a cold or whatever about once a year now, and it lasts for months. I don’t want to have to do this song and dance again, and I know I won’t have the energy to deal with it the next time I’m sick.

I’m forty-seven. I’m not a spring chicken any longer (though, I’m not exactly sure what that is, anyway. Also, why don’t we say someone *is* a spring chicken?), and I know that I have to start looking at my health in the long run. I’m already dealing with some leg discomfort on a regular basis–I want to nip this in the bud while I can.

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