April 2020 Link Party with “A Chronic Voice”

April 2020 Link Party with "A Chronic Voice"
April 2020 Link Party with "A Chronic Voice"

It’s time for April’s Link Party with Sheryl at “A Chronic Voice”. Every month there are prompts to write about, and people’s answers are linked in Sheryl’s post for all to read. This month’s prompts are Returning, Understating, Distancing, Stressing, and Celebrating.

Returning

This month has led to a return of a fibromyalgia flare. That means the return of all over pain, an upset stomach, and my brain feeling like I’m slogging through thick syrup. I’m not happy about it at all. Since I’m really having trouble sleeping, both getting to sleep and staying asleep, the possibility of this flare being short-lived is zero. My pain tools aren’t working. Yay! Hello depression, too. Are we having fun yet?

Understating

The thing that has really struck me this month is how little many Americans care about their neighbors. Their precious liberty is worth more than helping to keep their communities safe. I see some people helping each other, but I see a lot more people not caring. I live in an apartment building with mostly elderly and disabled tenants, and even they keep visiting with each other, and ignoring social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile I sit in my apartment, fearful of going out to even get my mail, empty my trash, or do my laundry. Even a pharmacy delivery is anxiety provoking. Put on a mask. Go down the back steps to avoid the elevator. Open the front door, while the masked delivery man hurriedly hands my bag to me, and moves away quickly as if I could give the virus to him. Then walk back up two flights of stairs. Put my bag down like it’s toxic and hurriedly wash my hands. Take off my mask and wash my hands again.

This pandemic is exhausting!

Distancing

Also, the pandemic is slowly starving me of human contact and hugs. I’m an introvert. I live alone. I don’t mind spending time alone, but I need weekly hugs and people interaction. I was already more isolated due to my broken shoulder, and my inability to drive. I can drive short distances now, but their is nowhere I can safely go due to my immune deficiency and chronic lung disease.

I miss human interaction. I really miss hugs.

Stressing

Consequently, I am not handling this stress well. My brain won’t shut down at bedtime, even though I’m exhausted. I tried getting up at my regular time. That just led to more exhaustion. Yesterday, I sat on my couch like a zombie from 9 am to noon before I could get up and function. I fell asleep earlier last night only to be awakened by yet another thunderstorm rolling through.

I tried walking more hoping to tire myself out. It worked. I exhausted myself and needed two days of doing nothing to recuperate. Still not sleeping though.

My dreams are filled with bizarre and distressing images. Deep breathing isn’t helping. Meditation works until I stop, and then the stress level goes right back up. GRRR!

Sheryl mentioned that April is Stress Awareness Month, How appropriate! I visited their website. I learned that dehydration can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Maybe drinking more water will help me. Excuse me while I refill my water cup.

Celebrating

Finally, there are two things bringing me hope right now.

  • Spring is here.
  • Easter is coming.
Cherry blossoms from my daughter’s yard.

Wrap-Up

You can read other bloggers answers to this month’s Link Party prompts here. If you’re struggling with anxiety and loss of sleep, know that you’re NOT alone. I’m going to check out in more depth the Stress Awareness Month website. I hope you all are staying safe.

If you missed last month’s link party you can read it here. Till next month’s link party, Kathy

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About Kathryn 154 Articles
I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32.

16 Comments

  1. HI Kathryn. I’m here because of A Chronic Voice’s April Linkup Party. I’m so sorry to hear you are flaring. When COVID19 first hit Taiwan in January, my health and fibro/ME flares got much worse. They were bad through until the end of March. April has been kinder to me. I’m not sure if it’s because the weather is a bit better or because the government has kept us informed and updated on things everyday. I actively work to avoid stress because it is a top trigger for me. I thought I had a pretty good hold on it until the world got hit with a global pandemic. I don’t leave my house much anyways, so being at home is nothing new for me. I’m not used to stressing about family in the US and Canada though. The news I’m seeing in regards to people in North America ignoring social distancing guidelines is so shocking. I completely agree that it seems like people are far more concerned with their liberties than keeping communities safe. I hope it gets better. Take good care!

    • Hi, Carrie! I think my flare is settling down a bit. Re-starting physical therapy for my shoulder seems to be helping. My range of motion is getting better. Thanks so much for coming by!

  2. Hello again Kathryn, I am sorry to hear you are struggling, although I am sure you are not alone, as there are so many people also having a hard time right now. And it must especially be hard living on your own at the moment, but I do hope that you are able to keep in contact with friends and family by phone and the internet. Sending virtual hugs to you! Take care x

  3. Sorry to read you are struggling. I can relate in some respects as I live alone in an apartment, so I know how lonely it can be. Hang on in there, this won’t last forever. Hugs – Louise X

  4. Hi Kathy, it really is sad when people choose to be selfish, even if ignorantly so, and disregard the safety and lives of others around them. They might even end up harming their loved ones because of that. I hope you manage to get some peace and sleep soon (and lots of hugs!). Sending a virtual one now xxx

  5. Thanks for sharing your insights. My Mum has fibromyalgia and lives with her dog in a bungalow. She put a notice on her front door to advise visitors that she was self-isolating. My poor brother came round to deliver some eggs from his chickens and she chased him outside telling him he should have left them on the doorstep! Fortunately we all have a sense of humour and can laugh about it, but we do worry about our mum being safe during this crisis. Fortunately she has a good friend bringing supplies regularly and my siblings and I can be there quickly if there is an emergency.

  6. Hi Kathy, thanks for joining us once again and sharing about your life and how the social distancing is looking like in your slice of the world. Our government is super strict here, even chairs are sealed up with tape outside mostly to prevent mingling. Though older folks tend to be a bit more ‘couldn’t care less’ as they sit around at the coffeeshops and chat, with they get chased home by the police heh. Stay safe dearie! x

  7. I’m sorry this is so difficult for you too, Kathryn. I’m glad you said about how the new routines are exhausting because I keep thinking this every time I have to go out or even bring in the post. Going to the shop is a Herculean effort physically and mentally, trying to keep track of what you’re doing, who’s near you, what you’re touching, washing hands and sanitising and then trying to clean everything or put it to one side when you get home. I’ve actually started putting some stuff under the dining room table, like post or crisp and chocolate multipacks from the supermarket, giving them a few days (esp plastic) before using or putting into the cupboard. It is exhausting, and it’s worrying. It’s not surprising the stress is getting to you because the whole situation is very emotional, thinking of how many are suffering, ill or dying. Being angry with governments. All of it. I really hope you can take some time to rest, relax, distract your brain, nurture your soul a little. And maybe with time you can get some proper sleep uninterrupted by disturbing dreams.

    Sending hugs.
    PS. I’m always around if ever you want to chat..xx

    • Thanks Caz! It really is reassuring to know that there are other people struggling with these necessary precautions. I think I’m sleeping a bit better, but my routines are still all wonky! LOL!

  8. I have been locked down since mid-March and at first, I tried keeping my “normal” schedule. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Between storms and stress, my efforts were futile. Instead, I am taking this time to follow what my body wants to do. Knowing and recognizing that everyone else has had their lives disrupted too made it easy for me to relax and just go with the flow. I hope you are able to sleep, even if it is during the day. HUGS!

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