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Hypersensitivity and cards

So I’ve known for a long time that I am hypersensitive to emotions and feelings. (I’ve been called “over sensitive” so many times, and not usually said in a nice way!!)

But this brush with covid has made me acknowledge for the first time that my body is hyper sensitive too. It reacts to everything! I already knew I struggled with too much noise and bright lights. I don’t usually bother to mention my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, triggered by stress, but I live with it, working from home when I can pop into the loo anytime, it is just an idiosyncrasy of my daily life, slightly more tricky when I’m elsewhere but manageable. My toes are covered in chill blains, despite the fact that the weather is still very mild, even up north. It is a form of vasculitis according to my husband, small blood vessels overreacting to temperature.

So OF COURSE my body was going to react to COVID by going into immune overdrive, my headaches and sinus inflammations were BOUND to flare up.

Well, I’m ready for it! I’ve been reading up about pacing oneself and leading a healthy lifestyle and I already practise that. There might be a small bit of me that is thinking “what the hell???? I ALREADY lead a very healthy lifestyle! How unfair is that?! How dare my body let me down by being post viral???” But no, no, it is the other way round, I’m ready to adapt to this situation because I’m already used to it. I will help my body adjust and settle down quicker by using all the tools I am used to.

I’ve not really talked about my hobby / obsession / interest in healthy lifestyles here although all my family know and complain about it a lot. “The Sugar Police” is one name I’ve been called! I am a big fan of Professor Tim Spector and have had my gut biome analysed through the Zoe Project. I already do intermittent fasting, I maybe just need to ramp it up a bit and stop comfort eating bits of chocolate just because they are in the cupboard though!

This pacing oneself is a work in progress, I set off for a short walk the other day, went up a small incline and seriously wondered if I would have to ring my husband to collect me! In the end I made it back but it is very hard to judge, is this far enough? Should I push it a bit more? etc etc……

I wrote this earlier on in the week and to update it, I have had a much better week than last week for sure. My walking speed is getting back to its usual speed (brisk) and I’ve been aiming for short, round the block trips, out and about. I did have one weird day of mild dizziness and another day of feeling clammy. Bizarre!

As a former medic it has made me very aware of my own prejudices and fears regarding post viral syndrome. I think as doctors we mistrust any illness that is difficult to measure, doesn’t have any known treatment and a clear end point.

Another sign of forward progress has been that I’ve done my xmas cards after all!

I went with the less labour intensive option of creating an image and sending it off as a PDF to be printed by a card firm. I won't put any images up as that would spoil the surprise. Instead I'll just put up an image of my studio. This is very much my happy space, chaotically untidy at the moment. When my energy is back up I will get on with a major reorganisation but for now I'm happy to just hunker down in the mess.

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