Well I finally succumbed to the dreaded Coronavirus after being double jabbed and pretty careful for eighteen months. I knew that I would get it in the end and, as an asthmatic, I was pretty fearful of what it might bring to the table and oh boy did it deliver. It was like the ultimate taster menu in nasty symptoms that literally knocked me off my feet for a fortnight.
Of course I am not unique in contracting this dreadful virus but it did get me thinking about my overall health and it was also a huge time of reflection whilst I was isolated and bedridden. I found myself going back to my childhood and fondly remembering (weird right?) those sick days when you stuffed the metal thermometer under the duvet for ten minutes to increase the reading (these modern day forehead detectors are so much less fun) so that I could have a day off school. There was something quite comforting about having a whole day in bed with a well timed cough when I heard Mum and Dad on the stairs. There would always be chopped up egg in a cup with butter and lots of milky coffee and toast to keep me sustained throughout the day and whilst Netflix wasn’t a thing there was a stack of paperbacks to thumb through and, if I was lucky, the latest Jackie magazine. A sick day would stretch ahead like a glorious treat to be savoured (apart from when I was really sick of course).
Being ill when you are an adult is far less entertaining. Unless you are very disciplined you still get to read all your emails and fret about what is going on in your absence and, because you haven’t been to the shops, you have to make do with whatever scraps lie at the bottom of the freezer until your partner returns from work. Having Covid also means you feel pretty rough and even a well timed Christmas movie doesn’t cut the mustard (the Elizabeth Hurley/Kelsey Grammar one was just horrendous. It really is quite miserable (the movie and the illness).
I spent most of the last fortnight staring into space and berating myself for not appreciating the times when I have felt well. Our physical and mental health is often something that we take for granted until things go pear shaped and Covid does seem to have a negative effect on your mental well being. Had I been too relaxed as we came out of lockdown? Was I washing my hands enough? Was this it now? Was I going to succumb to “Long Covid” and spend my life trapped in a sort of twilight world? Well thankfully not as I feel much better which was enough to give me a massive kick up the backside. I woke up this morning and tentatively offered up a silent prayer of thanks that I was through the worst and I vowed to myself to not take my health for granted again.
Staying well can be hard work as you get older. Both physically and mentally we need to put time aside each day to keep ourselves in the right place. It’s simply not good enough to just hope for the best. Particularly the decline of our mental well being can be a silent killer that creeps up behind us ready to pounce so its critical that we take the time and effort to keep ourselves in the best possible shape. Just half an hour of mental and physical exercises can really make a difference if they are embedded into our daily routine. It really is worth the effort.
Now I am not saying that I am unhealthy. I would actually go so far as to say I am a pretty healthy individual who hasn’t had a day off sick in years. Having Covid however has forced me to recalibrate. Two weeks of low energy and low mood was enough to make me realise that we shouldn’t take life for granted. Every day is precious and our health is the most precious commodity of them all.
So back to work I go with a spring in my step and lots of plans for the months ahead.
Covid you may have got me on the ropes but I’m back in the ring for another round.