Unsettled

I didn’t do anything creative with my block of clay after all. When I began my self-isolation last Tuesday, the advice for the time was for everyone in the household to stay home for 14 days. That has now changed. Because I was the first to develop a cough, as of today I can now leave the house. Well, to a certain extent.

Since I found this out, which was on Saturday I think, I just haven’t been able to settle enough to do much at all. On the one hand, I’m really looking forward to going back to work and seeing the faces of some of my bestest friends. But I don’t think there’s any such thing as a straightforward feeling these days. Apart from looking forward to seeing people, I also feel immense guilt because there are others who won’t see another face for who even knows how long.

Above all else though, there’s fear. Fear of what I might pick up at work and bring back home to my family. Just quitting my job of 11 years has seriously crossed my mind, and I feel disgusted with myself that I’m not brave enough to tell work to stick it. Even if we were dealing with food I’d be ok with going in, but it seems like absolute madness to be dealing with curtains and toasters and microwaves at a time like this. Am I risking the lives of others so people can still get their lawnmowers?

Somehow, incredibly, I am classed as a key worker. When it was announced yesterday that the UK is now taking measures to keep people indoors I was relieved. Until I saw the list of exceptions that is, now I am just as scared as ever.

I don’t think these measures are enough. The trains are still packed. I work in just one warehouse of 500 people that’s still allowed to operate. Imagine how many more there must be throughout the UK. How can this be right?

I’m in work tonight, and I will speak to my manager about perhaps doing a reduced work week, which the company are considering. I figure, the less I’m in contact with other people, the less risk I pose to my family. It’s some sort of middle ground I guess. I’ll worry about the loss of earnings some other time.

ANYWAY, I have been able to find little bits of joy in my days. My sister had to bring her car over yesterday as a mobile mechanic needed to do some urgent work to it on our driveway.

I didn’t see her at all (social distancing people!) but Newton was in the garden so I stuck my head out of the window to say hello. He looked at me quizzically for a moment then carried on with some very important sniffing business, but it was lovely to see him all the same.

Then next door’s dog came out, and wanted to get in on the action. I don’t think this doggo was impressed though. I got a few woofs telling me to go back inside.

Then later on there was my first virtual Slimming World group, and do you know what? I loved it. I got my laptop out and got it functioning (I hadn’t even turned it on for over a year) and got to see the faces of my old fellow group members.

It’s not even about the weight loss. For me it’s something solid that I can focus on and look forward to every week, when everything else is going tits up all around me. Some people don’t have home scales, so they are just focusing on non-scale victories. Of course we have reduced control over what food is available right now as well, and we’re just concentrating on making the best of it. I highly recommend it!

Despite barely moving over the last week, I still managed to lose 1.5 pounds. My goal for March was to get back into the 15 stone bracket, and now I’m 15 stone 6 pounds and there’s one more weigh in left this month.

I’m glad I didn’t get any ‘treats’ with our last online shop, because I know I would have found it hard to resist. As it is I find myself in a situation where I’m saving my last tin of beans for a ‘special occasion’. Blimey, life has become so strange!

That’s it for me for today then. Thanks for reading, and in the words of Jerry Springer, take care of yourselves and each other.

Hayley x

Hotel Vibes

Yesterday day was a worrisome day. On Monday, whilst walking Newton, I had a really itchy nose and sneezed quite a lot. The blossoms are emerging now so I figured it was a spot of hay fever (something I never used to get that seems to get a little bit worse every spring). Then in the evening a sore throat developed.

I gradually felt worse overnight but didn’t have the telltale temperature or persistent cough of coronavirus, yet I still didn’t feel right about returning to work. Thankfully I already had Tuesday night booked off, so I had an extra day to think about it. I did however exile myself to my room in the meantime, to avoid passing anything on to the family.

I spent most of Tuesday, day and night, anxiously and nonsensically scouring the internet for evidence that I conclusively do or do not have coronavirus, therefore allowing me to decide definitively whether I should or should not go to work.

See the problems here? I have a blocked nose, but a stuffy nose is not usually a symptom of covid-19. Depending on which source you read, between 4-6% of people diagnosed will have a stuffy or runny nose. So while I’m roughly 95% sure I don’t have it, the presence of my stuffy nose doesn’t prove that by any means. There’s only one way to be sure, and that’s to get tested. If our NHS staff can’t even get what anyone with half a brain cell would call a VITAL test, well, there won’t be one for the rest of us.

I eventually got to sleep at 5am, but didn’t stay sleeping long because my newly emerged persistent cough kept bloody waking me up. Oh well, at least the decision has now been taken out of my hands. According to NHS 111 online, I must not go to work. These are always the occasions when I’d much rather be at work than at home, but there’s not much to be done about that!

My biggest worry now (apart from passing whatever I have on to the rest of the household) is that if this is just a cold, I’m still able to contract the virus and will have to do isolation all over again at some point. Work might be funny about it, but what else in all good conscience could I do? I’d rather lose my job than unnecessarily put someone else’s life in my hands.

When I made a list last week of fun stuff to do if I ended up being isolated, I hadn’t counted on actually being ill and feeling rotten, so although it’s certainly been a less anxious day I can’t say I’ve done anything productive.

This is now day two of fourteen of only coming out of my room to get food or use the bathroom, so I’d better buck up my ideas and start making use of my time before I get cabin fever!

I’ve been fairly level-headed in the days leading up to now, but one measure I did take (and I’m extremely glad I did) was to get a kettle to keep in my room. That way I don’t have to keep going into the kitchen every time I want a coffee, which is often. As such it’s much like living in a hotel right now. I wonder if I ring my mum for room service she’ll bring me a cooked meal? Hmm, unlikely…

In other news, I no longer have to feel bad about my decision not to return to Slimming World. That’s because yesterday morning it was announced that no-one is – all groups are suspended until further notice.

It seems that the consultants, who are self-employed, are going to get some sort of remuneration from Slimming World. Plus Head Office seem to be working on solutions to keep groups running remotely. I hope they do, for the sake of everyone involved. I know several people whose sole income comes from Slimming World.

I weighed in at home, for once with the approval of my consultant, and lost 4 lbs. My total loss is now 1 stone 7 lbs, which even I am gobsmacked with.

Now I just have to keep it up!

Thanks for reading, and take extra special care.

Hayley x