Would you believe me if I told you an hours nap changed my physical & mental health outlook for 2021?
It sounds really dramatic, unrealistic even. But no, I am not kidding you. The past week has been a shocking start to 2021, and a week I will never forget. After having a flu for over two weeks leading into the new year, followed by a highly stressful week working from home, attempting to entertain an ultra-bored 4-year-old and support my eldest daughter with remote learning, I felt burnt out but accomplished and positive about the week ahead. Mondays routine seemed pretty smooth running which gave me hope for the week, but after one quick afternoon nap I got a whole different kind of wake-up call that I wasn’t expecting.
It was like my whole body was being pulled back down by an invisible weight.
When I awoke from my nap (Am I the only person that has added day naps to the lockdown routine!?) I was a little dazed but thought nothing of it. Slowly the room was just spinning and spinning and spinning until I couldn’t even look at one spot in the room without thinking I’d just got off of a fairground ride. Although this latest lockdown may have given me ample excuse to hit the bottle as the newly combined “Tutor/mum/Homesitter/Worker” (like many other mums and dads in the UK right now) I was in fact completely sober. I tried to just lay back on the sofa. I closed my eyes thinking it would subside, but even then it was like my eyes were going round in my head quickly with my eyelids shut. Next came the nausea. I am not a spinning ride type of person so it didn’t surprise me that I felt extremely sick. However, when I attempted to stand up to go to the bathroom, I have to say, it was pretty scary when I found that I actually couldn’t stand or walk.
My legs were shaking and I couldn’t hold myself up straight. It was like my whole body was being pulled back down by an invisible weight. My poor kids looked so worried. There was no dressing this situation up to look less horrifying as I requested for a bucket and proceeded to puke my guts up (sorry for TMI) for what seemed like forever in between closing my eyes to attempt to “block out” the spinning.
I was told it could take days or even weeks for me to recover.
I won’t bore or disgust you too much with the details, but after a long evening next to my trusty bucket I managed to fall asleep. I had hoped to wake up completely fine but that wasn’t the case. When I woke up on the sofa in the middle of the night I literally had to hold on to the floor and the walls to try and balance and shuffle myself into the bathroom and back again. This continued into the next day where I begrudgingly made a phone call to NHS direct (I did not want to have to go to a hospital and figure out where my kids would go) and a local GP called me back clarifying after many questions , that I had a viral infection of the inner ear called Labyrinthitis. I was prescribed some anti-sickness and dizziness tablets which my angel of a neighbor was able to collect for me later that evening, and I was told it could take days or even weeks for me to recover. As you can imagine this was a whole shock to my system!
Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection, causing a part inside called the labyrinth to become inflamed, affecting your hearing and balance, which explained why I couldn’t walk properly. It took until the next day for me to attempt to research the cause on my phone through one squinted spinning eye. I found that it was likely to have been brought on by a recent cold and or stress , both of which were very active factors for me during the previous 3 weeks as I tried to get on with everything like some superhuman woman.
I definitely had a “woe is me” moment by the end of Wednesday (two full days into Labyrinthitis-Gate) and felt really down about the fact I couldn’t do anything for my girls least of all myself. I didn’t think it was possible to feel more isolated in a lockdown but this definitely was a reminder as I stayed laid up on the sofa unable to get up, eat, or even move my head properly without being sick or feeling nauseous . I couldn’t even be productive since I was unable to read or write properly with my head feeling like I had been 'Dutty Whining' the night away (ah I miss those days lol ).
I then thought to myself, this mentality is going to get me nowhere. I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, my positive outlook, prayers, the meds or just fast healing, but over Thursday and Friday I forced myself up until I could shuffle slowly but surely from one room to the other. I am now thankfully stable enough to walk, haven’t been sick at all since Wednesday and I just have a small amount of dizziness but no crazy spinning.
So why am I sharing this with you? No, I do not think I’m the latest miraculous comeback queen rising from the ashes! I know there are many people out there, some close to me, that are currently debilitated or have been for months and years on end, requiring way more mental strength than I did for all of my minimal 5 days. There are also others who for whatever reason may not know any different than being isolated, both before and during the pandemic, and my heart goes out to them.
no matter what is going on in your life, you must make time for your health
The reason I am sharing this is because I want to remind whoever is taking the time to read my words, that no matter what is going on in your life, you must make time for your health.
YES, there is a pandemic (or plandemic depending on your opinion), but we don’t know what will happen a week or two from now, I don’t think even our own government really knows. So why waste your time worrying about what may or may not happen? Think about what you can control now.
YES, some of us are expected to homeschool for the first time in our lives as unqualified teachers, often with multiple children and tasks/jobs of our own. No one is expecting you to be an expert at this. Take time for yourself and your children. Go for a walk and come back to it. Email the school and communicate that the workload is unmanageable and will be done to the best of your (your child’s) ability. What is the worse that will happen? Without communication from the parents some schools may not even be aware it’s a strain. Your input might trigger other parents to speak up too or even for the school to make adjustments.
how about thinking of ways to boost your immune system?
Finally , YES there is a high rate of illness at the moment with Covid-19 cases seemingly rising, and there are many people worried about becoming ill or passing an illness to a vulnerable loved one, but how about thinking of ways to boost your immune system? Vitamins, fruits, veg , exercise, meditation. These are all things that we can control and are accessible. As the saying goes “if you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness".
I have had major events take place in my life such as losing my mum in 2016, that have changed my perspective immensely. I never would have thought that waking up and not being able to walk properly would be one of them in 2021. This is one thing that really reinforces the message that you just really don’t know what can happen from one day to the next. For this reason, please take from my experience not to waste your time stressing about the unknown or the inconsequential until it makes you physically sick. Instead invest your time into the wellbeing of the two things that are guaranteed to be with you for the rest of your natural life, your body and your mind.
“If you do not make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness”
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Have you ever had a crazy experience that was a wake up call? How do you make sure you keep a balance with life's stresses and your health?