♥ By now I gather that my usual crowd has grown so tired of me writing about having covid-19 that they can’t stand it anymore. I mean: who has the energy to keep on reading stories from a woman who never seems to get well? I really don’t blame anyone who feels this way. A part of me wants to stop writing about it and go back to writing about other stuff like I have been doing for the past 2,5 years on this blog. But then I realize (again) that there are also people out there who go through the same experience as me or who want to understand how it can feel, and who still like to read about someone else with long-term covid-19. So here goes, again.
This is me, on day 92.
I found a brilliant phrase to describe what my life looks like these days:
These words pretty much speak for themselves I guess? Let me tell you: if there was a prize for who is the best at radical resting, I would be well on my way to win it by now. For me it turns out that I need to be really careful with everything that requires energy from my body. I have been reading about it and understood that not only taking a walk or doing laundry takes energy, but also watching TV or talking to someone. Pretty logical when I think about it, but I had just never reflected on it like this!
So when I understood this, the question became: how to manage my energy? Because as soon as I use too much energy, I get hit by another wave of fatigue, my other symptoms worsen again and I end up (sometimes for days) like a blob on my couch. I found a great advice online and it said:
If you imagine doing something, then decide to do half of that.
In that way, I never use up all my energy and instead I can hopefully slowly build it back over time.
The other thing I have found really helpful is learning about the so-called spoon theory. It explains that you have a total of 15 spoons to use on a day. Get out of bed, call someone or get dressed equal 1 spoon each. Taking a shower or making dinner equals 2 spoons. Taking a walk or socializing equals 3 spoons. Grocery shopping or going to work equals 4 spoons. So the trick is to not do more things than whatever equals 15 spoons per day. Let me tell you, I’m still nowhere near 15 spoons per day. Going to work today would equal 324 spoons or something; way too many at least! But I really like this way of thinking.
Yes, I like this way of thinking. But at the same time, it also continues to make me incredibly sad at certain points in time. A part of me is still kicking pretty hard at my present reality. What the **** happened to my life?! It’s been 13 weeks now, I’m still not fully recovered, and no one can explain to me why. I know I’m not alone and that we are literally thousands of people all over the world who experience the same thing. Long-termers. Long-tailers. Long-haulers. We are starting to get names. That’s a good thing, I feel. Because we still have been way too invisible and this thing is real and extremely challenging, both physically and mentally.
So now I wonder how many spoons the writing of this blog post equals. What I notice is that it makes me feel good, as always. If there is just one person out there who reads this and finds it helpful, then that makes me really happy. So here it is, another part in what by now feels like my Corona Cronicles.
Back to Radical Resting.
With love ♥
Photo (I wish I had this view!): Dan McQuade – unsplash.com
This writing is part of what I call my Corona Chronicles. On this page you can find an overview of my stories, including tips and insights I have gained throughout the weeks since I got covid-19.
No problem to understand you, but difficult to understand this pandemin.
Sorry for no help, but don’t stop writing, will not miss it, support and love,
Thank you dear Sven! ♥ That means a lot to me.
ik hoop dat je goed hersteld,groet uit bataviahaven
Dankjewel Loes! Ik zie uit naar de dag dat ik weer naar de Bataviahaven kan komen…
You have my heart felt sympathy for your condition. I am a friend of your father from 1960 in katwyk. I really admire your tenacity at copy with your battle, I pray for your total recovery xxx Ryk van Andel australia
Thank you Ryk, for your kind and heartwarming words! ♥
This is such a practical tip, looking at a day and deciding how to spread the 15 energy spoons. I needed to hear this. Week 14 for me and after 3 weeks of making progress with physiotherapy/lung rehab I had a terrible week with all symptoms recurring… Maybe I just used to many spoons, it remains a trial and error process. I know reading about covid recovery might be very “far off” to grasp for some but the awareness and acknowledgement it creates for those suffering is worth soooo much! Anyway, I like the term radical resting and will try to keep on doing it even though it goes against my nature.
Thanks for sharing
Hi Riane, thank you for your comment! I’m so glad to hear that it meant something to you too, this spoon-theory. Keep on radical resting! I’m right there with you 🙂
Spoon theory, yes! Or bead theory as I see it. There aren’t enough spoons so I think of a healthy body having 200 beads for their day. I have 20. One for that shower, one for making a cup of tea and so on. I can now begin to Recognise when I have no beads left! One day at a time. I’m so glad I’ve found you.
Yes! That’s the key: One Day At A Time and Radical Resting. Thanks Sophie, I’m happy to hear that my writing resonates with you ♥
Dank je wel Nanda voor je openhartige schrijven! Het doet me zo goed om je ervaringen te lezen: de herkenning, je super goeie tips (the spoons) en in alles is je ‘approach’ heel inspirerend. Overgave en vertrouwen zijn grote uitdagingen in mijn proces. Ik ga geregeld weer te hard en dat komt me dan duur te staan. Conflict tussen verschillende behoeftes drijft me vaak ‘te ver’. Door alleen wonen heb ik geregeld zo’n behoefte aan sociaal contact dat ik teveel spoons gebruik.. -oef-. Nou, nogmaals dank en ik blijf je volgen! Warme groet.
Graag gedaan Danielle! De Spoon-theorie is geweldig, waar of niet? Ik blijf het bijzonder en fantastisch vinden, dat mensen die ik nooit heb ontmoet mijn blog vinden en het lezen ervan ze goed doet. Dankejwel voor je bericht en alle sterkte in je proces! Warme groet terug uit het zonnige Stockholm ♥
Recognizing all you are writing! 5 months now for me. Takes so much patience (and frustration). Loved reading your blog which someone send me today. (Netherlands)
Dankjewel Johanneke! I’m so happy to hear that you liked my writing. And also that someone wanted to share it, that really means a lot. Take care of yourself! ♥
Ps. Dank voor je berichtje terug. Zie nu dat jij ook Nederlands spreekt.;-) Weten dat ik niet alleen ben ik dit ellenlang proces, doet goed. Wie weet nog eens tot ziens in Nederland. Ik hoop stiekem dat dit alles niet meer lang hoeft te duren. Veel sterkte en herstel wens ik je toe!
Still reading your blog daily to keep up my mood during this evil time. How did you manage to watch so much netflix whilst resting radically. Did you set a fixed amount of time per day? I still don’t want to risk watching anything but my ceiling..
Best wishes and a good ongoing recovery!!
Hi again Mitja! I didn’t put any ‘rules’ upon myself, I just watched whenever it felt right. Netflix for me was a great resource to just ‘disappear’ for a while. Best wishes to you too, I hope you will feel relief soon! It really WILL get better, it just takes a loooong time. At least that’s my experience, as you see/read. Take care!