12.12.2020 | It Still Comes In Waves #5

When I yesterday thought about writing a regular “this and that happened” post I considered “Not Dead Yet” as a title to give this all a bit of a more uplifting theme. Today I feel less uplifted and more dragged down though. Yep, the waves keep on coming.

COVID-19: Our government – on federal on state level – have messed up our COVID response over the last few weeks so much IMHO. It’s frustrating and sad and infuriating. We went into a so called “Lockdown light” (closing pubs, theatres etc.) at the start of November. Two weeks in it was apparent, that this wasn’t really working and all levels of goverment got together to talk and… postpone any kind of serious reaction (stricter regulations, ‘real’ lockdown) for another week. And another week. They tweaked the rules a bit and made plans to make sure we can all celebrate Christmas with our extended families. All the while numbers were rising and more and more people died. All alone in the ICU without any family member to hold their hand. It’s infuriating! Tomorrow the government will most likely announce a ‘real lockdown’ starting from middle of the next week. Closing schools and all shops except for essentials, taking back the proposed easing of restrictions over Christmas etc. Something they should have done 4 weeks, about half a million cases and 8.000 deaths ago! I don’t have the proper words to say how much this infuriates and saddens me. And don’t get me started on the many ways in which they did not prepare the education system for this over the summer.

My own health: I’m doing fine. Don’t worry. Though I do worry a bit how the COVID vaccine and my immunosuppressants will work together. If they do work together or if I better shouldn’t get the vaccine. I haven’t found anything about that yet and I’m glad I have a regular appointment at my neurologist next week and can discuss this with him. Yesterday I went for a check-up MRI. All clear so far, so that’s good and what I was hoping to hear. This time it wasn’t just the skull but also the cervical spine that got scanned, both with contrast agent, which meant I was in that machine for 4 x 10 – 15 minutes. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophic! For the first time they also put some weird cage-like contraception on my chest – possibly for the spine MRI – which made the whole experience even more uncomfortable than it had been before in general. The sound of the machine… Oh, well, I had earplugs in, so it wasn’t too loud, but just bloody annoying. You can get pretty accurate idea of that in this youtube clip. And I repeat: 4 x 10 – 15 minutes. 

I often tend to not think about my Multiple Sclerosis on a daily basis. It is what it is and I’m doing okay with it. But spending an afternoon at a radiology centre, stuck in MRI machine for an hour and then waiting another 45 minutes to get the “all clear” from the doc, put me in a bit of a pensive mood. Pissed off that I have this crappy disease and have to worry about the state of my brain and that I have to have these uncomfortable tests done in the first place. But also grateful that I live in a country with affordable healthcare where I don’t have to worry about the cost of those tests and my medicine and all that. To be fair yesterday the “pissed off” part dominated my mood. And that’s ok too. 

While I was laying there I tried to distract myself by singing – in my head – Frank Turner’s “Get Better” and other songs. I got stuck on some lyrics and was a bit panicky for a bit, as I was wondering if this is a sign of some MS related cognitive misfunction. But in truth I was probably just too nervous. Anyway, that’s where the “Not Dead Yet” idea came from.

The week as such: Long and busy and overwhelming. Which I think didn’t have much to do with the work load as such, it wasn’t really heavier than usual. But I’m just so tired often, physically and even more mentally. 2020 has been a bit much, you know? Of course you do. You’ve all lived through it the same way I did. It’s one more week of work until I’m off till 6th January 2021. A long break that I really need and I hope I’ll get the rest I need. That I will give myself the time to rest and do restful things. And not dawdle and procrastinate and then be mad at myself for dawdling.

Lyrical History: My “little” Frank Turner History and Lyrics project was quite the success. Which was a highlight of my week. It probably speaks volumes that I didn’t start the post with this uplifting news, doesn’t it? Anyway I had such a lovely feedback on the Frank Turner Army Facebook page and on Twitter, especially after Frank had shared it on his account. I admit I sort of asked him to do that, or at least I strongly hinted at that when I sent him a mail about the project. But I’m still always in awe that he then goes ahead and just DOES that. He’s a good one. Thanks to some of the comments from other fans I’ve got about 10 more references I had forgotten or just overlooked the first time. So there will be a addendum, possible tomorrow and I will update the original post over christmas. Anyway, this was fun and I’m happy it kept my mind distracted from the COVID disaster for a few days at the beginning of the week. I might need to find a new project soon or I’m going to go crazy.

Some (random) stats to round this up: I slept for a glorious 9.5 hours. Watched 3 episodes of West Wing Season 3 on DVD (while often doing other things on the side). Watched Hercules on Disney Plus. Finished reading “Ten Things I Hate About the Duke” and “Komisch, alles chemisch“; in both I had about 1/4 of the book left.

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