So its not the Apocalypse then?

I know. I know. Its been forever since I’ve written…

Here’s the thing. You’d think that the Apocalypse would be a great time to write about life and all the things. As it turns out, even when you think the world is ending, and everyone is walking around with the new plague, even then… You’ll watch Tiger King on repeat before you update anything else in your life.

All those people who tweet about needing time off from busy lives so they can redecorate their houses, clean out their closets, or work on themselves… Turns out they were all wrong, and we are all lazy as fuck and would rather watch ALL OF NETFLIX before doing anything productive. I am totally one of those people. I spent the first four weeks of lock down baking more than I ever have in life, and eating my body weight in chocolate. OK, that is a gross exaggeration but you totally know where I’m going with that. Instagram is filled with hashtags about “quarantine living” and the oh-so-regrettable “quarantine fifteen”. (insert face palm here)

So, I will admit that today, when I find out New Zealand is ending its lock down in three days, today is the day I finally come back to you. 51 days of lock down, and countless before that when I was free as a bird… Today I find my words and rejoin the internet writers population.

I found a meme yesterday that basically describes everything this year (pictured). Its Luis from Ant-Man explaining in his signature elongated style about all the things that have happened in 2020. My favorite part is “murder hornets invading”. Its not a true Apocalypse unless something ridiculous happens.

However a plague that has infected millions is less ridiculous, and fairly scary. I’ve re-watched “I Am Legend”, “Contagion”, and “28 Days Later” a LOT recently.

However, its looking less like an apocalyptic event now that some countries (like the one I currently reside in) are reopening and rebuilding economies. I know for all those crazy flat-earthers this may be a setback in their doomsday plans… Chill guys. I’m sure you’ll get another chance..

So, what does a post-pandemic era look like for me? Well, first of all I’m not an idiot, just cause my country is releasing some restrictions, does not for a second mean that we couldn’t still be overwhelmed with cases. Our borders will remain closed for a long time. Maybe some people will be heading out mask less and go back to their lessened hand-washing traditions -EWWW!!!- but, as someone who is immune-compromised ALWAYS, not much will change for me. I’ll still be careful in crowds, still tense up when I hear a sneeze on the bus, and wash my hands religiously because that’s just plain common sense!

I’ve been to the hospital twice for Infliximab infusions since our lock down started. Each time I was tested at the door of the hospital for fever symptoms, and had to wear masks and gloves the whole time. Which, for those of you who don’t know, is HOURS! Anyone who has worn a mask for longer than an hour feels my pain. As great as they are for slowing the spread of germs, they are also a mini sweat box for your face. I overheat so easily, and after 30 mins in a mask my face feels like its been in a steam room. You’re overheated and very aware of your dental skills, which will only get better after prolonged oral sweat box use. Ugh.

My mom and I have taken walks along the water, and lamented at the emptiness of the city. I’ve gone to the grocery store once a week, which was nerve-wracking as well as infuriating. I became well aware very early on that there are people who don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves, and flout the rules excessively. Also, this will be the last year that I live without a pet. Animal therapy is so very important for my mental and spiritual health.

So, what will I do when my freedom is given back to me in two days? Visit friends and play with their pets! Visit the cat cafe when it reopens. Catch up with friends. Visit my tattoo artist. Order a meal at a restaurant that hasn’t been cooked by me or mom! And… stay at home like I always do because that’s what living with chronic illness has always been for me.

I know, boring, right?

Oh well, at least I am back here with you. Words, thoughts, and emotions, as often as I can, and as often as you care to hear them.

Airport Musings

I have always been a traveler. Partially because my Dad was a pilot, and flights were inexpensive in my youth. Mostly though, because I love to explore.

Before I got sick I had visited over half of the places on my “travel bucket list”. At 32 that was a pretty good feat. I’m not sure how many people that age could say the same. In fact, I was so grateful that I had, as traveling with chronic illness became less easy. Not so much the traveling with pain part (though it definitely factored in), but more because I couldn’t work anymore, so no money to explore the world.

These days most of my travel is around the country (New Zealand), to visit friends or take long weekend road trips. Once or twice a year I also go back home to Hawaii to visit the family remaining there. So while I don’t travel as much as I like, I still frequent airports.

Airports.

*sigh*

No one likes airports, let’s just say that right now. Crowded with people, long security lines, and overpriced mediocre food.

I dislike them even more now that I live with my disease. My pain isn’t usually visible, so I often don’t request wheelchairs when I really should. I push myself to walk the long halls to the gates, each step becoming more crippling, as I ignore the pain tweaks traveling up my spine. People scowl at me when I stop abruptly to stretch my sore limbs, not understanding why someone my age is clutching her back like that of an elder. They don’t understand the stress on my face when I finally get seated, muttering under my breath about the pain. But this has been my life for seven years now, and I’m used to treatment from others. My disease is invisible, and might as well not exist to those rushing past me to get to the gate, like a car speeding up to a red light.

Today I’ve luckily given myself ample time to get to my gate. I woke up with a terrible pain flare in my left knee/fibula. It has me walking with a limp, and I’m cursing myself for not bringing my cane, which sits uselessly in my closet at home. People have pushed past me in a hurry a couple times already, causing a few painful stumbles on my part. I see them now sitting at the same gate as I, annoyed at their rudeness.

*sigh*

In front of me is a wall with “Baggage Claim” posted on a sign with an arrow pointing westward. Amused, I wonder if that’s where I can find my illness insecurities. Perhaps they are making their rounds on the conveyor belt. Perhaps someone else will pick them up by mistake, maybe even take them home so I will be rid of them at last. How fortunate I would be.

I watch a hysterical child run around the gate like she’s been given candy to keep her quiet and it’s backfired. Her parents look tired and uninterested in her antics. As she repeatedly jumps up and down on the bag weigh machine, I pray it stops working so the anxiety of my bag being too heavy is alleviated, despite my knowledge of it being under already.

Airport anxiety + chronic illness = more pain. Hopefully it will cause me to pass out on the plane.