Facing My Own Plague: A Writer with Long Covid

I got Covid in November 2021; the Delta variant, just before the Omicron wave. I have never felt so poorly. I had every symptom going it seemed (neuro, then pneumo, then gastro) and I spent five days in bed and another five on the sofa. When I attempted work it was for two hours a day for the first week back, slowly building back up to my normal hours again when term started after the Christmas holidays. Despite getting Covid four months ago, I am still struggling regularly with fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness, muscle aches and joint pain. Not every day is bad but by the end of the working week I am struggling. I struggle to stay awake in the evenings, Thursdays are my nemesis and my weekends are quiet and frequently spent in bed resting.

I have to do what I call my weekly ‘life admin’ with all my work and social/personal commitments planned onto one sheet with rest scheduled and my symptoms tracked daily in an attempt at finding patterns so I can avoid the bad days that often take me by surprise.
I saw this old word recently and I thought, ‘Yes, this is it. I am quanked!’ Quite tempted to use that word in the next book!

So, where has this left me as a writer? To cut a long story short, I find it very hard to find the energy for anything beyond doing my work, seeing the odd friend now and again and just being with my family. Pre-Covid, I used my evenings and weekends for research, making notes in my writer’s notebooks and actually writing. I can’t really do that right now- the fatigue and the brain fog make it almost impossible. So, I am left with what I can do during holidays or the odd bright Monday (as I am having today- hence updating my blog after so many months of neglect!).

The frustration at not being able to be myself, and to follow the timetable I had set for myself to get book number 2 started in the Spring of 2022, has been quite overwhelming at times. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit down about the sudden change in my MO. But last week I saw this quote from a lovely book I read years ago and the hope-soaked gratitude of it all really got me:

If you have never read Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, you really should

So, I started looking for the things that I could do- like reading when I could, walking my settings, actively spending time thinking about my characters so they can take shape. They may have to emerge slowly but they will.

I have a little library for research and I will work my way through it

So, my apologies if Book Number 2 takes longer than I had hoped. It will happen eventually, I promise. Until then, I am learning how to be fine.

Published by jenjenkins42

I am an author from a village outside of Rugby in Warwickshire. I love historical fiction. You will find me reading, hanging out with my husband, our two sons and our little dog, baking or walking.

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