Relative inconvenience

The mornings are icy in Melbourne at the moment, which seems strange reading when all the reports are of Europe scorching. Most mornings, I’m up and on the road before 7am while it’s dark still and at its coldest, but these last two mornings, I’ve remained warm in my bed.

I called the hospital yesterday to advise that I wouldn’t be coming in. I still felt a tad out of sorts, more so physically than otherwise. I’d slept poorly and woke feeling congested. And my face had swollen overnight.

I was told not to come back until I felt better and only after I’d had a negative Covid test. My doctors related my condition to sinusitis, which it resembles though is caused by other things. I had this much worse earlier in the year and last before it began to clear up. It’s not a great condition when you’re undergoing hyperbaric treatment, and on Monday, it had been more difficult than previously because of the pressure in my sinus.

It is a great relief to sleep in and break the tedious routine of daily treatment. It feels like a holiday, and I realised I needed this. It’s a wearying routine, perhaps too much for someone in my state of health.

Treatment consumes about a four-hour block of time, from the moment I leave home to when I return. Then, I begin work – six hours of it. It has tired me out.

I feel unwell, though not terribly so. At times it’s a more general pain, and at others, more pointed and intense – particularly around my eye. For the first time in months, I’m back on the painkillers, though the pain is much less than before.

It got me thinking about the relativity of it all. For many months I had pain 24/7 and was taking medication for it. Though the pain would peak and dip, it became routine. I dealt with it by taking my pills and sitting behind my desk, as I had promised to do.

I would often reflect that if this was any other time, then the sort of pain and inconvenience I felt would be more than enough to keep me from work. I’d beg off it, citing – very reasonably- that I was too unwell. When it’s every day, though, and the result of a chronic illness, you come to accept and battle through it. There’s no point waiting a couple of days to get well again because that’s not going to happen. So, you just do it. You put it to one side and knuckle down.

Now that I have been free of that pain for a couple of months, I’m more indulgent with it when it returns. I worked yesterday and worked well, and I will do so again today, aware that I was doing it under sufferance – even though it’s but a fraction of what I experienced before.

I think the congestion is clearing up, and I plan to return to treatment tomorrow if I can. But first, a RAT, just to be sure.

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