Week 3: Birthday, Blowing Nose, Books

The first month of the year is flying by fast. Contrast that with January 2020 where it became a running gag that it took forever. This month has been super swift. On the third week I was hit with highlights after highlights I’m just glad I got to do most of them at the comfort of home.

On Monday, I celebrated my 39th and it was a holiday at work, so a paid day of rest was awesome. I didn’t plan on doing anything at all. I felt birthday goosies the day before so I went to Rockwell to shake them off. It didn’t do much and I avoided stores I frequently go to because budget!cuts! but I made sure to grab a book for myself. After all, Fully Booked’s Discount Card gives 20% off 3 days before and 3 days after your birthday. I finally snagged my own copy of House of Leaves after culling many Best Horror Books of the 21st century lists one dreary afternoon while I was on quarantine, and this title prominently appeared in all of them.

So, the birthday. My mother took it upon herself to cook something; not for me but for her senior citizen friends in the street who find all and every reason to see each other since they still cannot go out besides doctor visits. They took my wine, too, and ate in the apartment next door while giving me a gift I preferred: solitude. I ended up washing all the dishes though.

Man, 39. My thirties really hit me the hardest in many different ways. It was a period of a ton of good first experiences, too, so I don’t wish for it to go away as easily. Right now I’m comforted that a few things are looking up even if more of them are still fcked which tells me my 40s could be about dusting myself off and starting over. Let’s see. It’s only January, lol.

Anyway, at work I was surprised by my team with breakfast and cheesecake. Gave me one more reason to show my Schitt’s Creek-inspired shirt! That’s also another small thing I got for myself because I loved the show so much. Amazing how I got away with wearing a shirt at work. On a Tuesday. Trust the power of a blazer!

What followed that were sick days which bummed me out because last year, I didn’t register any sick days due to feeling unwell. My sick leaves were for routine checks and for the flu shot! This week it was my rhinitis that got so bad it pained my whole face and gave me a sore throat. But I didn’t contract a fever and in the past I had gone to work in that condition because blowing your nose in the office and looking misty-eyed but functioning were still acceptable. Times have changed. It has been hammered a lot in town halls, so much so it became so easy to ignore, to not go to work when you’re not feeling well. In hindsight and basing it off of my own potential reaction, it’s not only OH I CARE FOR YOU SO PLEASE REST but also OMG CAN YOU PLEASE NOT INFECT THE WHOLE FLOOR, PLEASE DON’T GO TO WORK. Worked for me!

It was the first time I experienced tele-consulting with an MD since I was summarily turned away when I showed up at the clinic. I was in a bit of a Catch-22 there because the medical abstract from the tele-consult stated a medical certificate can only be issued by the clinic. But then I won’t be allowed in, so what now? Anyway, I sorted it out with my office’s Medical Unit, where we all defer to for policies since this crazy pandemic took us all hostage.

For four days I wallowed in sleep, podcasts, streaming apps, books (not necessarily reading reading tho), ginger tea, facial steaming, antibiotics, melatonin (an amazing gift of science which I only appreciated last November), more sleep, liters of water, an evening meeting, 2021 work plans, and yeah, more sleep. I think if I can talk to my twenty-something self that’s what I’ll drive it home to: never underestimate the power of listening to your body, real rest and detachment, and sleep.

When I was feeling less rhinitisy, I secured a fit to work certificate and my doctor and I also discussed the results of my lab test before my birthday. Boy, we got a lot of things to watch out for, suffice to say. I went home with an ambulatory BP monitor which took my blood pressure hourly for 24 hours. That’s the tip of the iceberg of our let’s overhaul you, you unhealthy nugget project. I should expect changes in the coming weeks.

The third week of the year wrapped up pretty well with my book club. Happy that I could be looking at finishing my second book this month. I’m well into little victories like that now after my mediocre reading slump for half a decade. As for my other entertainment pursuits, I finally watched Midsommar and thought WELL THAT WAS A WEIRD MOVIE. Perhaps I have enjoyed detachment so much that I am back to wanting just to watch movies and TV shows all day. I know there are jobs that pay by doing that so where do I sign but once it involves compensation, chances are I may be asked to watch what I don’t feel like at a given moment, and that ruins the beauty of the experience. Right now it’s only winning the lotto jackpot that ensures the success of this plan without guilt and glitches.

I still see the year is off to a good start. Cannot be too certain though because last year, it was the same. And we thought the volcano eruption was it. So as the extraordinary 2020 taught us, it’s one day at a time, people. Of waiting for a proper and effective vaccine, of holding the government accountable, of checking our different levels of privilege, of dealing with depressive episodes, of celebrating small wins. Forty-eight weeks to go. 2021, show me something awesome.

Categories: Citizen Judie

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