Malaise in March

The early days of March promised an exciting and action-packed month. On the first two days of March, I was on a ski trip to Zao, a resort I have never visited before, and stayed at an old lodge that was taken over by a fun, young and genuinely hospitable snow-loving couple. Then a couple of days later, I went to the Rolling Stones concert On Fire, and they sang my three favorite songs, which as far as I can tell on youtube they have not done before.

But the promise quickly turned to nought. On the Friday after the concert, I woke up to a massive headache, pervasive joint aches, slight fever, cough, loss of voice and painful tonsillitis. I was confined to bed that day and for the next three days. I had no appetite and no energy, and spent those days sipping Bovril beef tea, English tea and my husband’s lemon-ginger “tea” with a dash of whiskey. I lost close to four kilos – no, I do not recommend getting sick to lose weight. My BG was surprisingly low – no, I do not recommend getting sick to lower one’s BG (on the contrary, illness is bound to raise a diabetic’s blood glucose).

After being bed ridden for four days, I was well enough to report for work. But for the next three weeks an oppressive malaise lingered. I had little appetite for proper food, although I had an almost ravenous craving for chocolates and ramen noodles. I had no energy to do anything, not even to go out for a walk, much less for a run. I had little or no interest to check my Facebook and Twitter accounts, personal emails, diabetes community boards, and blogs I follow, and I even had no inclination to update this blog (although before I fell ill I had begun writing a post about Zao).

I even cancelled my last ski trip for the season but I was able to force my husband to go – no reason why both of us should miss what turned out to be a beautiful weekend for skiing. That weekend, while my husband was enjoying the snow with friends, I stayed under the covers, hardly got up, and either slept or watched youtube – the episodes of Graham Norton’s and Craig Ferguson’s interviews kept me sane. I could have watched more interesting and sensible shows (I still have seasons of Doctor Who and other shows to catch up on) but I literally had no interest. Essentially, outside of work, I was close to being consumed by a deep and permanent stupor. Oh, I also raided my husband’s stash of chocolates.

Speaking of work, this was only one of two things that kept me going, the other one being my music school’s recital. I had some energy for work. I doubt it was because I love my work that much. It was the fear of unemployment that pushed me out of bed, got me on the train and carried my body to the office every working day. I had to force myself to clear my head of emptiness so that I can do my work well. Although my job is far from routine, almost 20 years of experience and being in worse situations kept me functioning. At least, I did not have to worry about my mind blanking out.

When I regained my voice, I had to get back to singing practice for my school recital, and at that time I had less than two weeks to get back to my pre-illness singing level. I was so tempted to withdraw but I had already done that last year after I broke my leg and, well, I had my voice back so there really was no excuse. Like work, it took all my energy just to sing – something which I hardly had problems with before. But each time I practiced, I felt a little bit better. I survived the recital, which was held two Saturdays ago.

Last week, I slowly started to come out of the doldrums. I started running again. I regained my interest in the usual things that interested me. I started reading Will Self’s unconventional novel Umbrella. Frankly, I did not know anything about the book. I bought it only because I was fascinated with the author after listening to an insightful interview on, yes you guessed it, youtube. I’m garrulous again (probably to the annoyance of my husband). I’m back to my old happy, positive and active self.

I do not know what got me in a funk. Maybe my illness triggered it, or maybe it merely coincided with me being ill. I do get these moods every now and then, and I do not know what triggers them.

I also do not know what brought me out of it. Maybe it’s the warmer temperature, the unfolding of spring, the blooming of the sakura flowers. Maybe it’s the singing practice (I cannot imagine how anyone can live without singing or any type of music). Maybe it’s my husband’s unrivalled chicken soup and attention. I think it’s all of the above and many more other reasons that went unnoticed by me during my unhappy state.

For now, though, I am thrilled to be back.

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