31 Dec 2021

Wrapping up 2021

The blog's been quiet this year.  Even quieter than last year.  Things both happened and didn't happen.

The year started off on a bad footing with catching COVID-19.  No hospitalization needed, but even a mild to moderate case isn't fun.  I wound up unable to eat for a week and a half because of a lack of energy.  I lost weight, and not in a healthy way.  I was able to turn myself around, but it was through soup and juices before moving to something solid.

Once past the quarantine period, I still couldn't breathe.  Fortunately, the public health nurse gave me a number to call if the problem continues.  I got in, explained what was going on to the doctor, and got sent for X-rays.  Diagnosis: pneumonia.  Easily dealt with; hospital-grade antibiotics and another month of coughing to clear the gunk from my lungs.  But the X-rays found another issue.  One of the side effects of COVID-19 is a hole in the lung.  I had a pneumothorax, an air bubble outside the lung and in the chest cavity.  However, the bubble wasn't large enough for the doctor to worry about, so no need to sit and have the air removed.

Fortunately, my work was willing to give me the time I needed to get healthy again.  Even better, I was being moved to another team as help/backup.  It took me a little longer than I wanted to adjust to the move, but COVID brain fog is a thing and a symptom of long COVID.  Things got better as I used my brain more.

Health-wise, I felt better once I was able to get out to the laundromat to do laundry again.  Getting there without stopping to catch my breath was an amazing feeling, and leads me to believe that I may have had pneumonia prior to COVID.  Stubbornness was what kept me getting out and back, once I got out.  I figure that I was over most of the side effects by May at the latest.

Work, which I seldom talk about here since I believe in a work/life separation, is still good.  I've been working from home since March 2020.  I don't miss the commute.  I don't miss the rush to catch buses and, especially, transfers.  And while the employer is wanting to get people back to the office, by immediate supervisor doesn't care if we go back.  As long as we get the work done, it doesn't matter where we work.

What this means is that I'm not losing up to two hours a day travelling.  I'm not paying for a monthly bus pass.  I'm not dealing with half-assed sidewalk plowing in the winter and the heat and humidity of the summer.  I can understand why some people may need to be in the office, but until then, remote work is great.

The flip side is that all my socializing has been online.  It's enough, most of the time.  No one ever accused me of being an extrovert.  But even I start needing human interaction.  Grocery runs don't count.  Cabin fever isn't fun.

The year is ending on an upbeat, far better than how it started.  Things are going well, with Jewel finally adapting to being around me and starting to be in control.  She's allowing for longer cuddling and she will get demanding when she wants something.  It's not good when she demands under the covers and wakes me up so I can get her settled.

When history looks back, 2020 and 2021 are going to be seen as the longest decades on the 21st Century.  But things are looking better for me.  That helps with dealing with all the crap being thrown about.

Over at Psycho Drive-in, looking ahead to 2022.

Tomorrow, over at The Seventh Sanctum, wrapping up 2021.

A profile in Jewel

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