The Pandemic Battle Curse


I don’t know your age and maybe it doesn’t matter much when we speak about the lack of moving due to our pandemic.

I can’t believe I have been pretty much in my home since March of this year. It has been long enough now, that it feels normal to me, but what doesn’t feel normal is the aches and pains I have.

I am pretty sure that some of it is due to my age and the other part is due to lack of movement. I have aches in my knees and hands and sometimes hips. I think there are also days of slight depression as I argue with myself about getting up and moving. I am really good at making excuses up.

I don’t stand very well. It’s way too hot outside. I don’t feel good today. I’m tired. I’ll do it tomorrow. Have you said any of those things to yourself? I am not talking about an exercise program or running a five k.

I’m talking about just beginning to do some stretches here at home with some music in the background. This is when I think I realize I have depression days. A time where I know what is best for me but a matching excuse on why I can’t.

It is summer time and each summer for the past three, I have had issues with swollen ankles. My doctor says that as long as the swelling reduces each morning, there is no reason for alarm. Maybe if I moved more, I wouldn’t have this issue. I’m not sure, but if you watch TV or read articles, living is all about the exercise.

The bad thing is, I never liked exercising unless it was fun and others were involved. I love swimming and used to do that a lot until the lakes around my area became more polluted. There is the YMCA and I tried that too but didn’t enjoy it so much in the summer as the pools were packed with kids and I didn’t like being cold in the winter after leaving the building from exiting the pool.

I used to love to take walks. I actually miss it a lot. It isn’t fun to walk any longer as it is more work than pleasure because of my Ataxia. I can remember as a youth, I loved to play tether ball and bad mitton. Did you ever play either of those?

After reading back my words, I believe I am too used to sitting and a bit depressed and not very energetic. Shame on me. This is one area that no one can fix but me. It sucks when we realize the truth and then battle with ourselves on what to do with that truth. I hope that you are dealing with this pandemic much better than I am. Hopefully, one day it will be over and we can go back to our old normal.

Now, let’s talk about that weight gain throughout these months of the pandemic. No, on the other hand, let’s not. That’s a whole other story.

15 thoughts on “The Pandemic Battle Curse

  1. It is far too easy to get used to something like staying in or just sitting around. I have been going out more the past few weeks and I think it’s a good thing. I met with a friend I haven’t seen for several years and had lunch with her yesterday. That was really good. I went for a walk with another friend last Thursday on a trail I had not been on before. It was a beautiful day, quite hot in the sun, but this place had loads of trees and benches to sit on under the trees. I really enjoyed that. We went for ice cream afterwards. That was definitely good. But I could just as easily sit and watch movies or read or sleep. It does take an effort and sometimes I just don’t have the energy to make that effort. I can understand how you are feeling.

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    • You did a good thing by going out. This isn’t an excuse, but in reality, my friends who I love dearly, live farther away than an hour, so most times I am with my caregiver or I go places alone and to me, that isn’t fun, so I stay at home. I am glad you are getting out.

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      • I agree that it’s no fun going out by yourself. I don’t walk because of that very reason, unless, like last week, I have someone to share the walk with. But that friend lives on the other side of the city and she has no car, so I have to drive about 20 minutes to pick her up. I don’t mind that, but it means I can’t just call and say “Let’s go now.” There is another friend not far from me who likes to walk, but I doubt I could keep up with her with my back/hip issue. So I stay home when I should be walking.

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  2. I feel your frustration! I was doing badly when the pandemic began, and I wisely mentioned to my doctor that I thought I was depressed. I really was, as it turned out. Now I take 37.5 Venlafaxine, which is an anti depressant that doesn’t incur as much of a weight gain as some others do (I am morbidly obese and don’t need the extra pounds).

    I had a few side effects I didn’t like (constipation being one), and asked about stopping them. My doctor asked me to give it a chance and let my body adjust. Only three weeks later, I began to feel more energy. I was getting so many chores done in one single day that I might have spread over more days – if I didn’t just put them off entirely. I even felt happy for simple things that I hadn’t felt happy about for years, really. I just didn’t realize that it was depression that was my problem. I blamed my fibro, my work pace, my life pace, and even my relationships when it was all honestly just my depression pushing me down. I see that really clearly now, and it’s been 6 months since I began the medicine therapy.

    Please consider talking to your doctor about getting something for yours.

    It will be so much easier to exercise at home or even on brief walks around your building. I’m doing better with my breathing as I have asthma, too, but I still have to be careful of the heat and all it can do to me. So just walking around my building helps me rebuild some stamina that I lost long ago.

    I hope you can find a good way to restore a sense of joy, Terry. Huggerz.

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    • I’m actually not depressed, Terry, and have not lost my joy. It’s just my energy that is lacking. Some days I spend several hours in prayer, and that takes a lot of energy. By the time I finally get something to eat (I try to have my main meal early to mid afternoon), I’m ready for a nap. Once I wake up, I’m groggy and don’t feel like doing anything. And I have been working on my books. I created and published a coloring book and last weekend I published a short book. I have revised a manuscript and am waiting for a beta reader to let me know what she thinks about it. So I have more than enough to keep me busy, but it’s often hard to find the physical energy to do it all. And the strange thing is that while everyone else is complaining about the weight-gain, I lost 8 pounds without trying. I think because my prayer time has often been much longer and I don’t eat much until I am finished, my body hasn’t required as much food as normal. I think I have regained a couple of those pounds, but I hope I don’t gain it all back.

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      • After reading your comment, maybe I am not depressed because I feel an inner peace most times. I took it as depression because I don’t have the energy I used to. My gut issues cause me to retain weight very easy but I also get very little exercise. I am not sure, but I am sure of one thing, I want to do something fun and not only go out for errands. I need to start painting again, but the motivation and the dry weather is not on my side right now. Hopefully all will change soon for me, as I do pray for myself and my health

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    • Was it hard for you to accept that you were depressed? I also tell myself it is this or that because I have days of inner peace and other days of I just want to sleep all day and actually do nothing. Because of my Parkinson’s, my Vagus nerve is messed up so I am constipated almost daily or going the complete opposite. I can eat very little at a time because I feel bloated so early in a meal and then the meal sits on my stomach about twenty-four hours, which causes more bloatedness. The doc says take Milk of Mag, which helps so much but I hate taking it more than once a week. I guess I will be dealing with this until I go home to heaven. I just feel blah and not a lot of motivation. I sometimes wonder if it is because I am alone so much

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      • I found out I suffered from depression in my 20’s, after a suicide attempt. So I knew it was something that I was susceptible to already. I just didn’t realize all of the ways depression invades my life when suicide isn’t being considered. It doesn’t take away ALL joy, but it diminishes most feelings of every kind.

        I can talk all day about how depression affects a typical person, but the real lesson is when you can compare the ‘before I sought help’ and ‘after I believed my life could be better and I tried a remedy’.

        What I hear you saying here sounds very much like true depression. It’s not the desperate kind that seeks death to end it all. It’s the other kind that saps the life forces from your inspiration and from your joy. It’s the kind of thing that makes life more anxious and fretful when you face a new challenge. It limits your creative energy, too.

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      • Years ago I took depression medicine and I neglected my family so being so tired and sleeping all the time. I soon got off of the medicine. What do you recommend and what kind of depression do you think I have since it comes and goes? Sorry, hate discussing this over the net

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  3. I think our discussion helps others to learn what depression does, and what questions others might have.

    Antidepressants are SO much better than they used to be! Since I do complex work for an aeronautics manufacturer, I was also concerned about anything that would diminish my mental acuity in any degree. I have fibro and energy is already limited by spoonfuls (read about spoonies on google), too, so that was a concern. My doctor assured me that the medicine I’m taking shouldn’t do that (and doesn’t). She was concerned about weight gain, which I wasn’t even thinking of, and recommended I start the one I’m taking. It takes a few weeks to be noticeable in its impact, but by 2 months you should be surprised by the contrast of what used to be your normal and what is becoming your new normal.

    I knew that amitriptyline gave me panic attacks back in the early 2000’s (after I took it for 6 weeks, so I wasn’t even sure that was causing them, until I quit taking it). I’d never had them before, so – UGH!

    Explain to your doctor what you are worried about and see if my medicine is ok with the other meds you are taking. If not, they can probably steer you to something that will work well for you.

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  4. Listening to music is always helpful and you could move to it. ?There are gentle exercises out there on you tube you could follow and they are fun even alone. Music helps depression too. Why not listen to some Rock and Roll, that’ll get you going.

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    • You are always so upbeat. I can’t imagine you ever having a down day. Listening to rock music is definitely an uplifter, at least it was back in high school. I will look into those U tube videos. Thanks for your help

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  5. Hi my dear friend sorry for not getting to you sooner We have alot of the same aches and pains. yes played the sports you mention and as a young teen summer soft ball I played pitcher for awhile but liked outfield much better less strenuous on my arm. played hard ball with my brothers all younger than me and neighborhood boys. not many girls played hard ball. But I was brought up tough. I’m not so tough anymore . My hips,hands,legs,feet bother me alot but each day I pray to make it through another day as I need to be able to take care of my husband.

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    • yes, it’s true. Life does not become golden in our aging years. It becomes painful. You have inner strength that God has given to you to help care for your husband. He needs you

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