This post was on my draft list for almost three months now. I’ve been meaning to write more but weeks passed by being busy with my kids’ online distance learning and preparing to relocate to another country (more about this on a separate post). Thankful that I finally have the time and have gathered my thoughts to publish this post.
If you like KDrama, you probably have already watched It’s Okay Not To Be Okay. It’s actually the second KDrama I’ve watched and I gotta say I was hooked. I think it was beautifully made and the timing of its release couldn’t be more perfect as most of us struggle to be okay in this global pandemic we’re all in.
So I wrote about my thoughts and how is life during quarantine. While we have gotten used to our setup, four months in and the rise of Covid cases has gotten (not just) me anxious. Anxiety is after all a normal response especially when dealing with uncertainty, but it happening frequently accompanied with never before symptoms isn’t. Hearing people you know lose someone they love or cared for to Covid is disheartening even though you don’t personally know them. You feel affected in your own little way.
I’ve only been out a few times during the duration of quarantine. The first one was when I went to Facial Care to have my long overdue facial treatment (still battling cystic acne), the second one was when I went to have a Day of Wellness at Aegle Center and the last one was when I went to CAD clinic to have my teeth checked. In all times I went out, it would take me two weeks to feel at ease because I would always get so paranoid that I might have contracted the virus while I was out. Though I’m pretty sure I’ve done all necessary steps to stay safe and I’m assured the establishments I went to follow strict safety protocols, I cannot help but feel that Coronavirus is out to get me.
So I did what any sane yet paranoid person would– arm myself tools that can alleviate a bit of paranoia. So I bought myself a pulse oximeter. Think of it as a safety net when you’re about to trapeze your way to sanity. Hahahuhu. Oximeter measures the overall oxygen circulating around your body. Anything below 95 suggests low oxygen. It can be due to a number of reasons like lack of sleep and fatigue. The latter being linked as a Coronavirus symptom. Some Covid patients who are self-isolating at home were recommended by their doctors to get an oximeter so they can check their oxygen levels daily. Even though I don’t have any symptom, I’ve been checking myself everyday for two weeks every time I would venture to the outside world and I always get the same result: a perfect score of 100 sometimes 99 and with a range of 58-63 bpm. So I’m okay right? Well not really.
Last June, I have this acid issue acidity which resulted to asthma. I already knew I had problems with my digestion– it has been a constant thing . Before the pandemic happened, I was able to manage my leaky gut and have been regularly going to Centro Holistico for my usual colon cleanse, IV Nutri drip and acupuncture. So bouts of acidity accompanied with difficulty breathing happened for the first time made me so stressed and anxious. It was definitely Covid anxiety because I thought I contracted the virus. Chest discomfort, difficulty breathing and that gut feeling and nausea. It went on for days. I kept re-tracing my steps trying to figure out how I could’ve gotten it. I wanted to get a rapid test so I can finally know what’s the truth. But I feel conflicted because I didn’t want to go to the hospital either. So we observed. Since I can still workout and didn’t have any other symptoms like dry cough, runny nose, fever, my husband said it’s probably anxiety creeping on me.
He wasn’t wrong and I finally figured out it was indeed Covid induced anxiety.
It took me a while to confirm that it was anxiety because the symptoms can be diagnosed and interpreted in many ways. But I remember it kinda had the same feeling I experienced this years ago when we went to El Nido, Palawan and our small plane couldn’t land because of zero visibility. I was literally catching my breath as we circled around the so near yet so far landing strip. At that time I thought I was calm because I managed to stay calm when I had to explain to my kids that we had to go back to Manila and fly the next day ?. What a memorable first anxiety attack that was. Anyhow, same thing happened few months ago. I couldn’t breathe, my hands were clamy and my heart was raising. Eventually, I needed to nebulize to help my breathing. This episode happened on and off for a few days until we figured out my asthma was due to my acidity. There’s a Gerd-asthma connection and all the articles and journals that I read confirmed what I experienced. After learning about this and managing it by not eating/taking food that can cause Gerd , I was able to manage and anxiety attack more.
Well it was short lived because it happened again a month after. Last July, my sister messaged me saying that our Aunt suddenly passed away because of Coronavirus. Immediately after I received the news, my hands felt clammy and my chest tightened. It was just a few days ago prior to this that I went out for the third time. Sooooo all the more my paranoia was triggered by the sudden demise of my aunt. I was shocked and at the same time I was having another anxiety attack. This went on for a few days again. I felt paralyzed, overwhelmed and just downright confused (not even angry about the virus anymore) and lost. I’ve heard many stories about losing someone to Covid-19 but experiencing it firsthand is something I cannot articulate. It literally can happen to anyone. And so I succumb to what I was feeling. I let myself feel the pain and the confusion. Though I didn’t breakdown and cried like I normally would– life went on and I didn’t really share this on my social media.
Come August my birth month, I feel way better. No more anxiety attacks and acid reflux has been managed. Yay! Though I did get bouts of worry because hello motherhood and pandemic do not go well together hahaha. September we slowly transitioned to relocate and now October is almost over and we’ve finally relocated.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it really is okay to be okay. What you guys see on social media is really just a highlight reel. Every one of us who post on our Instagram/Facebook accounts, one way or another is out there to inspire. I know such a used word but really, we go online check Pinterest, use apps, visit sites because most of the time our goal is to find inspiration. And there’s totally nothing wrong with that. I’m just saying that it’s totally okay also to acknowledge, sometimes even share (public like this blog) how we are when we’re not okay. When we’re not out to inspire or be inspired. Because that’s how it is in the real world– more things happen offline than what we can all post online and Coronavirus has in a way played a role in how filter and digest content. We want to sensitive but at the same time we also want to be real. We want to inspire but at the same time we don’t want to push positivity all the time. The global pandemic is giving us to chance to focus on our health, evaluate our character and asses our quality of life. There are days we’re totally okay and there are days we’re not. In the end, acknowledge and know that it’s okay not to be okay.
So to anyone who feels the same, hang in there. We’ll all get through this. ❤️