I’ll be doing a few year in review posts this week, and I’m starting off with what’s happened in my own little bubble (not in the social distancing sense).
While COVID was massive, it didn’t have all that big an impact on my day to day life. I hadn’t been well enough to work since November of 2019, so I was already spending most of my time at home alone anyway.
I didn’t get COVID, but I had a sinus infection and then atypical pneumonia around the same time COVID got going. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much going on with my physical health. I rarely have migraines since I haven’t been working, so that’s something positive.
In terms of my mental health, it’s been a lousy year. Very slow body, and very slow brain. Earlier in the year, I tried a few medications that had shown some positive results for psychomotor slowing in some small clinical trials, but that didn’t accomplish a whole heck of a lot. The slowness was continuous through the entire year, and would worsen whenever there was any sort of stressful event.
The mind/body slowing has had a big impact on my functional ability. I’m not critical of or disappointed with what I have done, but the depression has really limited what I’m able to do, and there are clear, tangible markers to show that functional decline. I’m curious, at least in an abstract way, what the future pattern will be. I’m doing what I can to manage my illness as well as possible, and the rest will be what it will be.
With no indication that I’m going to be well enough to work anytime soon, if ever, I applied for disability benefits in August. At that point, I was having quite a hard time speaking as part of psychomotor retardation. I thought it would be easier to communicate with my doctor in person, but his office staff were not prepared to allow that. It’s been a fight with them and my doctor ever since, and I’m pretty unimpressed with them. The disability application process was overwhelming because I don’t have that much cognitive power available, but aside from that, the problem hasn’t been the disability application itself, but rather my doctor and his office being a pain in the ass.
I think, once COVID is over, it will be time to try to find a new doctor. Things had previously seemed to be working with this GP, but I’m probably better off seeing a psychiatrist. It could be rather difficult to find either, but we shall see.
In other news, my brother’s first kid was born in the spring. She’s a cute little thing. I’m pretty indifferent emotionally, but cognitively she’s important to me.
I saw my parents in the summer for the first time in a while. I just don’t feel any kind of connection to them anymore. At this point, they’ve pretty much given up. Not given up on me, but just accepted that this is what our relationship is now.
I used to work with my one in-person friend, but that came to an end late last year. This year has been very challenging for our friendship. We talk/text every day, but there have been a lot of rough patches.
I rang in 2020 with a dead guinea pig in my arms. At the end of the year, my other four are still with me, and have been happy and (mostly) healthy. I’m not sure how people manage life without animals.
My northern flicker woodpecker first started roosting on my balcony on a snowy night four years ago, and he’s still with me. His lady friend was around too for part of the year, but I didn’t spot any babies.
That’s a look at my world in 2020. What has stood out for you this year?