This is my update on how I’m coping with Long Covid now it’s been fourteen months since I first got ill, which I’m adding to my Sunday Post blog, hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer.

It’s been a bit of a torrid time for our family. Poor little Eliza when down with chicken pox so badly she ended up in A & E twice last week with complications. It doesn’t help that she also suffers with severe asthma and is only three years old. Huge kudos to the doctor at the A & E dept at Worthing Hospital who went the extra mile, ringing around the local pharmacies and tracking down the necessary medication to alleviate her pain and discomfort. After nursing Eliza through such a traumatic time my daughter, unsurprisingly, then went down with a kidney infection that needed yet another trip to hospital. Fortunately she didn’t need to stay, but ended up on a course of very strong antibiotics. The upshot was that we ended up looking after our middle grandchild, Oscar, for much longer than originally planned. He went home, then returned to us, Twice. So we called him our Boomerang Boy. In the middle of all this, he started a new school much closer to home, so we also ended up buying the new school uniform, which brought back all sorts of memories. And I saw him off on his first two days, setting the alarm to drag myself out of bed, then crawling back after the taxi came to take him to school.

It was lovely having him to stay. He is a superstar – unfailingly helpful and good tempered – he introduced me to Wordle and we played together most days he was with us. But it did take a bit of a toll on my energy. I unexpectedly hit a wall after climbing the stairs in M & S on our school-shoe buying expedition. No sweating, or being particularly breathless, I just felt that I was wading through treacle and got steadily slower. Then my legs folded under me and I ended up on the floor, after announcing that I needed to sit down. I felt a bit of a fool, but everyone was extremely kind. When Oscar finally went home on Wednesday, the house was sad and quiet without him.

I’ve been struggling with my sleep again and so I’m turning off the TV and computer at least 45 minutes before bedtime and doing a relaxing meditation. I have already noticed a difference to my Deep Sleep scores, which is important as that’s the healing sleep. If only I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night and then struggle to go back to sleep before dawn, I’d be golden😊.

On Friday, Himself met up with his sister and brother and visited his father’s grave, as it was the first year anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. It was a bright sunny day, however I wasn’t able to go as it’s too far away. But in the afternoon, after he returned home, I travelled with him and the children to meet up with my daughter’s former partner and do the handover for the two younger grandchildren. It was the first time since my relapse in August that I’ve managed such a long car journey. So I am making steady progress.

I didn’t read much during Oscar’s stay, so I haven’t managed to get through quite so many books.

This week I’ve read:-

AUDIOBOOK Alexander X – Book 1 of The Battle for Forever series by Edward Savio
Alexander Grant is about to take his 3000th history test. You know how you feel like you’ve been going to school for a thousand years? Well, he actually has. Although he looks like a normal teenager, no one knows he’s actually 1500 years old. Not the girl he likes. Not his best friend. No one.

That is until someone tries to kidnap Alexander and use him as bait to catch his father, the only man capable of stopping a plan that would change humanity forever. And the start of an journey that will take him far from the sleepy town he’s been hiding out in. Ingenious storytelling. Screenwriter and novelist Edward Savio’s ongoing epic adventure is fresh, funny, and thought-provoking.
This YA teen action adventure, narrated by Wil Wheaton was a welcome contrast to some of the tension-filled science fiction political thrillers I’ve been listening to recently. Lots of action and excitement! Full review to follow. 8/10

AUDIOBOOK Chosen For Power – Book 4 of the Dragon’s Gate series by Lindsay Buroker
Jak and his allies venture through the portal in search of the longevity plant their king demands, but all Jak wants is to find the elder dragons. Some say they’re extinct. Some say they’re in hiding.

If he can’t locate them, there won’t be anyone to teach his hatchling how to fly. Or to protect the dragon eggs preserved within a glacier on another world. Or to help him free his people from the tyrannical rule of the wizards. Jak has no choice. He must find the dragons.
But some ancient secrets were buried for a reason. What he discovers may jeopardize not only Jak and his allies—the survival of the entire species of dragons may be at stake.
I love this adventure about Jak and his scientist mother, who put all these events in motion with their discovery of the portal way back in the first book. As ever, a detailed and interesting world and a plot full of unexpected twists and action, as well as dollops of humour in amongst the ever-present danger. Buroker also writes most satisfyingly nasty villains. The next book hasn’t yet been released as an audiobook – but these stories make such wonderful listening, they are worth the wait. 9/10

Eyes of the Void – Book 2 of The Final Architecture series by Adrian Tchaikovsky
After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.

Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.

Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade. What Idris discovers there will change everything.
I loved the first book in this epic space opera series about a lethal, world-killing alien, Shards of Earth. So I was delighted when the arc for this one became available and thrilled to be approved to read it. Tchaikovsky brilliantly charts the ongoing reactions by various groups within humanity and some of the aliens to the dire threat posed by the Architects. I very much appreciated his list of characters and timeline leading up to the events covered by the story, which helped me keep tabs on who was doing what to whom. Full review to follow.

Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons – Book 1 of A Miss Percy Guide series by Quenby Olsen
Miss Mildred Percy inherits a dragon.

Ah, but we’ve already got ahead of ourselves…

Miss Mildred Percy is a spinster. She does not dance, she has long stopped dreaming, and she certainly does not have adventures. That is, until her great uncle has the audacity to leave her an inheritance, one that includes a dragon’s egg.

The egg – as eggs are wont to do – decides to hatch, and Miss Mildred Percy is suddenly thrust out of the role of “spinster and general wallflower” and into the unprecedented position of “spinster and keeper of dragons.” But England has not seen a dragon since… well, ever. And now Mildred must contend with raising a dragon (that should not exist), kindling a romance (with a humble vicar), and embarking on an adventure she never thought could be hers for the taking.
I tucked into this one when the enormity of Tchaikovsky’s alien threat felt a bit overwhelming – which is all about my mindset and in no way a reflection on the writing. I was rooting for Mildred all the way. However, the reader starts this one knowing exactly what the peculiar rock is – there is a picture of him on the cover. So I found the pacing rather slow in places, as the protagonist evidently doesn’t have a clue as to what the peculiar rock is and takes a long time deciding what he is after the hatching. There are times when the author breaks the fourth wall, which I also found a bit jarring. However, overall it’s a charming, enjoyable read with nice shafts of humour throughout. 8/10

This week I have posted:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Prison of Sleep by Tim Pratt

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I’m aware that right now, it’s a very one-sided relationship and I don’t know when I’ll be able to fully reciprocate. In the meantime, do take care and try to keep well.

32 responses »

  1. What a week you have had! I am glad you are able to make some longer journeys and even sleep more. The bout of chickenpox sounds really challenging! I hope you are all feeling better soon.

    Enjoy your books, and Happy Mother’s Day. Here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

    • Thank you, Laurel-Rain – I won’t deny that last week, we ended up feeling a bit singled out by Fate. And not in a good way… However, I’m really delighted at how I have managed to bounce back from all that was happening – though that’s probably because they are both recovering well:)).

    • Thank you, AJ. It’s horrible when loved ones fall ill – I always feel so helpless… So yes, thank you – as they are both recovering, it’s been far less stressful:). I hope you, too, are having a good week.

  2. What a stressful time for you and your family! I hope that everyone is on the mend now and life will return to a calmer time. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Anne. And what I’m focusing on is that despite hitting that wall, after a couple of quiet days of rest, I am feeling a lot better again. So I’m definitely on the mend:)).

  3. After such an eventful week, it’s not surprising that your energies went into the “red zone”: stress is indeed a hungry beast and it can drain our power in no time at all. I hope that you will be able to… recharge your batteries soon! 🙂

    • Thank you Maddalena:). The very good news is that although I’ve had several days when I’ve needed to take it really easy, I didn’t end up flat on my back too tired to think. So that’s a huge milestone:)).

  4. Oh dear, I hope your granddaughter and her mother are both on the mend!
    Congratulations on your progress, I’m sure Oscar appreciated all your efforts to support his start at a new school.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  5. It sounds like you had a very busy week Sarah. I am so sorry to hear about your family’s health issues, but I am glad they got the help they needed and I hope they recover quickly. I am glad you are able to do a few more things, I’ sure Oscar loved having your support. I hope this week is a good one for you.

    • Thank you, Carla:). Yes, thank goodness they are both recovering – Eliza especially has bounced back well. As for my daughter – it’s tough being the wage-earner and carer as a single parent! I just hope she manages to get enough rest. I’m having a really good week and hope you are, too:).

  6. I’m so glad that Eliza didn’t have to stay at the hospital very long and they were able to find medicine to help with her discomfort. I had chicken pox when I was just a little older than her and I still remember being so itchy and miserable. Your grandson sounds like a wonderful young man and it sounds like you had such a productive week. I hope you have been getting lots of rest!

    • Thank you, Katherine for your kind words – yes, I had chicken pox in my 30s when my own children went down with it and I was smothered in spots. Poor little Eliza had a number of spots in highly sensitive areas – including her mouth, which broke open and needed specialised treatment. I have been having lots of rest, too:). Hoping you, too, are having a good week.

  7. Wow, this has been a super busy time for you!! I’m sorry to hear that Eliza got the chicken pox. That’s something we don’t hear about often here in the US since most kids get the chicken pox vaccine now. Poor thing. Hugs to you! I hope you get some good sleep soon.

    • Thank you, SJ:). I didn’t realise that US children were vaccinated against chicken pox – how interesting! It would certainly have saved poor little Eliza a lot of grief… I am sleeping a bit better at the moment – and I hope you’re having a good week:).

      • After a quick Google, it looks like the CDC in US recommends chicken pox vaccine to all children (it’s two doses), and I would say the majority here do get it. According to the NHS website, the vaccine is not part of the childhood vaccination program. Huh. That’s kind of a bummer since it can really scar and be super uncomfortable for kids. Interesting.

      • Oh yes – I didn’t even know it was part of a vaccination programme in other parts of the world… It can scar and I recall how ill I felt when I went down with in my 30s after my own children had it!

  8. Soooo sorry you are still feeling weak and overall crummy. I understand how these long illnesses make for long days and restless nights. I haven’t had Covid (knock on wood), but chronic pain from stenosis, scoliosis, and arthritis from my neck to my tailbone have kept me anchored at home. I did get out Saturday (the 14th) for a city-wide birthday celebration for a grocery store turning 100 and a high school graduation party. Tonight (the 17th) I FINALLY went to book club. We discussed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I also \finally had the bronchoscopy/biopsy done on my right lung on the 5th of May (after rescheduling it four times–twice the hospital or doctor, twice by me). HOWEVER, I STILL have not had the results even after the fiasco of driving in Houston traffic for an hour to get the results only to find the office closed due to a Power Outage. Wheeee, I just want this to be over! I’m sure you are feeling the same way these days. Try to concentrate on the little, positive victories. SURELY, this WILL pass, right?

    • Urg! So sorry to hear you are suffering such stubborn chronic conditions, Rae:((. And also dismayed to hear of your struggles to get the results of your biopsy. I hope you get the results, soon! And you’re right – I am focusing on the little victories. As the weather improves, there has been a definite uptick in my energy levels – but I am still taking care that I don’t over-extend myself:). I have been able to sit outside in the sunshine, which has been a real treat. And as our weather goes on improving, that should be something I can do increasingly often:)). I hope that you, too, are able get some answers and relief from your issues, Rae!

  9. How stressful that all sounds, no wonder you were overcome with exhaustion. This long covid is truly horrible. I can sympathise with the broken sleep, my little dog used to wake me every night at 4 am (bless his little hairy paws). Broken sleep definitely makes you so exhausted.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you, Lynn. Yes… it’s been really grim – but the good news is that I seem to have finally turned a major corner and I’m presently feeling much better. Thank you for your kind concern – I really appreciate it!

  10. It sounds like life decided to throw everything at you at once, and you still emerged victorious. To me, your episode in M&S also feels like a victory too: yes, you felt tired and you had to rest, but it doesn’t sound like you had to take the week off after that, being utterly exhausted. I hope it’s another sign (among others) that your body is getting gradually stronger.

    • I do hope so. I’ve had a rather long spell recently when I’ve been stuck at home again, unable to go anywhere. But I do think that overall, my energy levels are rising. The catch is – nothing is happening very quickly and I think I need to keep patient, or I’ll start getting in the way of my own recovery!

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