SUNDAY POST – LIVING WITH LONG COVID #20

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

Well, I survived the heatwave when we had temperatures soar into the mid 90s – and before you roll your eyes and scoff at what wusses we are, please bear in mind that only about half our shops and offices have aircon and only a handful of homes. And given that we had the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK at 104.5° F. further inland, you can also surmise that we’re simply not used to such heat. So much so, that Boomerang Boy’s school saw fit to send the boys off to play football on the astro-turf at around noon on the hottest day of the year. It won’t surprise you to hear that I got a panicked phone call asking for me to go and pick him up as he was suffering from severe heat exhaustion. They weren’t wrong – his face was beetroot, except for a worrying white patch around his mouth and he was finding it difficult to walk in a straight line. Fortunately, although he was wiped out for the rest of the day and still feeling less than his usual shiny self the following day, he managed to bounce back as I ensured he had a tepid shower, drank loads of water and slept with a cooling gelpack under his pillowcase and a cold-water bottle on his feet.

As for my hay fever. It isn’t. I don’t have the right symptoms and neither do they respond at all to any of the hay fever medication. I think it’s the nasal drip now causing major congestion instead, so it’s yet another iteration of the dratted Long Covid. Oh joy… I am thoroughly fed up as my energy levels are being shredded by sneezing fits, severe tinnitus, a constant blocked or runny nose and sore sinuses. The only thing alleviating the symptoms with some effectiveness is the steamer, but even that is only a temporary fix as my nose gets steadily more inflamed and tender.

We are now in the middle of the summer holidays in one of the loveliest parts of the country with wonderful weather, now it has cooled down again. Am I taking the Boomerang Boy to the beach, or the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust, or visiting the Pitch and Putt together, or wandering around Highdown Gardens and having a cuppa at the local café? Nope – none of the above. Because I simply cannot manage it. Neither can I rejoin my Writing Group, or attend a dear friend’s birthday dinner. In short – I feel my life is fading away as I sink into semi-invalidism, whereby I’m losing my friends. I’m not even able to assist in any meaningful way with the household chores. Needless to say – none of is this remotely fair on Himself, either.

Sorry about the rant – but I’m feeling really defeated about the whole business. I have an appointment with the Dr tomorrow, but I’m not particularly hopeful. I’ve been left to struggle with the whole gamut of long covid symptoms pretty much on my own so far – and I don’t hold out much hope that an increasingly hard-pressed NHS has anything much to offer. Thank goodness for books and the light and life the youngsters are bringing into the house!

This week I’ve read:-
As you’ll see, this week there have been far more audiobooks as it’s been a struggle sleeping with my tinnitus screaming and my nose either constantly running or blocked solid.

AUDIOBOOK – Mansfield House by Jane Austen – The Jane Austen Collection: an Audible original
Mansfield House – narrated by Billie Piper

Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Sir Thomas absents himself on business, Mary Crawford and her brother, Henry, arrive at Mansfield, bringing with them London glamour and the seductive taste for flirtation and theatre that precipitates a crisis.

Directed by Tamsin Collison. With Matt Addis, Lucy Briers, James Corrigan, Scarlett Courtney, Rosalind Eleazar, Jennifer English, Emma Fielding, Ash Hunter, Joel MacCormack, Harry Myers, Esme Scarborough, Lucy Scott, Bert Seymour and Natalie Simpson.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. However this one is less successful for me. Listening to Billy Piper’s rendition brought home to me just what a drab little mouse Fanny Price is. I found myself increasingly hoping that Mary Crawford would prevail and that prissy little Fanny would disappear off to become someone’s lady’s companion. That said – this production is excellent. 7/10

AUDIOBOOK – Sherlock Holmes & the Beast of the Stapletons – Book 5 of James Lovegrove’s Sherlock Holmes series by James Lovegrove
1894. The monstrous Hound of the Baskervilles has been dead for five years, along with its no less monstrous owner, the naturalist Jack Stapleton. Sir Henry Baskerville is living contentedly at Baskerville Hall with his new wife Audrey and their three-year-old son Harry.

Until, that is, Audrey’s lifeless body is found on the moors, drained of blood. It would appear some fiendish creature is once more at large on Dartmoor and has, like its predecessor, targeted the unfortunate Baskerville family.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are summoned to Sir Henry’s aid, and our heroes must face a marauding beast that is the very stuff of nightmares. It seems that Stapleton may not have perished in the Great Grimpen Mire after all, as Holmes believed, and is hell-bent on revenge…
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying James Lovegrove’s series which provides a really effective pastiche of Conan Doyle’s world and his most famous private detective. I also appreciate Lovegrove having very slightly tweaked the less attractive traits of sexism and racism that surface in the original canon to give us another twist to this, the most famous of all Sherlock Holmes’s stories. 9/10

AUDIOBOOK – Conspirator – Book 10 of the Foreigner series by C.J. Cherryh
Cajeiri is the young son of the powerful leader of the Western Association-and he has become a target for forces bent on destroying his father’s rule. For Cajeiri is the first “ateva” youth to have lived in a human environment. And after hundreds of years of fragile atevi-human coexistence, he may very well be the first of his people to ever truly understand the so similar-yet so dangerously different-aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound customs of his race.


I am absolutely loving this series. It’s length gives Cherryh an opportunity to really dig deep into the political and social changes wrought upon the atevi and their culture after humans unexpectedly turn up. Bren Cameron becomes embedded into their power structure as translator for the humans, inevitably also drawing down the wrath of a number of political factions – and their black-clad, highly efficient assassins… Once again, I found myself transported to another world with different rules. Daniel May does an outstanding job of narrating this thrilling series. 9/10

Death and the Decorator – Book 21 of the Fethering Mystery series by Simon Brett
Having decided to redecorate Woodside Cottage, Jude has engaged the services of local man Pete, who has painted and decorated the homes of Fethering residents for many years. Pete is currently working on Footscrow House, a large Victorian building which is being converted into holiday flats by a local developer.

Having arranged to meet at ‘Fiasco House’, as it is known locally due to the many failed business enterprises over the years, Jude and Pete make a surprising discovery behind a wall panel: a woman’s handbag! The casual discovery becomes serious when the police identify the handbag’s owner as Anita Garner, a young woman who vanished in suspicious circumstances twenty years earlier.

Determined to find out what really happened to Anita all those years ago, Jude and her neighbour Carole’s investigations plunge them into a maze of deception and murder, as they uncover a number of uncomfortable secrets beneath the serene surface of Fethering life . . .
Jude and Carole team up to try to uncover what happened to Anita – is she buried in a shallow grave somewhere on the South Downs, as the local pub bore insists? This dynamic duo once again get together to discover what happened. An engaging and twisty whodunit set in an English village peppered with shafts of humour. And no… you don’t have to have read the previous twenty books to thoroughly enjoy this one. 9/10

Augusta Hawke – Book 1 of the Augusta Hawke series by G.M. Mailliet
Where are Niko and Zora Norman? Crime writer Augusta Hawke puts her sleuthing skills to the test to solve the mystery of her disappearing neighbors in the first entry in a new series.

While Augusta Hawke is a successful author of eighteen crime novels, since her husband’s death she’s been living vicariously through her Jules Maigret-like detective Claude and his assistant Caroline. Then a handsome police detective appears investigating a real-life mystery.

Where are her neighbors, the Normans? No one has a clue what’s happened – except Augusta. Although she isn’t nosy, spending all day staring out the windows for inspiration means she does notice things. Like the Normans arguing. And that they’ve been missing a week…
This is another contemporary murder mystery with yet another feisty heroine deciding not to let matters lie. I rapidly fell in love with Augusta, whose beguiling first-person narrative drew me in and wouldn’t let me go. Not particularly action-packed, but full of humour and with an enjoyably surprising denouement. Review to follow. 9/10

This week I have posted:

*RE-RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Death and the Decorator – Book 21 of The Fethering Mysteries by Simon Brett

*RE-RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Almost a Dragon – Book 1 of The Wizard and the Dragon series by Al Case

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. I’m here to tell you that Life isn’t all that much fun if you can’t rely on your health…

34 responses »

  1. Your heat wave even made the news here in the U.S.! I’m glad it’s over. Sorry to hear about your symptoms and how unpleasant they are. As always, I’m thinking of you and hoping things turn around soon. Take care!

  2. I saw the pictures on BBC world news and heard that you all had an alert for the first time. It was awful to see the burning houses… You are not alone with Long Covid. And don´t worry if you can´t comment back. That´s for your blogger friends no reason to turn away from you *smile* Take care and stay strong!

    • Ah… thank you, Vi:)). Yes – I felt so desperately sorry for the poor souls who lost their houses. Everything is tinder-dry right now and we aren’t in the habit of having to be careful about things causing fires. And I appreciate the kind reassurance – fortunately I’m now feeling a lot better so far less depressed about the situation:)).

  3. Sarah, first let me say that I’m really glad to see you posting, but I’m so sad to see that you are still suffering from this terrible sickness. I wish I could send you something that would make everything better, and I do hope your doctor can offer some help, and that research being done right now on long-term Covid will be of help to you soon.

    And you can always talk to us here about your frustrations. We are here to listen.

    • Thank you, Lisa:)). Thank goodness it has become a lot cooler here now, which is a huge relief. And my nasal congestion is also easier. I had a chat with the Dr who said that she finds covid an increasingly ‘weird beast’ as she hears more and more from sufferers of long covid. So I think the medical profession are struggling as much as anyone, right now… At least my own symptoms have improve so that I’m enjoyed life a lot more:).

  4. Aaah dearest Sarah, Please do not apologize for ranting. You need to write and if blogging helps, we will listen.

    I live in Africa where we are better geared for very hot summers. That’s if we actually have electricity…. About 5 years ago, we lived in a town where the kids had sports at 07:00 in the morning, because the rest of the day was just too hot in summer.

    Glad you are enjoying your audio books!! That’s a good distraction to keep your mind busy while your body RECOVERS!!! Be kind and gentle with yourself…

    Lots of love,

    Elza Reads

    • Ah… thank you for your kind, sympathetic understand! And yes – 7am in the morning would be an ideal time to do physical sports right now. Although I’m delighted that the heat has now abated to far more bearable temperatures and my nasal congestion has eased up a bit.

  5. The heat wave that hit most of Europe caused severe problems to everyone, so it’s not surprising that it might have affected your stamina just as you were starting to show marked improvements, and/or exacerbated existing symptoms. It’s another “bump” on the road to recovery, but I hope that you will be able to leave it behind you soon.

    • Thank you, Maddalena. Fortunately, the heat has abated to bearable levels and my nasal congestion has also eased somewhat, so I’m feeling better in myself and a lot more cheerful!

  6. Hi Sarah, I am sorry to learn that the heat has impacted you so badly, but I am not really surprised. I live in South Africa and our temperatures soar in the summertime. It is very exhausting when it is so hot and would be worse for people who aren’t used to it. Britain is also humid which makes the heat almost liquid, doesn’t it? You feel like you are drowning when you try to breath. I have great sympathy for you and all the other people in Europe who are suffering in this heatwave. I didn’t enjoy all of Jane Austen’s books either. She is not my favourite author but there are some that are very good and some that are not for me. I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and I am loving it. I’m limiting my reading of it to 10 minutes a day so it doesn’t finish to quickly.

    • Thank you, Roberta. Yes… normally the heat would be humid, but we had hardly any rainfall in July and although it’s a bit muggy some days, mostly it’s been a dry heat, which at least has helped. Thank goodness it is now a lot cooler, though still no rain so I’m feeling a lot better. I am so impressed that you are able to pull away and eke out a favourite book by rationing yourself – I’m always like a sugar-stimmed toddler where books are concerned – no self control whatsoever!! Glad you are enjoying The Picture of Dorian Gray so much:)). And I hope the coming week is a good one for you.

      • I have to say – while it’s lovely to pop washing onto the line and know it’s not going to get rained on, I am increasingly upset at how much our lovely lush countryside is suffering…

      • I know how you feel. We suffer terrible droughts here in South Africa. Lately though, it seems like we’re getting all the rain from other places. I’ve never known such wet weather in Johannesburg before. We had rain today, it never rains during the winter here.

      • That’s just weird… Because last month we hardly had anything – and there isn’t any rain forecast down were in the south for the forseeable future. Which is plain wrong! Could you send us some of your rain, please (can’t believe I’m requesting rain from South Africa to the UK…)

  7. I’m so glad your heat wave was short-lived. I wish I had answers to help you. When I had bad allergies and carried around a box of tissues everywhere, and finally a doctor, when I was 43! prescribed me Allegra and Nasonex. I’ve had no problems since. Now there are generic versions even. It’s very important that the nasal spray not be scented for me because in addition to dust, mold, pollens, and animal dander I am often allergic to cosmetics. But to the point of my rant, I have been having some coughing this year in the spring allergy season and wondered if I had Covid and didn’t know it. Then I got the idea to replace my 25 year old air purifier and what a difference I haven’t had a cough or scratchy throat since. The purifier is not too spendy and gets a new filter every 6-12 months but well worth the health benefits for me. Usually for pollen allergy season I would have dry, itchy eyes, a sore throat, of sneezing, but this year it was a cough. I’m well pleased with my air purifier that changes out the air in a room 3x per hour, good for Covid too. I have them in 2 other high use rooms in our home. I wish this week to be better and the doctor to have some solutions for you.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Thank you so much for your kind suggestion, Anne. I’ve just looked up air purifiers and I’m definitely going to get hold of one. It certainly cannot hurt and might well make a difference. I will keep you posted!

  8. Long Covid is just awful. So many different symptoms people have, and it just does not go away for some people. I am so sorry for how it’s making you feel, as well, and affecting the things that give you enjoyment. That might be the worst part of it! For what it’s worth, I hope the doctors can help in some way, but also that you feel better soon and are able to reclaim some of the things you love.

    Interesting that you’re reading Lovegrove. I’ve read a few of his and LOVED his World of Water.

    • Ah thank you for the kind words and the understanding. I think it’s the length that this has gone on for – and the fact that there is no certainty which is so wearing. I have now been prescribed some antibiotics so I’m hoping they will help. In the meantime, the nasal conjestion has eased a bit in the last two days, which has made my life a lot easier and I’m not feeling quite so depressed!

  9. Ugh, I’m so sorry you’ve had another down turn on your long covid. For your sinuses, do they have nasal sprays there with corticosteroids in them? (Called Flonase, fluticasone.) We have them over the counter here and they work really well for inflamed and swollen sinus passages. I have had a chronic stuffy nose my whole life and they are the only thing that works for me. I also get a sinus infection every year. I hate it. Don’t worry about your friends. They will be there when you’re well again. ❤

    • Ah – thank you for the recommendation, SJ! The Dr has prescribed a course of antibiotics as she thinks I probably have a sinus infection going on. And also – thank you for your kind reassurance… I have been feeling a bit better the last couple of days so I’m also not so feeling quite so defeated:).

    • I am so very pleased you’ve made a clean recovery from covid:)). I am waiting for a prescription for antibiotics, which I’m hoping will clear up the congestion and ease the inflamed sinuses – and I’m also going to get an air purifier:)).

  10. Aww Sarah, I’m so sorry that this dratted long Covid is dragging on so interminably for you and making you down. I hope the doctor comes up with something, not sure what else to say other than be nice to yourself, if you’re not feeling up to something then you can’t do it, I know it’s not that easy and involves feelings of guilt but if you need to rest you need to rest.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you so much for your kind sympathetic encouragement! It means a great deal just now… And the much better news is that the nasal congestion is now clearing, which means I’m feeling a great deal better:)). I wasn’t feeling guilty as extremely frustrated – especially as we now have two lively youngsters staying with us and I’d been feeling so much stronger. So as well as feeling really grotty – I was also aware that they weren’t getting the level of care that I wanted to give! But at least I’m very good at letting go and just resting – I’ve had LOADS of practice:)).

  11. Hon, we all need to “let it all out” sometimes, and I HATE that you’re feeling so bad. Just know that I am prying for you, by name, daily. Like you, I’ve pretty much lost faith in doctors, but maybe, maybe something will help.

    • Thank you, Rae:)). I’m very aware you are praying for me – and I’m immensely grateful. As it happens – I think your prayers may have been answered, because on Tuesday my congestion started to ease and it has been steadily getting better ever since:)). I can’t tell you the relief after 3 weeks of constant sneezing and nose-blowing! Thank you for caring and reaching out, my friend.x

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