2021 Thus Far

First blog of 2021. Damn, that’s hella embarrassing. In the spirit of transparency, I’m only writing today because I was charged my annual fee for the domain this morning, and it made me realize I need to actually use this blog. So, here we are.

Going into 2021, I had so much hope. Over Christmas last year, I read that Canada was going to get vaccines in January, and I felt such relief and optimism for the year. Little did I know, that the vaccines would barely arrive, take months to be administered, and then have the second doses be delayed for 16 weeks instead of the 3-4. We were in lockdown then, and I don’t think I could have predicted that many months later, we’d still be in lockdown, due to a massive surge in cases because of deadly Covid variants and a premature re-opening in February and March. Ontario is literally such a shitshow.

The shitshow was magnified exponentially when I suffered a pulmonary embolism in February. For those who don’t know, a pulmonary embolism is when you have a blot clot, and it travels to your lung artery and cuts off blood flow. It can be fatal if not caught early. I suspect you’re going to want to know my backstory for this, so here we go. Last June, I went on birth control. I’d never previously been on it because I already have existing risk for clots due to a chronic condition, but every doctor I consulted told me it was okay to take it. So I took it. In early February, I went for my usual deep tissue massage. My RMT is incredibly strong, and I have a high threshold for pain, so we’re a perfect pairing. Or at least, we were. The next day I woke up with debilitating pain in my side, and I thought she had dislocated a rib. It was a few days of pain and spasms, but I pushed through and even kept teaching, because going to the hospital during the second wave of a pandemic was something that sent my anxiety through the roof. The pain subsided, and I had about a week or maybe even two of relative normalcy, until I didn’t. One morning I woke up with shortness of breath. As the day (days? It’s a bit of a blur) went on, the shortness of breath got worse, and I started to get chest pain in my left side, just under my heart. Again, I pushed through, shot some content somehow, until I called my mom and told her I thought I was having a heart attack, and she told me to go to the hospital.

My husband dropped me off at the hospital alone, obviously, and I was seen immediately. They did an echo to check for heart attack, ruled it out, and then I had a serious of other tests. Eventually a CT scan revealed MULTIPLE embolisms of extensive size. Even the doctor was shocked, because he had said initially that I was “probably fine.” I was not. I stayed one night in the hospital, and came home with blood thinners, which I will likely be on the rest of my life because I’m now considered “a clotter.” Usually clots happen when trauma or injury occurs, but mine was considered a freak occurrence, and so I’ll need to be closely monitored to avoid recurrence.

Fast forward to present time. I’ve been off work since then, focusing on my recovery. I’m going back in 2 weeks, because I finally feel strong and healthy enough. I’ll likely be teaching virtually, but I wish I could go back to in-person teaching for even just a few weeks. I really miss it. Here’s a photo dump of some recent happenings because I’ve been keeping myself busy despite being off work…

Lots of walks with the kids to break up the misery of virtual school. They’ve been so unhappy not being at school, so I do my best to keep them afloat.
Instagram partnerships like this recent one with What A Bagel to ensure I still have things to do at home. I’m grateful for this little side hustle because it keeps me preoccupied.
Little outdoor outings here and there for sanity. I almost never go out, and the weather has been especially crappy, but if I see a friend from a distance for an hour, even just once a week, it fills my cup and gives me strength to come home and be with my husband and kids for every other hour in the week.
Finding solace in nature.
And CBD, obviously. And meditation. And journaling. And therapy.

Obviously there has been so much stress and trauma for everyone over the last year and a bit, but I really believe the long term implications of this on our mental health are HUGE. I try to remain hopeful and optimistic, and I’m really working to manifest the second half of 2021 being much better than the first half. The US is fully vaccinated and they’re already out there living their best lives again, so I know we will too…eventually. We just have to stay strong, and although strength has been diminished over this never-ending pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel will make it all worth it.

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