Day 2 (part 1) – Tuesday March 17th
Woken up by the start of cramps at 4am. This is pretty normal. I drag myself out of bed to refill the hot water bottle and swallow an ibuprofen with a yoghurt to help it down. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil I ponder the current Corona Virus news trend on how Doctors in France notice that all those who die of Covid-19 have ibuprofen in their system.
There is no way of knowing if this is fake news. Even if it’s true it doesn’t necessarily prove anything. There are probably many people who survive Covid-19 who also have ibuprofen in their blood stream. It’s a common pain killer. Anyway I reassure myself with the fact that I don’t yet have the virus (I hope) so the ibuprofen is unlikely to kill me today and I’m in pain. I do have paracetamol in the house but it’s not as effective for the cramps and it’s probably best I save those tablets for if I get Covid-19.
Maybe I should say ‘when’ not ‘if’, because the reality is, if we want herd immunity for the vulnerable, at some point the rest of us will all have to suffer the virus. Unless they miraculously come up with a vaccine this year, which is unlikely. The current measures are in place to slow down the infection rate to allow the emergency services to cope with demand for hospital treatment not to prevent infection altogether (though that would be nice).
4am thoughts are never good. I do jigsaws on my iPad to try to distract myself, with intermittent 10-15 minute naps when the pain ebbs.
By 9am the cramps are beginning to subside. They’re always at the worst on the second day and even when not cramping I still have a dull ache. It’s another grey cloudy day. Suffice to say I’m not in a good mood. Once again I drag myself out of bed, but don’t bother to dress. Seriously what’s the point I’ll be back to bed soon anyway.
A quick call from a friend who was unable to talk the day before cheers me up and I go make myself a nice breakfast. I bought some hot cross buns back from the UK as a treat and now is definitely the time to treat myself with toasted teacakes and mug of tea. Yum yum! I had some fruit too so not totally unhealthy.
Anyway this brought up the next problem which is that I’m running out of teabags. This is a real crisis! I get majorly grumpy without my daily tea. I think I’m addicted. It needs to be proper builders tea, not that poxy Liptons brand you get all over Europe that has the consistency of gnat’s piss. I was aware of the tea problem the day before, but Mercadona doesn’t sell UK brands. It did have its own brand of tea in ‘Estilo Ingles’, a box of which now adorns my cupboard. I’ve not tried it before so we will see.
However on Tuesday morning in my sleep deprived state I had a serious internal debate about whether my lack of tea constituted sufficient reason to walk all the way to Carrefour to get some PG Tips. Carrefour is a good mile away from my house. I could drive there but that thought didn’t occur to me at the time. I finally decided that I wasn’t up to explaining to a policeman my dire need for decent tea whilst feeling so crap. I’d wait until I felt better. (You’ll be glad to know that when I felt better the idea of going to Carrefour for tea seemed ludicrous. I’m perfectly capable of surviving on substandard tea and have done so before at numerous hotels when on holiday.)
By now the sugar from breakfast had hit my system and I decided to get up. Instead of going to Carrefour I could go downstairs to collect my post. It seems it is still being delivered. I threw on some sweat pants and a hiking top (why be uncomfortable) and walked down the 4 flights of stairs to my post box. The stairs were deserted and it occurred to me this was a good way of getting some exercise. I was wearing gloves and didn’t need to touch any surfaces. The stairwell is quite big and very few people use it, they prefer the lift, so hopefully it is less likely that the virus is lurking in the air. I ran back up the stairs to the very top (9 floors) and then back down to my floor. I felt better for having moved a bit.
Riding this uplift I do 20 baby burpees in my living room. Ooh this was tough!
Time to do some work: answer some emails, put my daily post on Costa Women Madrid (daily tips on what to do whilst in quarantine) and then try to get through to my sister in care. She has a form of dementia and lives in a residential care centre in the UK. With the current situation not only have I not been able to visit her but I also had to cancel all other external activities. My sister is usually taken out on day trips at least once a week and has entertainers come in once a week. All this is over for the forseeable future. I had been trying to call her for the last week to explain and let her know we haven’t forgotten her but she wasn’t getting out of bed. Once again she was apparently asleep.
No point worrying as there is not much I can do so I move on: answer a few text messages from friends, chase up a video for the next day’s post for Costa Women Madrid, put some laundry on. Then it was time to call my Dad. He is elderly with lung problems and highly vulnerable to this virus. Whilst covid-19 is not yet as widespread in the UK as Spain the elderly have been advised to self isolate. My Dad is now not going out or accepting visitors except for my other sister, and we’re not sure how long that can continue. The last time I was in the UK I showed him how to use FaceTime, so as my sister was with him that day it was the ideal time to call him and bed in this new knowledge, as she would be able to help.
The FaceTime call went surprisingly well. Dad has taken to video calls like a duck to water. We were talking for a good hour. I’ve promised to call back and give him a video tour of my apartment which he has never visited as he’s unable to travel abroad now.
Feeling good I do another 20 baby burpees …. Uff!
Then a bit of tidy up around the house, put the laundry out to dry, stick the next batch in, answer some more texts. By this time it is 3pm. I know the cramps will be back full force by 4pm. Time to down another ibuprofen with a yoghurt and go back to bed with my hot water bottle. I read a slushy romance novel until the pain becomes too intense to concentrate.
Tune in later for the rest of day 2.