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Sick And Living Alone

It’s the last day of my holiday break, I’m back at work tomorrow and it’s been a bit of a rough ride! I’ve been sick for the majority of my holiday ๐Ÿ™

I finally got COVID… I know it’s old news for most people, but I have some health issues, including really bad lungs and really high blood pressure, so I’ve wondered how I’d handle it. Well, it certainly wasn’t fun in the first week, but I never felt like I was going to die or was worried about being home alone with nobody to know if things took a turn for the worse. I recovered in time to spend Christmas day with friends.

Then, on Christmas day while swimming at my friend’s house, I got some water stuck in both my ears and haven’t been able to get it out since! It’s the 7th of January today! I have a really bad case of Surfer’s Ear (not the same as Swimmer’s Ear) from spending too much time in cold water at a younger age. I used to live in the water! Anyway, this means that water can get in, but often can’t get out of my ears. I’m currently on antibiotics, but I’ve also lost about 90% hearing in my left ear and the infection in my right ear has spread to my jaw… Really been through the ringer!!

Misery Loves Company

Then yesterday, my poor dog Jessie decided that dad can’t be the only sick person in the house, so she joined me in injury. Poor, soft-hearted Jessie! We went for a walk in the paddock behind my house and met up with Tikki, a friend that Jessie has played with many times. Tikki got a bit upset when Jessie took her ball and bit Jessie. But not just a warning shot, she bit really deep into Jessie’s leg. I was surprised when I saw how deep the cut was. Fortunately Tikki’s mom is an ex-veterinary nurse and her husband is a vet. So Jessie got patched up real nice and I’m taking her to the husband tomorrow for a follow up.

Sick And Living Alone

All this made me think about my situation, living independently and specifically getting sick while living alone. I know people joke about men being super needy when they’re sick, but I’m probably not your typical male or human in this regard. Best thing you can do for me when I’m ill is to leave me alone. Even at times when I’ve had real bad fever and hardly conscious most of the time, I’d still rather have to struggle to get out of bed to prepare a meal for myself than have someone fussing about me and having to answer “how’s you feeling” all the time.

But there there are times when it’s good to have someone around. I did get a pretty bad fever and a LOT of coughing from COVID and it would have been nice to know that there was someone around if things got worse during the night. CheckIn Gizmo, a safety monitoring app for independent living, is a great tool for when you’re sick and living alone, so if it was production ready, I could have used it in this situation. Unfortunately, while I have been running tests with it lately, I do have to manually set up the test environment every time, so it’s not quite ready yet.

Also, I’m a little bit stupid or clumsy when it comes to practical matters, so if would have been nice to have someone around to put the ear drops in.

Conclusion

I was going to say that I don’t have any great insights for you, but actually I do have 2 things to mention, great or not.

Number one is just to reiterate the importance of community when living independently. Once I told my friends that I have covid, I got regular calls and messages making sure that I’m okay. I told my neighbor afterwards that I had had covid and he was mad at me for not letting him know sooner. Great neighbor and all-in-all a great place to be in for a migrant with no blood relatives in the country. So number one is to not underestimate the importance of your support network.

Secondly, while watching this lady dress Jessie’s wound, I just realized that I don’t have enough emergency supplies for myself and especially not for Jessie. She had antiseptic salve and all sizes of wound dressing and bandages etc. Good reminder for me to get a bit more organized.

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