I am a COVID-19 survivor. Today is more than 13 months after I got a mild case of Covid-19. Like so many others , I now have Long Covid.
Recently, I have been doing pretty good! Some would even say living it up! I have gone on many adventures with family and friends. And as much as I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Social media can be deceiving -it portrays me as traveling around Oregon and Washington with family and friends living a carefree life. This is misleading…
What social media doesn’t show, is me at Olympic National Park when I realized that I had seriously gone too far. I remember sitting on a log- looking at the beautiful ocean and crying. How could I – super fit Sarah not be able to do this walk on Rialto Beach? A year ago I was in the best shape of my life! This should be nothing for me! This was the moment I realized that I had discovered what my true limit was. On previous adventures- I had stayed well below that threshold (following doctors orders). Reaching my limit on an easy 3 mile walk was a harsh reality check for me. I normally stop at less than a mile – I tell myself- I could do more- I just am holding back. I realized – I wasn’t holding back as much as I thought! I barely made it back to the car after numerous stops to rest. I literally passed out after collapsing in the backseat of my car. I slept most of the rest of the day and night. (I was up about 2 hours total). This is a far cry from the girl who typically walked 14,000-25,000 steps a day. Now I usually walk 3,500 steps on most days.
The day after this adventure- My family went tide pooling at Yaquina Head Lighthouse. I didn’t even attempt to go down the stairs to the tide pools. I knew I could not!!! I stayed in the car (I will admit this saved me from freezing to death).
Later we explored Newport, Oregon. I briefly saw the sea lions on the dock- (super fun-btw). I then returned to car, while my family explored the shops. Later we stopped in Depot Bay- once again- I stayed in the car and rested- while my family looked for whales and explored the shops.
Don’t get me wrong. I did have fun on the parts Of the trip that I could participate in. But the old me would have done everything else – plus quite a bit more! I know how to pack a lot into a vacation! Perhaps a little too much!!! So for me, this has been quite the adjustment.
Sometimes even my local adventures have to be cancelled. On numerous occasions I have planned to meet friends and had to cancel- because I am simply too tired to even have lunch with them.
Today was one of those days…. I was going to go out with my outrigger canoe group- (who are kind enough to let me come along for a ride even though I can’t fully participate). They truly are amazing people! I was tired- but I decided I would still go- mind over body- right??? That’s not how this disease works! When I fall into that old habit – that is when I end up in trouble!
Today as I waited for practice to start. I realized- that this, was a really really dumb idea! I was not only completely exhausted and a little light headed. I was also short of breath. If I stayed for a light paddle- I likely would be in no condition to drive home.
It broke my heart to have to walk back up the dock to my car. On the way, I passed my team arriving. I was sad, to not be able to join them- but I knew that I was not capable of it today. Listening to my body is the key to living my most complete life. If I overdo it- I crash and burn.
Hopefully I can make the next practice. I am learning to find joy around me. Tonight- I did see an otter in the marina. Which was awesome! I was also reminded what an amazing group of people are on my Outrigger Team. They were all so kind and supportive of me!