As we sort of dropped off the map for January – other than a somewhat wibbley-intermittently-feverish presence on Twitter – I thought an explanation might be warranted.
It all started with our holiday rush last year. Which began sometime in early October.
It was pretty impressive.
And I enjoyed every madcap moment of it.
However, sleep deprivation combined with my ability to hyper-focus on tasks has one fairly serious drawback.
I tend to ignore my body and its warning signs even more than usual.
In this particular case, I wrote off the signs of an impending cold or flu as being slightly worsened allergies. We hadn’t had a proper frost yet, and some of the plants that I know I have issues with were still acting pretty randy. I thought my body was just ill-prepared for that, as it expects to have a break from the allergies once the colder season begins.
I continued working as I tend to when things are busy, which was capped off by a crazy Christmas morning where I made the breakfast I typically do for Mister Tea’s family – but I did it all at once, here at home, with the added wrinkle of having to figure out how to transport it so that everything would remain warm. We hadn’t been able to find dog-sitters, and as the dog who lives where Christmas breakfast happens and our two have not been properly introduced, it seemed unwise to risk any complications on that particular day. 1
Near as we can tell, that was the straw, and the plague descended with a vengeance shortly thereafter.
“But what about all your brilliant sick teas?” – you might ask.
Well. In an epic example of bad timing, I had recently cleared most of our on-hand teas, and due to the intensity of the holiday rush, I had restocked neither our personal stores nor the “for samples or intermittent need” tins.
So… we didn’t actually have them. Except for a latch-tin with not nearly enough Hershel’s Gift for the virulence of this particular plague.
To complicate matters further, I do not blend when I’m sick. Not for personal use or for customers. I don’t go anywhere near our ingredients. I basically quarantine myself from everything that has to do with our work as Desert Sage Natural.
On the plus side, I now have a better awareness of just how lovely our teas for when sick are, as this was one of the longest and nastiest experiences with anything respiratory I have ever had.
For much of January I was so miserable that I couldn’t access my brain enough to process motivating to do much of anything, and the physical aspects were… a truly amazing experience.
One of the things the chronic illness community seems to agree on across the board is that there really should be a rule that you get an automatic pass on “normal” sick.2
I agree with that when I’m not ill, but when I am dealing with deep wracking coughing fits while the ribs on one side are subluxed and feeling particularly stabby? It becomes a fervent and desperate prayer.
To make things even more interesting – my primary method of pain mitigation dehydrates me – and there was no way it was feasible to use while dealing with this particular kind of sick. I was already having problems with staying hydrated, and I didn’t feel like adding “intermittent nosebleeds” to the list of stuff that was already piled up.
Compounding that interesting was the fact that most of our teas for pain were also on the out-of-them list. Except for the one that can be a bit of a system shock, which was, again, something I didn’t think I should use. My systems were going through enough.
Mister Tea did not manage to dodge the sick. This is pretty standard for us, as I exit the house so rarely and never without his company – so if sick occurs, it is because he brought it home.3
January involved a lot of time suddenly becoming more familiar with bits of floor, though thankfully there were none of what Pup of Tea calls “mandatory floor naps.” I am generally saved from serious injury and blunt force trauma to the head by a combination of factors: my hard-earned skill at falling, Raubahn’s sixth sense regarding when I am going to need guiding or catching, and my extensive and detailed maps of the house and objects within it.
However, I also spent a decent chunk of time with legs that refused to work. Sometimes due to sheer pain levels – there are times when the mind is willing but the body is made of NOPE – and other times due to things being too off-kilter for the structural bits to do their job.
Both Mister Tea and Raubahn worked overtime over the course of the unending month that was January.4
Though we did get some amusement out of it. Admittedly it was of the dry somewhat dark coping mechanism style, but it helped.
There were some bright spots within the hellscape.5
It caused me to do some thinking about how things were organized and arranged, and we came up with a new method for storing the use herbs that is actually making the process of blending tea a bit more efficient.6
Additionally, a few new tea ideas came out of the various needs of the sickness. Four have gone from idea to actual tea – Solace, Sanctuary, and the two versions of Accio Spoons – and there are a couple more that still need to have test blends run.
I hope you will forgive our abrupt disappearance, and that those customers whose orders were delayed due to the combination of Winter Plague and my blending rules will forgive us the lapse.
I am in the last dregs stage of illness7, and am hoping to be back to our usual schedule and efficiency in the next week or two.
- I was quite happy that breakfast still worked out and was enjoyed, though it was apparently stressed that my presence was sorely missed.
- Often called “Muggle Sick” in my corner of the Twitterverse.
- He also tends to apologize every time such a thing happens.
- I hate it when Mister Tea has to carry me places. But I am thankful that he doesn’t see it as a big deal at all. I am also thankful that he is patient with my stubbornness, and waits until I have actually acknowledged that I need the help. Consent in chronic illness and disability is a thing, too.
- I should also mention a game that helped keep me sane. Engaging enough to keep me from going stir-crazy, but not so intense I couldn’t manage it. My Time at Portia. Available through Steam, and I recommend it highly if you are Mostly Dead, and in need of something to distract you from that state.
- I will miss the hanging pockets covering the walls, but it is something I should have changed years ago.
- I define this as ‘still miserable, but no longer contagious, and able to squeeze out enough functionality to feel vaguely human.’