Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Battling but lucky

Isn't it amazing how things that seem insuperable when you're ill or under the weather magically appear possible when you're feeling sprightly?

All the time I was ill I was whittling about getting tested to fly to America. Which was the right test to have? Was it really acceptable to have a rapid antigen test (i.e. lateral flow test) and not a full blown PCR? And would things change before my travel date of November 9th?

Why has arranging this trip been so laden with anxiety? It's not really because the list of things to get sorted out has been longer than usual:

  • Visa waiver
  • NHS certificate of vaccination - will paper do or should I get digital as a back up?
  • Research and book tests - which? and from whom? and when?
  • Travel insurance (which boils down for me to medical insurance if I'm going to the USA)
  • Plane ticket - which route? how to be sure of getting to Heathrow now Insulate Britain are still gluing themselves to motorways?
  • Medication for the plane flight
  • Extra normal medication for while I am away
  • US dollars
  • Presents for all the family
  • Decision on which of my small paintings to give to Isaac and Wendy

The girls at the reservoir

Our Christmas kitchen

The corner of the bedroom

Usually I have everything sorted out and arranged at least two weeks before the flight. But this time I can't, because I have to be tested within 3 days of the flight so added to the admin is the huge anxiety attached to not being 100% sure I am going until I get my fit to fly test result, which will probably arrive 2 days before the flight. I never used to be an anxious person. It's crept upon me in the last two years. One of my sisters also feels more anxious than she did when she was younger.

I got a text from my GP last week inviting me to my booster shot and it was booked in for last Saturday. I was so excited. How very strange to be excited about getting a jab. This is a weird world we live in now. 

They gave me the flu shot in the other arm and on Sunday I couldn't get out of bed. I also felt so low about everything, that the thought crossed my mind as to how much easier it would be to be dead than to live through another year of this UK pandemic half-life where no indoor public space is safe because of government intransigence and stupidity.

Then on Monday morning I was better, my head was clear and everything was  possible, and I was well enough for a bike ride! 

It's made me think about all those people who are ill and not fit to work and are being hassled by the DWP, telling them to apply for jobs, and/or to jump through ridiculous hoops in order to get their puny welfare benefits. And then there are all the people who deal with health issues and go to work everyday.

I am a lucky woman. I am usually healthy, I have a good and accessible GP, I have been vaccinated three times, I have a pension, and I have enough money to fly to see my family. I am very thankful.


marmee said...

My favourite painting is still the bedroom corner although the reservoir painting is lovely too! Oh all the stuff you need to do is daunting! You can start counting the sleepies sue , you will be fine to go!

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Marmee. xx

Anonymous said...

Might I be controversial and choose the kitchen dresser painting. Thinking the girls would love this so much. I know my grand daughter 6 yo would definitely prefer it May all the testing be negative and the skies clear!
Ana x

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Ana, I spoke to Isaac yesterday and the Christmas kitchen is one of his favourites so I’m taking that one and the girls at the reservoir. Wendy says she likes them all, which makes things easy.

Anonymous said...

Any of your paintings will be the best of gifts to share. They will be a further focus for thinking and talking about you when you have returned home I enjoy looking at them
so much and can only imagine how deeply pleasurable it will be for all your Colorado family to have these on the wall
Ana x

Sue Hepworth said...

You’re so kind, Ana. xx

Helen said...

Sorry you've been feeling so crap but I'm sure your trip will do you the world of good. The paintings are fab!

Sue Hepworth said...

Re the paintings - Thank you, Helen.

Re the health - thank you and I think the trip will do me good. It’s been a long haul. (Now I’m dealing with the after effects of the antibiotics.) but onward and upward!

Unknown said...

Couldn’t agree more on all points.

Unknown said...

Yes! I couldn’t agree more. What a gift to get a painting, let alone two. All of Sue’s work takes me right back to Derbyshire and lovely memories.