Coming near the end of another year brings many people to reflect back on what they’ve done since the prior holiday season. I had plenty of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2018, but few of them materialized.
Last December, I was already a month into having mono without knowing it. I felt exhausted all the time. My alarm would go off in the mornings and my heart would pound like I had been startled or running a race, protesting me getting out of bed before I wanted to be awake. Most mornings it would calm down with a bit of breakfast, but other mornings it would still be pounding as I walked into work. I would struggle to stay awake all day at the office, and once I got home again in the evenings, I would force myself to eat dinner before crashing on the couch until I went to bed. I had no energy to put toward any of my hobbies or being social on the weekends. It was the first year in a long time that my mother and I didn’t prepare a duet for any of the Christmas concerts and services we participate in; I had no breath with which to sing.
In January, my exhaustion got to the point where I didn’t have the energy to eat, and so I finally went to a doctor. Mono only shows up in tests about 50% of the time, so I got referred to several specialists to rule out other things. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do for mono except wait it out. I began drinking protein shakes just so I would have the energy necessary to digest other foods when mealtimes came around. My heart still gave me issues on occasion, but by the end of January, I was finally starting to feel better.
For most of this past year, I’ve had to deal with lingering after affects. I didn’t have the energy to do all that I wanted, and I had to be careful not to work myself too much or I would end up crashing for several days with a return of the exhaustion. I had good weeks and bad weeks with seemingly no predictability. When the summer heat hit, I found myself having difficulty staying fully hydrated.
I never wanted to make plans too far in advance, because I never knew if I would be having a good week or a bad week when the time came. But I still managed to make it to two Supernatural Conventions and a handful of small, local festivals.
And now that it’s December again, I’m working on music. I’ve already participated in two performances and have three to go. One of those included a duet with my mother, and we still have a second to do. For the rest, I’m writing expanded percussion parts to go with the rest of the accompaniment that performs with our choir. It’s good to have energy again during the holiday season, to be excited about performances rather than wondering if I’ll make it through them. And I’m looking forwarded to getting much more accomplished in 2019 than I did in 2018.