Finding Homeostasis in Limbo

Finding Homeostasis in Limbo

The idea of homeostasis arises from biology and the scientific realm. It is the body’s ability returning to a sense of normalcy and balance. Your body sweats in order to keep the body temperature at 98.6. Your body has white blood cells and antibodies to help bring your body back to normal when you get sick. As I write this, I think I have found my form of homeostasis with my health; body, mind, and spirit.

When COVID first hit, I was already struggling to figure out a workout routine. When I was in my last year of undergrad, I was working out consistently. I was working out 3-4 times a week and did various workouts. I felt as if there was no way of getting back to that when everything hit the fan. When stress and workload tripled, I didn’t even try to work out. I was working longer hours and had stress and fear of COVID. I didn’t notice the effects of this on my body until I was trying to help a client do his assessment with the psychiatric nurse. He was being asked to step on the scale, so I said I would go first. When I saw that number on the scale, I panicked. I was almost 20 pounds heavier than I was pre COVID. I was at my heaviest weight, sure I wasn’t the heaviest person in the world. But it felt like all the work I put into myself was gone. That I stopped caring for myself in order to care for others. 

That was in October of 2020, and it was still months before I would actually find balance. I just knew something had to change at that moment. It was around this time when I was trying to figure out what I liked to do. I remembered how much I loved cycling, so I began researching what bikes would do well. I did end up going with the peloton. My boyfriend helped me purchase it and I saved up for weeks. I got it towards the end of November, I was consistently on it. Then the December holiday season rolled around, and I was working even more. So I fell off for a bit. 

Come January, my friends and I were talking about doing more yoga. So we set up a discord and scheduled out virtual yoga. We began doing yoga 2x a week. This was the starting point of where I am now. It brought me consistency which is important to see any change and find balance. This was a good way to start finding my strength.

As I continued through this, a friend of mine was also trying to find a way to work out consistently. So we began running during March. I used to keep a consistent pace of 9:30 and could run for 2 miles. But I was struggling to do a mile at 13 minutes. It was very disheartening to see how much I stopped caring for myself. It was a battle in my mind, to get back into it you can do it and how could you stop? It took me a while to be kind and forgiving for myself. After all, we are still going through a pandemic. Yet, the running had to go on pause for finals season. Since then I’ve run about 2-3 times but I’m hoping to get back into running consistently. 

Along with that, I have started going to the gym. I was always anxious about going to the gym. About messing up in front of others at the gym, about not knowing what to do. Yet, my same friend used to go all the time pre-pandemic. It was a little less nerve racking when I went with her. I still have anxieties because I’m not super strong or have good form. Or even know what to do in the gym. But I am going and that is what matters at the end of the day. 

Since starting this journey, I now work out anywhere between 3-5 days a week. It has been about a month of this routine. That is why I have not been posting, I have been trying to rediscover my health. I have been trying to return to my homeostasis. Where I am working out, I am taking time out for myself, and I feel good. Sure the number on the scale is what kickstarted this but it is not the factor that I am chasing after. I am not chasing after a low number on the scale, I am looking for strength and to feel good. I want to have energy to move and be happy. Being a female, the number on the scale is going to fluctuate regardless of what I do. The scale is not a good measure of health. But how I feel in my skin matters, how strong I feel matters, how confident I am in myself matters.

My Experience with Moderna

My Experience with Moderna

I was in the first round of people who were vaccinated. I had my first dose back on December 24, 2020. I had my second dose on January 21, 2020. I received the Moderna and can only speak to my experience with it. Due to working in a residential facility, I have been working non stop since the pandemic started. I have been an essential worker since day one. So to hear the early news of the vaccine, it lifted a weight of stress off of my shoulders. My boyfriend has asthmas and my clients have been here for months on end. I had a lot of people at risk prior to me getting my vaccine. Mind you, I am still not going out and socializing. Also I wear a mask wherever I go. I do not know when I will feel comfortable with leaving the house without a mask.

I received my first vaccine on Christmas Eve. I waited in a short line that morning and went into work following the wait time. The nurses that were volunteering were very helpful. The administration of the vaccine had no hiccups and I waited the 15 minutes after with no issues. I went into work and ran a group with no issues. It was not until 5-6 hours when I felt my left arm was sore. By this point, I left work because of the holiday. I was off Christmas Day and worked the weekend after with no issues, other than a sore arm.

Towards the end of January was when I was due for my second dose. I originally was supposed to work on Thursday but the hours that were available, would require me to leave in the middle of the work day and return. I was not sure how long the lines would be since they started opening up to more people. With this in mind, I decided to take the day off. I am glad that I did, it wound up taking me a little over 2 hours to get through the line and do my waiting period. At this point, there was a higher priority for those who needed the first dose. There were more lines open for the first dose. At my location downtown, there were no appointments, just open windows of 10-5. You would just arrive and wait in line until it was your time. It was not the best time but it was not the worst thing. It was hopeful to see people getting their vaccines.

Once again, no issues for the first few hours after the vaccine. On that Thursday I had a sore arm by the time I went to bed. During the night I woke up a few times during the night, which is not typical for me. I woke up around 7 am on my typical day off, and had the worst headache I have had in a long time. So I got up to take Tylenol and drink water. I fell back asleep and woke up with a slight fever and was dizzy. It felt as though I had a rough flu. I felt bad for most of the day so I did not eat very much that day. But I did drink liquids and rest as I would when I normally have the flu or a cold. By the end of the day on Friday, I felt a little better.

The following day, I felt night and day different. I felt like I was on cloud 9 when compared to how I felt on Friday. I had to run groups that weekend as it was my weekend on. I had almost no issues other than my sore arm. I would say that the sore arm hung around for a few days after each vaccine. 

But now I have had no issues but a lot of stress lifted off of my shoulders. As vaccines open up for more and more people, it feels as though we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. So I wanted to talk about my own experience with it. Yes, we run the risks of side effects from the vaccine but the same goes for many vaccines. We may have COVID around for years to come but if I am protected from, I will not worry about my client’s safety or my boyfriend’s safety. I have been vaccinated for about 2.5 months. I do not regret it at all and if down the line the CDC states a need for yearly vaccines, I am okay with that. I prefer this over the risks that come with getting or dying from COVID. Having fears surrounding medical care is normal, especially in these uncertain times. But I trust that we are learning day to day on what to do with regards to COVID. We will move toward a new normal and hopefully can hug our family like we used to.