This article was supposed to be called “I am pissed”. That’s how I envisioned it. Because, guess what? I WAS pissed as fuck at the time when I wanted to write it. The only reason I didn’t was that I was so pissed about being pissed that I couldn’t even start writing about it. Go figure.
Naturally, one might ask – why the heck was I pissed, right? Why was I so pissed that I had to write an article about it?
Well let me share with you my story of getting pissed as hell.
Here is the thing, since the beginning of this shit pandemic I had gazillion things happen to me. Both good and bad. But overall, it was good. Like, way better than I anticipated.
Just when the pandemic and the lockdown hit the Serbia, I had bunch of time to focus on myself. So I started working out. Like, every day. Six days a week. And I started reading A LOT. Like … really, a LOT. Because what else would you do? I was single, had bunch of time and plentiful of energy really.
I also went back to “square 0” and went through full MIT’s Introduction to Algorithms course (highly recommended btw). It gave me the opportunity to finally learn some things that I’ve been putting aside forever – big Oh, graphs, trees, dynamic programming, … pretty much the “CS basics” which you’ll never need directly but knowing them puts you on a whole different level.
Not sure if it was related or not, but it might have pumped my career as well. I moved to Software Architect role. Got to work with and lead some amazing engineers in my company.
So picture this – I’m reading a lot, learning tons of new stuff, eating clean, working out 6 days a week, start dating the most beautiful and amazing person in the world, and even move to a place that I always wanted to live at, next to the river. Oh, and I started this blog as well!
You know, I hate to say it, but my life was pretty much AMAZING throughout the pandemic. Funny, right?
And then it happened. As if having a full year without any major shit is just too much for me to handle.
It was Sunday, the 6th of March. I was about to get my covid shot at 1PM so I went for a rather heavy workout in the morning as I assumed I’ll be out of commission for couple of days.
I do my workout and go get a vaccine shot. All perfect. No side effects. For 5 days I was pretty much symptom free. I was told to avoid working out at least for couple of days, so I was slowly preparing to go back to my routine because not going to the gym was already taking a mental toll.
Well, 6th day comes. I wake up as grumpy as never before. Like … seriously grumpy. Like – FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKER grumpy. Like – I HATE MY JOB AND MY LIFE AND EVERYBODY AROUND kind of grumpy. Weird. Well, the grumpiness turns into a heavy cough. And heavy cough brings a fever. Like, really high fever. Bummer!
Seven days after getting that shot, I get a positive covid test. I kid you not. So for 300+ days I’ve been going to the gym and living as if nothing is going around and I was “fine” (as much as I could be). And now I finally go to put an “end” to any potential risk (little did I know at the time that vaccine doesn’t guarantee a full protection) and I end up literally ass-fucked (literally)?
And you know what’s even worse? Couple days before I will get my positive COVID shot, I ended up having a finger stuck up my bottom. Yeah. I developed a prostate inflammation as well! And a urologist had to put a finger up by ass in order to confirm the size of my prostate! Let me tell you this shit — there is NOTHING digital about the digital prostate exam! What’s more, it’s as analog as it freakin’ can be! I never really expected anything to go IN through that hole, you know …
So here I am, just a week ago feeling like a freakin’ rocket on my way to the Mars, now having a handful of antibiotics and other crap to take in daily. For at least 2 weeks! Bummer!
But look, I was pissed but not that pissed. I was willing to take the risk of getting covid by pretty much going to the gym daily. So I was sort of OK with it. Two weeks. It’s only two weeks. And I guess I needed a bit of a break from work and working out as well. I’ll manage …
Well, two weeks turned into a hell really. I was coughing like crazy, not being able to walk for more than 2mins without getting tired as hell. Not even to mention not being able to focus on pretty much anything except starting into a TV and watching some dumb TV shows.
It ended. Those two weeks ended. I was getting a bit better. Still not 100% but slowly getting better. I could WALK at least. But no … this article wouldn’t be written if that was the end of it. After almost a month of taking antibiotics for my inflamed prostate, I’m awarded with “chronically inflamed prostate”. Yeah, for those thinking that this shit happens only to older folks, check again. I searched around internet and this shit is getting more and more common among youngsters who spend a lot of time sitting. Yeah, I’m looking at you, IT people!
But look, I even get THAT shit under control. Or at least I get to manage it. So it wasn’t even that which got me to write this article. No.
A month or so after going through all that crap, I decide that it’s time to slowly start getting back into my routine. I missed those morning workouts and I was finally ready to slowly start getting back into the game.
First day, and I do a really light kettlebell swings. More of a warmup kind. And damn, was I happy to see those gym-faces! I think they were happy to see me too. What’s more, I felt great! Really. It’s been weeks since all the shit started and I was finally going back.
Day two and I keep it slow and light as well. I don’t want to rush myself into it. I’m ready to take as much time as I need in order to get there. I really developed my patience so I had no trouble with it.
And here’s the moment when the idea for this article is about to be born. I felt great that day. Two workouts and I was getting better. I go to sleep around 11PM which is my usual sleep-time anyway.
I wake up at 3AM with my heart beating so hard and fast that I thought that even my neighbor can hear it. WTF is happening? What the heck do I even do? I’m generally anti-meds so it’s not like I have ANYTHING to battle this. And it was freakin’ 3AM.
Suffice to say I didn’t sleep that night. And the day after was horrendous. I couldn’t wait for night to come to fall to sleep at like 9PM. Which I did. I think I went to bed around 9:30PM or so. WASTED.
Lo and behold, 3AM and I wake up again with the same issue. Heart racing as if it’s a 200 meter sprint. And it wanted to be a winner! FUCK!
I managed to get back to sleep somehow. But here’s another interesting thing – I had such intense dreams that it was horrific. They made no sense at all but they were so vivid and intense that I woke up feeling lost. WTF is going on?
One thing I realized is that I have to stop working out for sure. What’s more, my therapist told me that I have to call and schedule a post-covid checkup ASAP. Like – NOW. Well, that’d be all fine and dandy if I didn’t have a vacation scheduled up. I already agreed with my GF to do some traveling and since we had to cancel our last vacation, this was something that I wasn’t going to miss. It was supposed to be an active vacation with lots of hiking involved, so I assumed it’ll be fruitful for my issues.
And it was fruitful. Avoiding stress at work and walking and hiking a lot definitely did some good job on the “heart race marathon” front. But I still kept waking up ~ 4 hours after I go to bed. Heart wasn’t racing any more, but the wake-ups remained. Sometimes I couldn’t go back to sleep and stayed awake until the morning, whereas sometimes I’d manage to fall asleep but experience those crazy vivid dreams which left me even more restless than when I skipped the sleep altogether.
I’ll spare you the details but I just got used to it. Whenever I’d go to sleep, I’d wake up after ~4h. Every single night. Did I develop the sleep issues as well? Like – three for the price of one? Did I mention that my prostate issues were back as well? No? Well, yes, they were back!
I finally went for a doctor checkup and had to carry the heart monitor for 24h. The heart ultrasound showed no sign of heart damage (phew!) and even though the EKG did show some weird patterns, they just told me to try with magnesium for now. And they prescribed me melatonin to try and combat the sleep issues. As for the exercise? They told me that any form of exercise is OUT OF QUESTION for at least 6 months. And then they can re-evaluate.
That’s when I realized. That’s when I understood that I have to write a fucking I AM PISSED article. Because I was FUCKING PISSED. Like, really pissed! It’s like every fucking shit that could hit me DID actually hit me. Covid, insomnia, racing heart, prostate inflammation. All of that sprinkled with DO NOT EVEN THINK about working out.
But here’s the thing. I’m a guy of “routines”. And I decided to battle this shit on my own by making routines and pretty much doing what I know that my body likes.
So I developed a “sleep routine”. Around 9:30 PM I’d shut down all the lights, light some scented candle and meditate. Then I’d boil a mint tea and slowly drink it for the next 30 mins, while reading the “Why we sleep” book (highly recommended). Yeah. I was training my body to learn when the time for sleep is.
As for exercise? I just figured that by NOT DOING anything I’m actually doing a disservice to myself. I was feeling PISSED. I WAS pissed. So I decided to screw everything and I went to the gym. I did some light swings and get-ups. Really slow. If nothing, it helped my mood at least.
Well, it’s been two weeks since I started doing this and I’m actually happy to report that I started feeling way better. I’m not pissed any more! Quite the contrary. Morning workouts, no matter how light they are, but they make me feel awesome. And even though I’m still waking up around 3-4AM, that shit is getting better as well, because I’m just getting partially awake so I have less trouble going back to sleep. I even had some days when I’d have a DAMN GOOD sleep!
Now, am I fucking myself up in the long run? No idea. I could be. But you know what – between feeling like SHIT and GRUMPY and PISSED all day long and feeling amazing and chilled – I strongly believe that it’s the LATTER that will actually help me recover better 🙂
But yet, let’s see what I’ll write about in a year from now!
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