Reflecting on an Odd Summer As Times Change Again

Reflecting on an Odd Summer As Times Change Again
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While the heat of summer unfortunately will continue for weeks to come, summer’s unofficial end is on the horizon as my date for going back to work approaches.

As a college counselor in an independent high school, I’m usually off from mid-June to early August. Hence, in coming days, I’ll return to what undoubtedly will be a remarkably different experience.

This year already has been odd, as I’ve been working remotely since mid-March. So, going back to a more traditional work schedule, but in an environment dictated by COVID-19 safety measures, will be an adjustment.

I’ve been working hard on the farm all summer while the farm’s owner is deployed with the military. Between lots of farm work, ridiculously hot weather, and a continued inability to have consistent bodywork, I’ve really been feeling my Ehlers-Danlos symptoms lately, more than usual. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sleep more since I’ve been working remotely, as I’ve really needed it.

The warp-speed pace of my daily life is both a win and a challenge for me. I tend to do best when I keep moving, but I also become exhausted and need more sleep than those who don’t have EDS. As I’ve discussed before, one of my coping methods is plowing through and doing what I enjoy, even if it makes me sore later. While I occasionally give in, generally speaking, I refuse to let my EDS tell me that I can’t do what I want to do.

As a result, I frequently end up wiping myself out. It takes a lot of energy for me to always be on the go, and sometimes I just want a day to stay home and do nothing. It’s why I find school snow days so perfect.

Hurricane days, more common at this time of year, unfortunately don’t provide the same winter wonderland relaxation I love so much. Instead, hurricanes tend to dish out a pile of extra chores, both in preparation and afterward, including cleaning up and repairing things. That’s not exactly the Zen, cuddle-with-a-blanket-and-book experience I’m going for.

Amid all of this COVID-19 chaos, I’ve found that focusing on the positives is even more important than usual. While the situation undoubtedly will be difficult for some time, a few unexpected positives have happened, such as being able to adjust my schedule while working from home to get extra sleep, and the ability to work from home while the farm’s owner is deployed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d trade all of that to make 2020 free of COVID-19. But since it’s our current reality, I’ll take the positives I can find!

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Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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