Aannsha’s Blog #220 – Hello again!

Saying hello to everyone again on camera seemed a bit strange because it’s been so long since we filmed anything.

If you’ve been reading our posts on our YouTube Community tab, Facebook page or our Instagram account, you’ll know that we’ve slowly been getting back on track after a winter of inaction. Once the sun started to shine, I must admit I began to feel more positive, despite the fact that Barry was continuing to show signs of what I thought was perhaps depression.

We hired a car recently and visited a few sites around our local area and it was wonderful just to get out and about again. Even if Baz had felt 100%, we couldn’t have done a lot over the majority of winter with cold, often rainy days. And the strong cold winds whipping up the seas during that winter season meant we wouldn’t have sailed even on sunny days.

But it wasn’t just the weather, or what I thought was depression, that was wrong with Baz. It was something else.

Baz has been quite unwell

The guy I’m married to usually gets up with the dawn chorus. But since the New Year, he’s been sleeping till midday and sometimes as late as 2pm daily. He’s also complained of extreme tiredness when awake, and had a persistent cough that must have drained him after four months (it’s almost gone now). More worrying still is that Barry has been unable to make any decisions about anything. As I’ve hinted at above, I thought perhaps he was suffering from stress. To understand the main reason for my thinking this, we’ll have to go back to the evening before his emergency trip to hospital in December.

“Something’s very wrong”

Baz had complained of a temperature the night before, but in the morning seemed absolutely fine. (He’s very good at sweating out illness and both of us haven’t had even had head colds for years). However, during the day, he started to shake his head every now and then, like a dog when it gets something in its ear. In the early evening, he began to look pale and drained and at one point, turned to me saying that something was very wrong. I asked him to clarify: wrong in himself, wrong with the boat, or wrong in the world?

Inside my head, he told me. Something’s not right. I asked what he meant by “Not right”. I don’t know but something’s very wrong. I can’t think. I can’t get my head together. I don’t know who I am any more.

It was a very disturbing conversation that continued like that for a while, me asking questions and him not being able to say anything other than something wasn’t right, and he couldn’t think clearly.

Was it a nervous breakdown?

I asked him if he thought he was having a nervous breakdown, because he’d been suffering from stress for a few months. (That’s maybe another story for another day). He just shook his head.

Do you need to see someone? I asked. He shook his head. I need to get out. Off the boat, he replied. We went for a walk, me holding his arm, him feeling vulnerable next to me.

I need to eat. We’d only had dinner about an hour earlier, but we turned towards the restaurant closest to the marina.

We went in, and by this point, Baz was almost in tears. And that is definitely NOT Barry. We sat at a table and I asked him what he wanted to eat. He couldn’t decide, he didn’t know. I ordered him a meal he usually likes. I was full from dinner, so just had a soup, which I barely touched.

Baz just sat there, crying, saying something was wrong and he didn’t know what it was, or who he was. And that he was very afraid. He sounded fearful as he spoke.

It was so surreal, I didn’t panic, I just felt supremely concerned and totally unsure what to do next. This wasn’t the Baz that I knew. I decided that as it looked most like a breakdown, from what little I know of them, it was probably best to let him cry out the stress and see how things panned out. Maybe that would help.

We eventually returned to the boat. Baz was still majorly confused, so I suggested he go to bed, and he did.

I sat up late, praying.

From dinner party to hospital

The following day, Baz looked as vulnerable as I’ve ever seen him – emotionally, mentally. And physically he seemed to have aged 20 years. He still wasn’t able to gain a sense of self, and seemed to be having trouble deciding anything at all. I asked him if he wanted to cancel going out to have dinner with friends that night. He shook his head. He looked like a lost little boy. Still running with the nervous breakdown hypothesis, I thought perhaps being with others might be good for him.

If you’ve watched the video where Baz explained his trip to hospital, you’ll know what happened next.

We were eating on our friend’s boat and I noticed his right hand began shaking badly and food kept falling off his fork. I think others noticed it too. Barry became quiet and I knew something was wrong, but decided to leave it up to him as to what he wanted to do.

All of a sudden, he winced with pain. Every time he breathed, a muscle in his side went into spasm. We made a quick exit because he wasn’t comfortable and we didn’t want to spoil the evening. The return walk to A B Sea was obviously painful because he yelped with every breath and step. I was very concerned now, because Baz is very stoical and just gets on with pain usually, so I know this must have been extreme.

To cut a long story (that we’ve already told) short, Baz ended up in the local hospital where they checked him for all major health issues (like heart attack) and gave him morphine to stabilise the pain. The doctor did say they’d found fluid on his lungs, suggesting he’d had a recent infection.

We returned home armed with pain killers and anti-spasm gels. We did a lateral flow test and that was negative. So I wondered if extreme stress (my original theory) could manifest as muscle spasming. I had nothing else to go with. So we dealt with it as best as we could.

Barry slept for many hours every day. I stayed with him. Apart from appearing for the occasional Sunday BBQ, we didn’t really socialise with people. Baz is an introvert (I know, weird right, given we have a YouTube channel)? He needs time to himself to recharge at the best of times. So with the inclement weather and his mental and physical state (he now had a cough), we just stayed down below on A B Sea for most of the winter. Self-isolating.

Barry’s lingering issues

The cough has eventually all but cleared up. But despite the fact that Baz has regained his sense of self, he still struggles with decision making. And on top of that, now has extreme fear of heights and has lost his confidence for many things, including sailing. We show you that in more detail in the video.

Looking back with hindsight

It was only when I watched a Drbeen Medical Lecture on YouTube where he reviewed a recent journal article that I had a massive aha moment.

The symptoms that were described in the article, as Dr Mobeen clearly explained it to a layperson such as myself, were massively similar to what Barry had experienced the night before the dinner party. So it seems that he had contracted covid. And now he’s suffering from long covid. It all makes sense now. In a way I’m relieved because it isn’t a nervous breakdown. But along with that is the question of how long it will last.

So we are taking it one day at a time.

What else is in the video?

I talk about my funny experience with a very mild covid.

We also take you to Aspendos, with friends Ant and Cid from SV Impavidus. It was a great day out and I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Once I’ve uploaded this to our website, the weather is so warm and sunny, that I’m going to go for a walk. And maybe Baz will join me.

If you’d like to see what I’ve just written about, then check out this week’s video here.

Until next week, I wish you health, wealth, courage and a healthy dose of wisdom, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.

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