Am I confabulating or is it Covid-19? - Hypochondriacal Thoughts from an Illness Novice
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Do you find that every few days there is this thought ‘maybe this is it?’ This is followed by searching behaviour, Is my throat sore? Was that something tickling my throat or was that it? It’s a cough? Yes, I heard my partner coughing, maybe they have it?
A week ago, it was just after lunch that I noticed my nose running, I did not think anything of it, it was just one of those things. Later on in the afternoon, I realised my nose had been running quite a lot, I was careful to wipe it and throw the tissue away, ‘best that it goes down the loo’ I thought. There was this sudden realisation that yes, I have definitely got a cold; wait, I swallowed, maybe my throat is sore? Is it, isn’t it? Definitely… as the evening drew on, we ate, watched the news, all about Corona Virus, again, I went to be heavy hearted wondering quite seriously about what the next day would bring.
I awoke the next day, full of energy – another day, lots to get on with, actions to take and the business of the day took my attention. Emails, a paper to write, appointments to make and of course the daily walk and the yoga practice, where does the time go?
A few days later when doing my sitting practice, I follow the invitation to notice any areas of tension in my body. One area that I seldom feel internally drew my attention is my neck yet on this occasion I felt the back of my throat, and yes, I could feel the cool breath on the inner side of my throat; suddenly a feeling of discomfort attracted me and the thoughts started rushing in, ‘what IS that? Its tight, maybe even scratchy, and yes, I am sure it’s the corona virus burrowing into my throat, this is definitely it!’
Breath, quick breeethe! Slowly I start to notice the air coming in and then out again, in and out and with the out breath my body releases, the tension fades. The rest of the mediation takes its course and I follow the invitation to notice…
The rest of the day goes as intended, my daily walk happens, meals come and go and eventually it’s time to go to bed. As I close my eyes I think through my day and recall the ‘maybe its corona’ moment, and find myself, with a sense of curiosity wondering what that was all about, I feel fine now and the memories of the day fade in to a good night’s sleep.
Looking over the past few weeks I notice that the pattern of these ‘maybe its Corona’ moments emerge alongside other moments of feeling low. I have found that with the process of staying with the feelings, locating them in my body, softening and waiting fears about anticipated death of a loved one emerge and through stepping back and just noticing them they fade and become integrated in to all the other felt senses in me. I widen my attention to the whole, the body, other people and the earth and in so doing, I gain a perspective on the process we are all going through.