Not gonna lie, when woke up two weeks ago with a fever of 101.5 I was kinda happy. Bear with me, I’m not insane or a masochist (much 😅). I’m a gamer. And as much as I love my job, it’s put serious limitations on my gaming time. So, when I knew I’d have to be out for a few days, I was excited. I might be feverish and miserable, but what better time to self-medicate with a marathon gaming sesh?
My elation faltered a bit when I tested positive for COVID. It’s a scary, unpredictable disease I’ve spent two years avoiding like, well…like the plague (You’re a professional writer, Cindy, you can do better than that! No, no I can’t right now: keep reading.) But the law of probability caught up with me. I’d finally contracted the dreaded disease. Once I staved off the panic, a beautiful thought occured to me: COVID protocols at work still dictate 10 days at home. Period. I work in healthcare and compound medication (yes, I cook drugs, but not in a Breaking Bad kind of way. It’s all legal, I promise). Because they don’t want us getting patient medication all COVID-y, my employer is kind enough to pay us COVID leave, separate from our PTO. Ten days of gaming and I’m still getting paid? That’s a silver lining if I ever saw one.
But alas, my joy was short-lived. I tried. I really, really tried. I sat at on the sofa, controller in hand, but not only did my whole body ache, my brain wouldn’t work. Contrary to non-gamer beliefs, video games do not rot your mind. Quite the opposite. They stimulate your creative problem solving, your hand eye coordination and your ability to focus and strategize. It’s true. Look it up. I’ll wait. See! Gaming = active mind. But my brain was being assailed by exhaustion and an weird impenetrable fog. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the energy, the mental acuity, or even the desire to play.
Well, isn’t that just a kick in the a$$?! I tried several times during the worst of the infection and just couldn’t do it. I wound up spending the first six days in bed, binge watching Netflix. Even after I felt strong enough to sit on the couch (yes, it was that bad), it took an immense amount of effort to pick up the controller and struggle through some mindless grinding. Finally, around day eight, I started playing again. Even now, that I’m back to work, I don’t really have the energy when I get home to stare down the bull. What the f@#k is this disease?
I did some research and after reading lots of medical gobbily gook, I ascertained that yes, COVID messes with your ability to think. And this brain fog can last for weeks or even months post-infection. Oh what a cruel joke, Universe. Seriously, give me all the time in the world to game and then take away the capacity. Not funny. Not funny in the slightest.
As my recovery inches along (more like millimeters along, but that just sounds weird), I’ve regained some of my usual quick-thinking and problem solving abilities, but I’m still not my “normal” self. I put normal in quotations because normalcy and I don’t have the closest relationship. Even writing this blog post has taken two days when it usually takes about an hour. Maybe two if I include edits and prepping for publishing.
I talked to some of my gamer friends on Twitter and apparently I’m not alone in this struggle so that makes me feel a bit better. But I just want my brain back! Never thought I’d miss its border collie hyperactivity, but I really do. I have noticed since I’ve been back to work and had to do stuff like make a 1% solution from a 10% solution made from a 37% solution, the fog is lifting even faster. I suppose the best thing for my brain is to get back to gaming. Never in my life have I ever had to force myself to switch on the console…switch it off, yes, but we all know that feeling.
The Witcher 3 on newgame plus has helped since it’s something familiar I love. And I just downloaded Spiderman: Miles Morales which if it’s anything like The Amazing Spiderman should prove fast-paced enough to challenge ye ole noggin. Share with me the games you’d play to get your mind back in fighting shape!
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