Riding the Dragon



Symptoms: Fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, body aches, poor sleep, nausea... I'm in this apartment 23 hours a day. Maybe more on weekends and less when the temp drops below 0. I've been known to sit at my desk staring at the screen with literally no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. Playing the fiddle got weird. Some days it's good, other days I have trouble with my bow hand/arm. The trouble is I can't keep the bow on the road. I chalk it up to stress and broken sleep but none of this is new. 

Last week one of the maintenance guys was outside with a toilet brush. He was getting ready to scrub the toilets in the unoccupied units because they get pretty disgusting damn fast. It's not just evaporation, it's the actual water in the tanks. Full of silt. I don't drink the tap water without putting it through a Britta filter and I'm not sure that's enough. My hair is disgusting. Seriously. It's not that I can't get the soap out, it's the film left behind. 

So, the maintenance guy. We're standing on the sidewalk in front of my unit and he points to my windows and then the windows in other units. My windows are shut and sealed but the others have a fine layer of frost. 'Go outside if it's stuffy', he tells me. Don't leave the damn windows open when the temps drop below freezing and CERTAINLY not when we get into single and negative digits. I agree with the sentiment except why the hell would my neighbors insist on keeping the windows cracked when pipes burst in this building once or twice (or more) in the winter? They're not stupid. I've met them, I just haven't been able to bring myself to ask about the water or the air quality.

One of them saw me hauling in a monster air purifier with a HEPA filter this afternoon and asked:

Have you been living here WITHOUT an air purifier, or you have you just replaced one?

New, I tell him, it's new.

Good. You might start feeling better.

Should I feel bad?

In there? Definitely. 

When I moved in October I spent two of my first four weeks in Cambridge. I didn't feel well to begin with so I didn't really notice the difference between there and here. Doc and I took care of the underlying issues but I still felt like shit. And I didn't travel for three months. I was out of the apartment for 28 hours at the end of last week. My brain cleared, I felt better, and I slept most of the night. To be fair, hotels are safe spaces for me. I almost always sleep better, but the difference between my apartment and the Residence Inn in Cambridge is more than just a good nights sleep. It's better air. I hope.