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Forgotten Broccoli: Sitting Down for Dinner with My Post-COVID Brain Fog

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

28 Days Later

I thought I could manage preparing dinner. Preparing is a somewhat generous word. The "preparing" I did consisted of cutting up a few chicken breasts to throw on a sheet pan, microwaving some of those mashed potatoes that you find in the grocery store somewhere between the Lunchables and the refrigerated Perdue chicken nuggets that whisper as you walk by, "your kids will like you more if you buy me," and some simple steamed broccoli. Water in the pan. Vegetable steamer basket on top. Alexa set a timer. Ok, so far so good. I'm improving, I insist to myself.

The timer goes off. I lift the lid to the steamer basket and steam fills the air in the kitchen. "Wait, where's the.....uh, where's the broccoli?", I ask my mom, puzzled. I stare at the empty steamer, open the fridge and the broccoli is sitting there untouched. I had heated up everything I needed to make the broccoli, minus the broccoli.

I sit with the frustration and anxiety from these brain zaps for a few moments before my emotions shift to embarrassed laughter. This "Dude Where's My Car?" pattern repeats in various scenarios throughout the day. Between that and constant blurred vision, back pain, and digestive issues this day was a cluster already.

Several minutes later not only have I abandoned the now actually cooking broccoli, I find myself dizzy and nauseous, lying on the kitchen floor squinting up at the ceiling light that's feels like some jerk coming at me with his highbeams on a dark country road. I want to punch it in the face, I mean if it had a face to punch. My Mom gets me a cold cloth for my forehead and a bowl, you know, just in case, and I lay there feeling like a child who craves false reassurance that nothing can harm them because mom is there to protect them.

What if tomorrow is the same? If so, it is what it is.

But maybe tomorrow will be better and those inches towards recovering, those are my silver lining.

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