It's so good to be back. I was a bit nervous about coming back because when you've been sick for three weeks unable to stay awake for long periods and feeling so crap, it's hard to imagine how you'll ever get up at 3am again.
But as it turns out I was so nervous about being able to wake up at 3am, that my body never actually went to sleep, always the way isn't it.
So I'll be having a big nana nap today.
I was feeling so terrible about being off work so long - I feel very deeply my obligation to my audience and it's a dreadful feeling to not feel well enough to show up for you.
They say the key to Covid and flu recovery is rest, rest, rest. My doctor kept saying rest, rest and then when you think you've rested enough, rest some more.
That's because everyone who has bounced back too early has gone back to square one and I've been sent so many horror stories from you guys about Covid turning into Influenza A, like mine did, and how long it took to come back from that.
Some of you are still suffering even after a month. It's the pits, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I don't think I've ever felt so sick. It's hard when you get Covid, and it's brutal when others – not naming names (my husband) get it and say, "oh it's a non-event!"
It's a unique virus, we all suffer it differently and I am here to say to every single person struggling with it or the fallout from it, I hear you, I feel you. I feel your pain.
I of course went and got the triple whammy of Covid, plus flu, plus the Covid reactivated my glandular fever virus from when I was a teenager.
Fun fact: that virus lies dormant after you've had it, but Covid can kick start it – and in fact it's kick starting it for a lot of people – it's a big issue at the moment according to the medical fraternity, so I unluckily enough, got smacked with the trifecta. Hence, such a long time sick.
Not that I want to go on about it, but honestly, so sick that even shower water against my skin hurt. Everything ached. That's inflammation for you.
But I've learned from my illness some good lessons. One, not to ask sick people every day if they're feeling better yet, because it gets quite depressing when you're not. Physically, I was a wreck, but mentally I began to go downhill too, because I just wasn't getting better. Second thing I learned was don't ask sick people "do you need anything?" The answer will always be no.
No one ever wants to bother anyone, so don't ask, just do. Thirdly I thought I was an empathetic person already, but I have empathy in spades now for anyone suffering any kind of sickness, to feel so debilitated and discombobulated and unable to control your own health outcome. That is a terrifying and awful feeling. I also learned we're not as invincible as we think we are.
So it's good to be back, and I want to thank everyone who messaged me on my Instagram or emailed me and sent me well wishes or recovery tips and tricks, I so appreciated it. I have the best audience, and the best bosses in the biz too who were so supportive and kind, and for that I'm so grateful. And to Tim and Andrew who filled in for me. It takes a village, thank you.
So onwards and upwards from here, let's hope I stay awake.
• Kate Hawkesby hosts Early Edition on Newstalk ZB