Wow! What a week it’s been. Actually, for me, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. You might recall from my Wednesday Lift the week before last that I talked about having a nasty cold and cutting yourself some slack. At the time, a cold is all I thought it was. Turns out, the day after I posted it, I found out it wasn’t a cold, but COVID.
I debated back and forth whether or not to share it. What would people think? Would they see me as reckless? Not taking the pandemic seriously? Yeah, the anxiety of judgement definitely kicked in. But being that the purpose of this blog is showing boldness in the face of anxiety, I kind of have to put my money where my mouth is.
For the record, yes, I do take this pandemic seriously—everyone in our house does. That’s probably why the most common reaction when I told close friends and family members was, “How in the world did you get it?” The simple answer is: I don’t know.
We’ve been hunkered down in the house for the last eleven months, only going out when necessary (i.e., groceries, doctor visits that can’t be virtual, etc.). The kids did return to in-person learning at school, but if one of them brought it home, they were asymptomatic. It’s likely a mystery that will never be solved, but I am grateful for two things: (1) No one else in the house got sick, and (2) My symptoms were very mild.
I still remember being in a state of shock Thursday morning when I was told I tested positive. All my symptoms were literally in my head, while the “classic” COVID symptoms are usually from the neck down. The highest my temperature ever got was 99.1. What prompted me to get tested was one “little” symptom…I noticed I couldn’t smell.
My mind went into overdrive when realization set in. OMG, what do I do? What are the “red flags” that it’s taking a turn for the worse? What about the kids? And school? My mind was flooded, and fear gradually set in. There was one point where I’m like, “Thomas, you know my website passwords, right? This one’s my domain name. This one’s my web host. This one’s WordPress.” It’s comical now, and, honestly, I think Thomas thought it was a little comical then, but I really was worried things would get worse.
One thing that really helped was my doctor recommended we get a pulse oximeter (that’s those things that clip on your finger and tell your blood oxygen saturation). Being someone with anxiety, my mind can go to some not-nice places. COVID is NOT a hoax. It is a deadly virus, and I knew the potential. There were times when I felt short of breath and worried that my breathing was compromised. The pulse oximeter was my comfort. I think the lowest it got was 94 (which is okay considering I was sick), and most of the time it was 96 and higher.
I had to isolate from the rest of the family. I joked that Thomas had to play “single parent” for a while. Then the Texas freeze hit and made an already strained situation worse. I was in isolation when he told me we lost water. Our bedroom has a door to the backyard, so I could leave the house without entering any other rooms. I used that route to help defrost the pipes.
No, it’s not ideal to go outside in freezing temperatures while you have COVID (duh), but we were running out of options. We lost water. We lost heat (thankfully, not for too long). Thomas was running the house by himself with four kids on one side of the house and a wife who was only allowed in the bedroom. He needed support, and I did what I could while keeping with my isolation guidelines so the kids aren’t compromised. Once I was allowed out of the room, I spent the day boiling snow for drinking water. Hey, you do what you gotta do.
It wasn’t easy, but we made it. I’d say we’re stronger for it, but I have no desire to go through any of it again. A tech helped Thomas get the heat restored over the phone that day. We are currently on day 8 with no running water, but we are managing (there are people in Texas that have it MUCH worse than us). By the grace of God, we have a plumber coming out today, so I’m hopeful it will be restored before nightfall (and not too damaging on the pocketbook).
I’m better now. Not 100% but considerably further along. I’ve regained maybe half of my smell and taste…fingers crossed that it will all come back with time. I find myself getting tired if I try to do too much, which is frustrating because I feel so far behind—both with the house and my writing. It’s times like this where I can’t allow my anxiety to take over (and believe me, it wants to). It will take time to catch up, that’s just a fact. How do you eat a tablecloth? Oh, yeah, one inch at a time. I guess all I have left to say is, “Bon appétit.”
‘Til next time!