COVID Journey Day 2
"The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” - Exodus 33:14
It's early morning. The sun is not even out yet. And I cannot sleep. Too scared.
I dozed off for a cat nap and awoke with my typical dry cough but with a new sensation in my chest. Almost burning. Great.
All I could think was, "this is how the end begins". Here is proof my lungs are getting hit hard and I will develop double pneumonia and die. The resulting anxiety left me shivering and wondering. Is this normal? Is this my new normal?
Deep breaths. In 4 through the nose. Out 7 through the mouth. Just like I did on all those turbulent airplanes. All of which landed, by the way. The spell has passed. Fluids helped. Pacing did too. Back to the cat naps.
By the time the sun was mid-sky, I learned a few other dear friends tested positive, while others were on the up side of their journey. Someone else got double pneumonia and was put on a ventilator. Though theirs wasn't COVID, it was a vivid reminder that shallow, anxious breathing is not my friend. I am thankful for the lesson, but also wonder if my future holds some terrifying life lesson for someone else.
In 4. Out 7.
And in between is the advice. Which is why social media exists. It's nice when it isn't ruined by conflicting studies. Also readily available online. Is my immune system really the place to politicize the scientific method over a more democratized, folksy kitchen-sink approach? If I could avoid the possibility of pain, would I chew on some root covered in buffalo piss because it worked for some lucky sap over there? Or let some lab coat hold me back, shouting out the need for more thorough research on roots and republicans? It depends -- do they sell buffalo piss covered roots at Costco? Or do I have to know a guy?
It is said everyone's presentation of COVID is different. That thought makes me feel really alone in all this. So I am grateful in new ways for Rachel's care for me. But we are having to play ships in the night in our own home. I only saw her for about 20 minutes today. My wife of almost 20 years. As I looked on her, I had to fight my basic matrimonial urge to jump across the chasm of our forced solitude. To feel her embrace and know something more than the anxious interior of my own hellish imagination. To know there is someone who cares for me and would do anything for my well-being. Devils be damned. I think I understand what love is now. Her name is Rachel.
Until all this plays out, I have to be the lone explorer to my own disease, pissing myself as I march into a dark night growling out my questions: How do I just let this disease roll over me? How do others do it? Can their experiences apply to me?
I know this much: I have to sleep. I can deal with the spells when I awake.
In 4. Out 7.