The last time I was this concerned about a health issue was October 2018 when I’d missed two menstrual periods and felt very much pregnant. Though excited, I was realistic at 44 years old and having put the boys’ baby clothes away and most importantly endured a serious prenatal condition in all three of my previous pregnancies which had me flat out with dizziness, nauseated, and vomiting around the clock. I couldn’t endure another pregnancy and felt nervous to be possibly so.
Today is March 28, 2020 and the news hot focused on coronavirus, which is coming closer to the United States where I live. I have been listening to the governor’s updates and feel secure knowing I live in a pocket of the world where clean water, healthy soil, and good people are abound. I feel relieved to know the decisions I have made this far have me in a safe, green, aware place.
While I never experienced a pandemic, I have experienced respiratory distress and knowing this virus can cause a lung infection, which has no cure at the moment nor vaccine to prevent, makes me nervous. The idea of contracting the virus and potential residual effects in my lungs has me feeling very vigilant.
As a mother of children who live part-time with their fathers in different households with family’s of their own, I need to stay aligned and on track with them. These days I feel the cobweb of life more then ever and the stickiness of this situation we are all in. My ultimate goal is to keep myself minimally – if at all – exposed to this virus and to keep my family together.
We are each very individual in how we relate and approach the world and this virus in the air ties us together in ways we must care for one another and how the other is doing. I feel this responsibility myself.
The coronavirus can cause respiratory infections like COVID-19 and though mostly affects elderly and those with heart issues, people with compromised immunity or respiratory issues are also susceptible. I fit into the latter categories. My immune system is lower because the corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory medication I take on a daily basis to keep my lungs open and inflammation there down. I also always seem to be the one to get the rare, weird health issues so why not this one?
I was 8 when diagnosed with an untreatable form of asthma and since nearly died 3 times from pneumonia. I fear losing more function in my lungs as I have non-smokers copd from built-up scar tissue in my airway passages and worry I’ll get infected and there will be nothing I can take for relief. I know the burning strain and elephant like pressure when lungs get infected and I don’t want to go there. Only reason I didn’t die from pneumonia is because I got antibiotics, which won’t help with this virus. SO I am nervous all around right now…..
I purchased a number of masks (this one’s my fave as I wear glasses) and have an N95 for my work with new mothers. I will continue to do all I can to minimize exposure and will get the vaccination once one developed. This too floods me with uncertainty as I have not received a vaccine since my twenties when I traveled overseas and neither of my boys have received a vaccine of any sort.
To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake
is to be continually thrown out of the nest ~ Pema Chodron
My pulmonogist/lung specialist called this week to say I fit into the category of “high-risk persons” meaning I will be more likely to struggle if I were to be exposed to coronavirus. The kind of asthma I have does not respond well to medication (non-eosinophilic asthma), so even though I take anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids I am still susceptible to lung issues. My body is so sensitive that even a benign food like a carrot puts me in a full-blown asthma attack.
My kids are staying with their dads as we figure out how to pass them back n forth safely. The community I live in is one where everyone is in and out of each other’s homes, so I put a ‘quarantine sign’ on our door so others know the level of care we are bringing to this.
Boundaries of safety, not borders.
I felt uncomfortable to share my concerns as I did not want to draw attention to my health issue. I’ve always been in the closet about my asthma and awkward to be seen as overreactive. I did speak out as I am concerned and want to feel safe when home. I’m grateful for my husband as he burdens the load of going-to-work in a safe way and I get our household in order for the kids to return and get a protocol in place so that I can return to my work with new mothers which entails a fair amount of blood and risk of exposure.
I have stayed home for days on end now, only going out to bring in wood and hike the trails on our land. I love this quiet, being in a cocoon in my round home. Being home has unleashed a force inside me so wildly feminine and primal that I am baking hot loaves of sourdough, cooking bones down from the freezer into chicken stock, and planting seeds in indoor pots waiting for the ground to thaw.
I ordered bees, ground endless heads of cabbage into unsalted cv’s, cleaned parts of the house that haven’t been touched since we built the place, and organized my office to be ready for a writing passion to strike. I printed out a year’s worth of photos to go into albums. I feel bursting with desire to make home and settle in; to put life in order.
In this early stage of learning the science behind the coronavirus and how various pockets of people are susceptible, I feel more inquisitive about the meaning of life and how we are all one. I am ready to make choices in life that bring harmony, order, and awareness.
Tell me, what it is you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?
If I get this virus I will surrender. I will move with the current and go where I am taken. Having experienced near-death and watching both my father and baby girl die I know how quickly life goes. This has me acting and living with more presence.
I find myself on the living room couch when the afternoon light streams in through the windows; capturing the moment, sinking in deeper into quiet. I never felt more in love with my home and clearly see all I envision here coming to life with my attention and time. I’ve always been a homebody, even as a girl tending my plants and guinea pigs and putting order to my bedroom. No doubt, from all those years attending Montessori school!
These days I am rooting in at a depth I have never done before; letting go to plant myself into a place much bigger then I. An innate craving satisfying to satisfy. Always I’ve been an ocean girl. I grew up by the sea and when I moved to Vermont in 2007 I felt claustrophobic and swallowed up by the mountains and valley. For years I felt out of place, missing the vast open water line and walking the edge of the earth feet buried in the sand. A couple years ago though I smack fell in love with the green mountain state and with my home in the woods.
Love where you live, live your life, love the life you live.
Like in 2018 when I thought I could be pregnant and terrified to get HG, here I sit on the precipice of a multitude of feelings, leaping in, ready for what’s next. Nervous also excited and curious for growth. Moving through fears of what I am no longer in control of. Having faith in those around me to keep one another safe during this time where one person may have more fears then another. Trusting humanity and the level of attention we are each capable of bringing to the table to benefit the growing of the whole of us together.
In the meantime, I am perfecting a raw chocolate recipe, oink oink
You don’t always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, and let go.
See what happens.
May all bellies be happy!