The last time I was this concerned about coming down with a debilitating health condition was in October 2018 when I missed two menstrual periods and felt certain I was pregnant. Maybe I was or maybe it was the hormonal part of me speaking. Either way for a few weeks I was concerned about getting hyperemesis gravidarum again. I’ve had this rare prenatal condition (affects 1% pregnant women) three times …. each time was pure hell.
From what I can see on the news and internet, the Coronavirus is spreading worldwide. This respiratory virus has the potential to hit the 3-4% of us on the sensitive side (immuno-compromised, elderly, diabetics, asthmatics, etc.) with the force of a train running smack into the lungs, often causing pneumonia and an incredibly painful time breathing without the help of a ventilator.
To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake
is to be continually thrown out of the nest ~ Pema Chodron
I put myself in quarantine on March 15th 2020, well before mainstream America had caught on to do the same, yet likely the time we should have all been quarantining to slow this collective virus down. I am concerned because not only do I have semi-controlled asthma*, I am also prone to rare health conditions that only a few get. This puts me in that 3% of the population, without a doubt.
As a result, both my kids remain with their fathers and I’ve sealed myself from the community in which I live with ‘quarantine signs’ on doors and an email sent to the 29 people living here. I did so mindfully, not out of fear, just out of a need to put up a boundary, not border. At the time, I felt uncomfortable for taking such a stance. Now, less than 2 weeks later, I am so glad I did as I now feel safe in my home.
I still worry though. I often forget what my husband keeps reminding me …. that we are in-isolation to buy time for a new medicine or vaccine to be made; one that my immune system will allow without fuss. So I stay home and bake sourdough bread, make chicken stock for the freezer, plant seeds for when the ground thaws, order bees for our hives, grind cabbage into unsalted cultured vegetables, clean spaces untouched for years, organize my office, and post photos on social media for my boys, family, and friends.
I am prepared to die and prepared to live. If I get this virus my hands are up and I will let myself go with the current as no amount of zinc, vitamin C, reishi extract, or herbs are going to help me with this one. I have nearly died 3 times from pneumonia and respiratory infections and I only survived because of prescribed medicine. Without a medicine for this I am as good as dead (as many people in my situation will be).
I know the feeling of an elephant sitting on my chest – not budging an inch. I know the feeling of inhaling deeply, but exhaling?? Forget about that. I know the feeling of being trapped in my body and scared to die. Over the years, this part never gets easy. My spirit too strong to succumb to such a pull. Yet, with this virus my hands are up and though I am taking precautions not to get this, I am also being realistic and prepared to LET GO.
So, just like in 2018 when I thought I was pregnant and about to come down with HG, a condition that hits like a brick with 24/7 nausea and vomiting for days and months on end, I am researching this virus, cleaning my boys’ rooms, updating their baby books, speaking my truth, and feeling my feelings every moment. I am raw, unfiltered, and ready for whatever life may bring ….. not too shabby a place to be 😉
* My asthma appears immune related and no matter how much corticosteroids and anti-inflammatories I take, I still get asthma flare-ups on a daily basis, often from eating something as benign as a carrot. A recent CAT scan showed built-up scar tissue, narrow passages, and inflammation in both lungs.