The last time I was this concerned about getting a debilitating health condition was October 2018 when I missed two moon periods and thought I was pregnant. Whilst many women see this as a happy event, not one to fear, I was scared because each time I’ve been pregnant, I had a life-threatening, rare condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). This is morning sickness x 1,000 and affects only 1% of women. Lucky me had it 3 times, each time pure living hell. I knew I would (and could) not survive such an experience again.
Losing my baby girl.
Today is March 28th 2020 and from what I can see on the news and internet, the Coronavirus is spreading across the world and turning into a pandemic. This respiratory virus has the potential to hone in on the 3-4% of those of us on the sensitive side; especially the immuno-compromised, elderly, diabetics, and asthmatics. I have had pneumonia more than once, twice, three times and know the force …. like a train smack into the lungs, causing incredibly painful constriction of breath.
To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake
is to be continually thrown out of the nest ~ Pema Chodron
I went into quarantine on March 15th 2020, the day after my pulmonogist called to warn that I fit into the category of high-risk persons who would likely struggle to survive if I were exposed. This was back before the mainstream was ordered to stay home more and start wearing masks when out and about; though likely the time when all of us as whole should have been quarantining to slow this collective virus down. Working together to help each other.
I felt nervous because I am a lifelong asthmatic with built-up scar tissue, narrow passages and inflammation in both lungs. I have a type of asthma that is not very responsive to medication (non-eosinophilic asthma) and so though I take anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids I am still susceptible to lung issues. I get a full-blown attack from eating something benign like a carrot …. the medications I take suppress my immune system so I have that against me as well. I have lived with this for years, yet the virus adds to my worries. I also have non-smokers COPD and regular cytokine storms that flare my whole system.
This virus in the air has me vigilant ….
As a result, I had both my kids remain with their fathers for a handful of weeks while I figured everything out. I live in a community where people are in and out of one another’s homes and so I put ‘quarantine sign’ on our door and sent an email to the 33 people living here side-by-side. I did so mindfully, not to project fear, more to put up a boundary of safety, not a border. The science behind this virus has me caring about myself more and for those who are also susceptible.
At the time, I felt uncomfortable for taking such a stance. As though I were overreacting in some way. I am glad I did as I felt safe in home enclosure. I will always be grateful for my husband who burdened the work-load in a way that kept me safe and minimally exposed and over time I too returned to work with a safety protocol in place.
I continue to remain home more than not and wait to see if a new medicine or vaccine will be made that I feel safe taking. Being home has unleashed something primal inside of me and I crave to bake hot sourdough bread, put chicken stock for the freezer, and plant seeds in pots for the ground when thaws.
I ordered bees for the hives, ground endless heads of cabbage for unsalted cultured vegetables, cleaned out spaces un-touched for years, and organized my office to be ready for when the passion strikes! I also became a regular on social media to post for my family and friends.
I am prepared to die, I am prepared to live. If I get this virus my hands are up. I will move with the current. I know no amount of zinc, vitamin C, miso soup, brown rice, reishi, or herbs will help me. I have nearly died 3 times from pneumonia and only survived because of medicine, oxygen treatments, and my sister-in-law who nursed me back to health the last time. Without medicine for this virus, I feel good as dead.
You don’t always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust and let go.
See what happens. ~ Mandy HaleI know the feeling of an elephant sitting on my chest, not budging an inch. I know inhaling deeply. Exhaling? Forget it. I know being trapped in a body and scared to die. Over the years, this part never gets easier. My spirit too strong to succumb, yet feeling my arms rise in surrender for if I get this virus I don’t see a way through. And though I take all the precautions, I am realistic, prepared to LET GO.
Like in 2018 when I thought I was pregnant and about to get HG, I researched this virus, cleaned my boys’ rooms, updated baby books, spoke my truth, and felt my feelings …. raw, unfiltered, ready for what life brings ….. not too shabby a place to be 😉