Great, so my sister almost died and I had COVID-19.
First, the Miracle
I got a call on a Monday that my sister who lives out of state had an aneurysm. She said that she had gone to the emergency room with a sore back and that x-rays showed an aneurysm in a main artery near her heart. She wasn’t quite ready to be admitted to a hospital for surgery, imprisoned away from her family due to COVID restrictions in hospitals, so they made her sign a waiver and told her she should come back that night. She was given a 20% chance to live, with a 40% chance if she had the surgery. She left and didn’t return for a few days. As I talked to my mom and then my sister I felt panic that I would never see her again. I immediately called my husband and we made a plan to jump in the car and begin the 13-hour drive.
If you have read anything about me, you know that I am Christian and I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many prayers were said for my sister and on Tuesday we gathered as a family with my mom, sisters and their families. My husband and brother-in-law administered a special blessing of healing for my sister. We had to head back home and were only able to stay one day, but it was so good to see my sister, especially if there was any chance that it was the last time. We said our goodbyes and traveled home on Wednesday. By Thursday, my sister called and said that the additional imaging scan showed an enlarged artery that needed to be monitored, but the bulge was gone and she no longer needed immediate surgery! With all of the miracles of prayer that I’ve witnessed, I am still always amazed at the amazing love of our Heavenly Father who knows us and loves us and listens to the prayers and desires of our hearts.
The Beginning of My Covid Decline
On Friday, as I was sitting at my desk at my office, I suddenly felt chills, a headache, body aches, and a tickle in my throat. I told my assistant to be careful since I wasn’t feeling well and she left. I called my husband on my way home. He met me in the garage with not one, but two thermometers before I was allowed to pass. He’s so cute. I didn’t have a fever, so he let me in! I went downhill quickly. I didn’t know anyone with COVID, but I did know several people with a cold that had tested negative and I hoped for the best while quarantining in the bedroom. I continued to check my temperature and still didn’t have a fever…until Saturday night. Sunday morning I got up and went to get tested.
We had a planned family breakfast on that Sunday where all the kids families and their mom came over while I stayed in the bedroom away from everyone, especially the grandkids with the youngest being only a couple months old.
By Monday, I still had a dry cough, but the aches, chills, and headache subsided, so I thought I was home-free and on the mend. Monday afternoon, I checked the medical app I had downloaded hoping I would finally find relief and move on about my life. It was positive for COVID! I got teary eyed and handed my phone to my husband, who quickly started contacting people. Apparently, I had picked up COVID somewhere on the trip. I texted the whole family that had been there the day before and some of them were able to get tested right away. I heard panic and frustration in the responses, but they later turned to a few that wished me well and quick healing.
A health department designee contacted me and told me that I had to look back to the two days prior to any symptoms and contact everyone I had been in contact within six feet for longer than 15 minutes. It started Friday, but I worried that I had exposed my mom who is 78 years old, or my sister with the aneurysm only one day earlier. I thought of my daughter that had a small homecoming event with friends that weekend and whether they had been exposed. I thought of my assistant at work, my grandkids, my husband and kids with asthma. I panicked and cried as I spent days on calls and texting.
My son and his family (currently living in our basement), my husband, and our youngest daughter at home all quickly got tested. Others in the family were tested over the next few days and every one of them were negative! What a blessing! I got to spend the next 7 days in isolation as well, while the family quarantined together. It sucked. I continued to feel better while I worked in my home office every day. My friends and clients were sweet to send flowers, chocolates, and care packages. They really are the best! No word or follow up came from my immediate family other than to let me know that they were negative. In times like this, it does make one stop and look at who shows care and concern in times of need.
The following week, I returned to work when the health department notified me I could. I couldn’t put in the longer days that I was used to. There was a lingering dry cough and I still felt tired, but by Wednesday I worked a 14-hour day due to deadlines and feeling pretty good. Thursday my cough got worse and different. It wasn’t a dry cough and since I had pneumonia 6 months before, I feared the worst. I left work by 5:30 pm and went to bed early thinking I just overdid it the day before. Friday was worse. I went to the doctor and due to my history of pneumonia, he prescribed an antibiotic. Three of my friends that were aware, kept checking in on me. My husband wasn’t home that night, although he checked in from afar. My son went to the store to get me medicine and supplements and checked in on me regularly. I honestly wasn’t doing very well. Again, all of my friends that knew checked in on me regularly. While I laid there wondering if I would need to go to the emergency room, I thought about the people in my life that are always there for me. Even though I didn’t want to, I couldn’t help but also think of the people in my family that knew I was sick and never checked in on me, even once.
Thoughts During Challenging Times
In my other posts, I’ve talked about how I’ve had the pleasure of raising five stepkids along with my two kids in our own household. I always thought, or hoped, that those years would extend to close relationships as the kids became adults, but I really feel like that isn’t how it is turning out. It’s hard to know, since our kids have totally different belief systems and the stepkids are all gamers while I’m not, so we have different interests. However, this was the second time this year that I was VERY sick and I would have thought that they would show a little more concern for me. My husband believes that they are just young adults that assume that he and I are the ones that take care of everyone, so they don’t really think to take care of us because we have each other. That might be true. Maybe my friends and clients are just so awesome that they make my kids look bad! Who knows?
I do know that just because someone doesn’t seem to be concerned, things might look different if I was in the hospital or had something even more life threatening like an aneurysm. These are just feelings that I’m sharing…things that just come up when we have trials in our lives.
I am reminded by my sisters that don’t have blended families that they experience the same things with their young adult children. Thinking back, I’m sure I wasn’t the most thoughtful young adult either. The truth is that these are also thoughts that we all have even when our families aren’t blended.
Stay safe and healthy out there and maybe one day we won’t remember what life was like during a pandemic. Until then, let’s all be mindful of people in need of our healing thoughts, prayers, or even simple texts to let them know we care. We can make it through Covid together.