It was mid-January when Covid 19 hit my whole household and everyone in it, but my mom, with a destructive cyclone that was meant to throw even the toughest warrior, ‘me,’ off my feet. My rock bottom moment had arrived, and I said to myself that I am going to proclaim that what I was currently living in was a version of that Carrie Underwood song, “Jesus Take the Wheel.” However, that wheel needed to go turbo speed instead of drifting slowly along, that’s until my faith tested me to the max. Much like living with MS, navigating the unpredictable can make you feel broken, so what happens then if you can’t give into rest and are faced with a mountain that you can’t climb? You know, like the ‘Everest,’ of mountains? I first saw a glimmer of that mountain in November after my mom had Covid 19 and I needed to care for her and keep her isolated. I never caught Covid 19 at that time and anyone else, my family was spared. Now, we are mid-January, and I somehow found the strength to push through the second battle of it with this, ‘Everest,’ of a mountain ahead. But I laid down my so-called sword and surrendered to it all when I stopped suddenly caring for everyone and I succumbed to Covid 19 as well. As I write this entry, I am on Day 13 from testing positive and over the contagious phase, but still testing positive. This is my first and I pray the only time I will make an entry in my now, ‘Rona’ Diary as I call it.
The background of it is that I am fully vaccinated and boosted because of my Multiple Sclerosis and because I take the immunosuppressant therapy called, ‘Ocrevus,’ for it, the medication depletes certain B cells. Your B cells in of themselves are the memory making cells that are tied into your antibody response to any and all viruses and play a key role in the body’s response to vaccines. But let’s back up if you will….
I got boosted on January 10th, 8 days before Covid 19 got me. Upon my positive test in the ED, I soon went back to the ED a few days later because it caused an MS flare weakening the right side of my body along with an unbearable cough, swollen and bleeding gums (first sign I had of Covid 19) which made it hard to eat and maintain my diet. Oh, and did I mention crippling, drenching night sweats for 5 nights? But thankfully it didn’t take a hold of my lungs and the Pfizer booster I had got me past the need for staying there due to pneumonia, which thankfully I never developed. So, I went home from the ED and in those 11 days home with Covid, it got way harder. Everyone in my house had a triad of emotions, sick of the four walls in isolation and anxiety took over my daughter as she was so scared that if I got worse, I wouldn’t come home if I went to the hospital again. Those are NEVER words I want to hear again. I started to document pictures because I wanted to do just a picture album entry of my journey with Covid (I added a few of those pictures at the end of this blog entry). I wanted to capture how this virus affected me with my MS, the good, the bad and the ugly so to speak. Honestly, in all 12 years of having MS, this Covid virus was the hardest battle yet, or was it? I suddenly felt there would be more to all of this.
So, what does one do to get better?
For me, I prayed on my knees a few times; I prayed at my daughter’s bedside for Jesus to take her worries away. I rested all I could and hydrated myself trying to push through housework once out of isolation and made myself get up and down out of bed trying to keep my body mobile and strong. And I cried, oh how I cried from the emotional toll I was coping with, but along the way a newfound appreciation for my family as a whole including my mom. It was our first ever whole family viral infection situation. The beautiful in it all was that I laughed more intentionally. I played more with my daughter when I could to keep her from becoming emotionally drained from the situation we were in, and I set my mindset on being purposeful with my time. I cuddled my pup more, watched TV and movies that were only ones to make me laugh. I poured into the presentation of my food on the trays I brought into my husband, my daughter and my mom who were all in separate rooms, writing them notes on each tray I made. I never thought I would enjoy the love that all of Corinthians 13 expressed in the Bible in many ways throughout my days at home with the virus. It was so hard to keep going taking care of everyone when I had Covid too. I felt awful. I had MS on top of the Covid and I struggled deeply. I had to keep mom isolated as well so she couldn’t help because I didn’t want her to get ill. Then…I left again from home, and it all changed.
I was surprised by the fear and the emotional turmoil I felt over being there in the ED yet again and then transferred to another hospital. The Covid precautions with the private room were so isolating. The profound sadness crippled me. The loneliness I felt and not understanding why some people are okay when they have Covid, and others are not. How did I become so traumatized by Covid? I am not sure how I kept it together. I remembered back to being at home with Covid and how I gave up my bed before I got Covid so my husband could isolate and then I gave everyone their own rooms and I slept in the living room with the dog on the floor. I became sick soon after too and remained a nurse at home through it all. I just kept serving my family. Then it hit me in a different perspective when someone online said to me there was a quote that inspired them. I do not have the quote word for word so I will paraphrase, but it went something like, ‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far.’ So, I decided after reading that in that moment I would FIGHT.
Now, I am inpatient in a hospital far from home about an hour away and receiving a gram (1,000ml) of Solumedrol a day through my port because my MS took a massive hit from Covid. I am writing this because I am on the edge, restless and exhausted. Steroids are the worse. You feel like a million bucks then you crash like having the biggest hangover of your life but say you throw having the flu into the mix too. The biggest lesson I came to here in my stay is to not go to bed angry, be patient (that’s a hard one for me) with each other, do your best because that is all anyone would want. Wear all the roles in your life well and do them with love. Lastly control your thoughts because they will overwhelm you if you do not. This virus can take you do a low point emotionally because for a while I thought I may become part of the statistics. After a blood test to my shock, my Covid antibodies are O due to being on my MS treatment, ‘Ocrevus.’ If you get Covid I pray it’s minor for you, but it can go the other way you know. Remember that God is in IT with you. And in your lowest moments remember you are loved; someone out there misses you and is there for you. So do not be afraid to ask for help because either way, YOU GOT THIS.
Some of my pictures from my picture diary of having Covid: