It’s been an interesting week at Shady Acres.
Some of you are aware that when the virus started back in March, our adult children were very directive with us about staying home, and their intentions if we didn’t at least do our parts to be safe. And yes, we did have one of those offspringin’s threaten to “come over there and steal all the batteries and slash all the tires if Dad can’t figure out how to stay home!” Daniel and I talked it over and we decided that we were going to listen to our adult children, and that we would do our best to be careful, not just because they said so, but also because of Blind Linda, who is quite compromised at any given moment even without a virulent strain of the Coronavirus. I made the decision in early March to keep her out of her day program, and we’ve been given much grace in the months since then.
On Christmas Eve, Daniel started feeling like he was getting a head cold. His nose was stuffy and he was tired. He kept falling asleep during our Family’s Christmas Eve Zoom gathering, and I was concerned. His daughters wanted him to go get checked, but the next day was Christmas, and then it was the weekend, and he thought he was feeling a lot better. However, when Deborah needed to be tested on Monday morning for her job at Hospice, we prevailed upon him to go and get tested as well. 28 hours later we received the results and Daniel was positive for COVID-10.
“It’s a false positive,” he intoned over and over again. “I just don’t feel sick enough. Haven’t lost my sense of taste or smell, I’m not short of breath, don’t have a temperature, no sore throat, no cough, no nothing! I just think it’s a false positive!”
Well, of course I needed to report his positive test to the state of Delaware because of Blind Linda, and they said I had to take her and myself and go be tested the next day (Wednesday, the 30th). Now I was feeling a little “off” but I kept thinking that the imagination is a very strange thing, and I am highly susceptible to the power of suggestion. You know, it’s like, “Does my throat maybe hurt a little bit?” (Swallow, swallow). “I think maybe my throat does hurt a little bit!” (Swallow, swallow.) “Yep, pretty sure that my throat is getting right sore, and it feels like I have a tickle starting in my chest!” (Cough, cough!) “I believe I just might have COVID, in fact I’m sure I do!” So since I know that I’m prone to that sort of negativity and imagination, I decided that I would nor imagine anything for Linda or myself until we had the test results. Since they were done on Wednesday, I expected them back on Thursday.
And so we went about our business, and I moved to the spare room so that Daniel would have the master bed all to himself and I wouldn’t have to worry about catching anything from him (if I hadn’t already) and maybe we could both get some sleep. Deborah brought over a pulse-ox monitor, and some alcohol wipes and a temporal thermometer for me to use with Linda. The state asked me to keep track of levels at least twice a day (I knew that I’d be checking a lot more often than that) and to go into the hard quarantine mode immediately. The first day Linda’s oxygen levels hovered around the low 90’s, but they have consistently been above 95 since, and she has never had a temp that registered about 100. And since her temp is often fluctuating, I didn’t know if that was a symptom or not. She was extremely grumpy, though, so much so that I said that she maybe didn’t have COVID-19, but I was pretty sure that she had “GRUMPYCOMPLAINT-2020!!!
When the days kept passing by with no results, I became even more confident that we were going to be fine. The results are usually back in a max of 48 hours. We did have a holiday, but in speaking to someone at headquarters, I was told that they were not stopping for a holiday or anything, but rather working on through. I also thought that, due to the seriousness of the pandemic, they would hustle the positive results out faster. However, we kept on staying home, keeping to ourselves and Daniel kept mumbling something about “false positives,” and was as busy as ever with his farm and his yard and his chickens.
Around 5:00 this evening, there were two quick messages on my cell phone and our results were in. I checked them both, feeling a strange mixture of anxiety and relief, There it was, plain as day, Both of us tested positive for the virus. Yes! Both Linda and I have COVID-19. Now what? Well, for the most part we are going to do what we’ve been told to do, get lots of rest, drink lots of water, keep track of the oxygen levels and the temperatures. I’m going to see to it that Linda doesn’t just sit, (It’s important to keep moving) and I plan to keep on being active in my usual household things — and I plan to pray and ask others to pray as well. There’s a great cloud of witnesses who care and will help us bear this burden, and we’ve already had phenomenal expressions of care and tangible gifts of food, texts, and even a state of the art air filter. God’s hands and feet in the form of people who love us is overwhelming.
At this point, it looks like it could be a fairly light case for all three of us, but I’ve been warned that things can change in a very short time. I do not feel panicky or frantic, but I have a deep respect for the scientific research behind this pandemic, and it is nothing to ignore or take lightly. There are a lot of heartbreaking stories that we are hearing every day, and the stories are far from over. As God’s people, may we be known as prayer warriors and encouragers. I promise, there are never too many of either.
I love you all – please pray for us!
~Mary Ann for the Shady Acres Crew