Tag Archives: COVID-19

Let Patience Have Its Perfect Work . . .

One of the things that we are learning about this crazy COVID-19 business is that there are almost no exact parameters by which to judge, I wish there were. I wish that there was a test that could tell me when I was infected, who gave it to me, when I infected Blind Linda, and how. I wish that there was a way to tell why some people have a terrible time of it, and even die from it, and then others scarcely have a symptom. It’s very confusing to me why I had certain symptoms, and other people say that they are troubled by other things that are far more impressive than mine ever were.

And now that Daniel and I have both tested negative, and are essentially considered recovered, I look back on our experience with more than a little sense of awe at how well we have fared. I’ve been asked repeatedly how I felt, what was my experience, how I am doing now. I am grateful for the many people who were and are praying for Daniel, Me and Blind Linda. The texts and the prayers and the check-ins and the many kindnesses are overwhelming to me. It’s really hard to believe that people care so much, but it’s very nice.

For this, my heart gives grateful praise.

I do not believe I was in any mortal danger at any point. I almost never had a temperature and the one night that I did, it was very low (100.). I was never short of breath. I did not lose my sense of taste and smell. Sometimes things tasted a little “off,” and I wasn’t very hungry, but I could taste and smell just fine. I was not beset with the more dangerous COVID side effects. I was tired. And grumpy (which for me feels like a serious side effect). One of the harder things for me was that it was necessary for me to care for Blind Linda (since there was no one else) whether I felt up to it or not. The State of Delaware said, “You are going to just need to keep her home, watch for any of the things that would indicate that she is in trouble (i.e. blueish tints to her extremities, vomiting, fever above 100 and pulse oxygen below 90 that doesn’t come up with change of position, difficulty breathing, and anything that appears unusual for her). There is no other way to handle this unless she needs to be hospitalized.” (She has also done fairly well, but at her last recheck, she was still positive.)

It was actually probably good that I had Linda to watch over because, to be honest, without being compelled to move, I don’t know that I would have! The physical thing that troubled me the most was an overriding ache. It was weird, but my skin hurt! It felt like all of my skin was overlaying a bruise. My bones hurt, too, and I walked like an old woman! (I know, I know! I am an old woman!)

Part of that “walking like an old woman” had actually started before I had COVID. Midway through December, I had a sudden, debilitating pain in my left hip one night as I was walking upstairs. The pain was sudden and blinding and disturbingly familiar (at least I thought it felt familiar). It resulted in putting my right foot up a step and then dragging the left one up behind it. It was a sick feeling as I contemplated the fact that there was probably going to be another replacement part in this body of mine that just keeps on letting me down! But I hobbled about, some days better than others, took care of Linda, hoped that things would settle down and prayed. A bunch! For wisdom, for patience with Linda when she was being difficult, for steadiness for the many times when I walk her (me holding both of her hands while I walk backwards) and for cheerfulness when all I really wanted to do was cry and cry and cry. I understand that is another symptom of COVID – being really, really sad. What I didn’t know was that I had another reason for all those emotions — I had another UTI.

“And it came to pass . . .” Through all of these muddled mixed up days, I tried to remind myself of that fact. This wasn’t going to last forever. But there was something that began niggling at the back of my consciousness in a most insistent way. I began to realize that, unless I began to make plans for our Linda-girl, we could find ourselves in a most desperate emergency where I would be unable to care for her, or there would be a bad fall that involved both of us — and we would be “Up Fish Crick Without a Paddle” to quote someone from my past. I was also feeling so weary, and so uncertain as to what would be best, and how I should proceed. As the days passed, and I began to seriously weigh the impacts on my health and the inroads into the life of our family at every turn, and the fact that Linda was needing more care than I was physically able to give, I began to understand that God was nudging me to take action. This was not something that I wanted, and the grief washed over me, almost overwhelming me during those days of pondering and calculating and appraising.

There was another side to this, and I needed to be honest about another side of the question. So, I looked at the many things that we’ve given up over the last few years so that I could adequately care for Linda, and I felt a deep longing for some time to devote to my children and grandchildren, for some time to write, for some time to think, for some time to go away with my husband without thinking of the logistics of Linda’s care. I felt a sudden homesickness for a person that I felt I didn’t even know – The person I would be without the defining role of “caregiver,” and I was more than a little afraid. Who will I be when I end this 35 year career that has been an integral part of my life personally as well as the lives of the people I love most, my family?

The days kept marching on, and with each day came a deeper and deeper clarity to my thinking. I could see many reasons for a change to be made, not just for me and our family, but also for Linda and her family. I began to tenuously broach the subject with Daniel, then my local daughters and finally mentioned it to my extended family. There was unanimous agreement that the time had come to make different plans for Linda, and my family urged me to not delay in getting the ball rolling. The pain in my hip was unrelenting. One day, almost on a whim, I called the office that orchestrated the replacement of my knees 11 years ago and made an appointment with the orthopedic PA. I was surprised that it was barely a week out, and I toyed with the idea of waiting to see what he had to say, but felt compelled to begin the process.

I don’t know what I expected, but the support and kindness and understanding that I have received on every single step along this complicated way has surprised and heartened me. The sense that God’s timing is decidedly ahead of us in all of this blows my mind! The process has started and it feels like an incredible relief, even while I also feel such a deep sense of sadness. Things like this can take a terribly long time, I’ve been warned, (like as much as 6-9 months) but even that is not something about which to be anxious. I told my team on Friday that I know it will take time, but as long as I know they are working on it, I’m fine with it taking some time. My prayer is that God’s hand will be so completely evident in this process that no one involved can miss it. There is so much room for human failure, and this old provider is very aware of my tendency to get into a hurry and make a mess of things.

One of the things that is making the waiting so much easier is that, following a NEGATIVE Covid test on Thursday, I made my way into Premier Orthopaedics (that is how they spell it!) and saw an old friend, Henry Mensack, PA. My worst fears were groundless, and it took him a little bit of no time to diagnose bursitis in my left hip, give me a cortisone shot, reassure me that I’m not in danger of needing a replacement and send me on my way rejoicing. Before any of you become unglued at the mention of a cortisone shot, please don’t judge! The relief was so quick, and so incredible! There are other ways, I know, but physical therapy in our current climate is not an option, and when I first started needing knee surgery, I bought valuable time with cortisone shots. and I’m very content at this point with the results this time around (so far, anyhow). The truth is that, in this situation, it buys me time to care for Linda while plans can be made that are best for her, without that debilitating pain. When I consider all the other factors at this point, that gift alone is providential and life-giving.

For this, my heart gives grateful praise.

And so, once again, I find myself in a place of waiting. It is another good time to “Let Patience Have Its Perfect Work” in my heart as well as my head. I believe that God has a plan. It may not look like I think it will, and it may take longer than I like. I don’t expect it to be uncomplicated or necessarily easy. I do expect that Jesus will walk with me through it, and that on the other side, I will be able to trace His Hand through it all. I believe that His love for Linda is no less than His love for me. He is to be trusted.

Please pray for us. And stay tuned for the story!

My heart gives grateful praise!

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