A pandemic. How is one supposed to react in a global health crisis? I’ve watched the news and numbers rise, I’ve panicked, I’ve let anxiety creep in. With my hands chapped from obsessively washing, I’ve sheltered in place for WEEKS, not even leaving my neighborhood. Why had it been so hard to follow my past advice of FAITH OVER FEAR?? How could I get back to the trust that I had just six weeks prior?
When I have a question, it’s not long until life gives an answer. That answer came last weekend. I found myself on Saturday not feeling quite right. My Apple Watch proved something was off with a high heart rate. I also noticed a dull, constant pain in my side. After monitoring with some Tylenol, I knew what I had to do. I drove myself to the Emergency Room, abiding by the current rules of no visitors or extra support. By the end of the night I was diagnosed with an infection in my colon and mild sepsis, earning me a stay in the hospital overnight.
Sunday morning, I watched the sunrise through my hospital room window. I had been so careful to stay in place, to socially distance… but it didn’t matter. I was in our local hot spot. Every medical worker wore a mask the entire day, every tv station mentioned the virus, there was no escaping it. It was time to face it and I realize that it is what it is. I could have let myself cripple with fear and emotions in that moment. But watching the skies turn pink, I realized that there will always be tough times, that’s nothing new given what I’ve been through in past years. But just as before, it’s what we learn in those tough times that make it worth it. It’s the strength we gain and the knowledge given. Here’s what I’m taking with me going forward:
1. First, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! I’m so glad my Apple Watch was a tool to monitor what I felt was wrong. But I’m thankful that I’m in tune with how my body works. Are there things I want to change? Of course! But I still know the body I’m in. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s my responsibility. It’s mine.
2. Did that previous anxiety help anything? NOPE. Worrying did nothing. I still ended up sick and in the hospital. Sweet and simple: I can only do what I can do and I know God’s got the rest.
3. Even if you’re up against a challenge you have to face alone, your support system will get you through. I was loved from afar. Adam and Charlie made me a sign and came to “visit” outside of my hospital window. My mom and sister brought me clothes to the front desk and picked me up at discharge. Even though I had to be strong and do my part, they leaned in and gave a nudge to keep me going. I am, and always will be, so grateful for my tribe ♥️
4. Kindness goes a long way. For anyone. Anytime. The nurses simply appreciated my please and thank you’s. Colleagues around the country appreciate a check-in email. I’ve texted “have a great day” to each of my DoorDash delivery drivers. This can be stressful for all of us, so I’ve learned a smile or a small gesture goes such a long way. AND… it’s easy!
This week has been so refreshing post-hospital stay. I’ve relaxed, I’ve slept better, I play with Charlie. I handle all that I can and I don’t sweat the rest. And when we’re all on the other side of this virus, I’ll be thankful for my time in the hospital. I’ll be thankful for my lessons learned.