A hospital is a strange place to be when you are very sick. When you feel nothing like yourself. Everyone does the best they can but your heart calls for home. The worst in COVID times is from 8 PM to 8 AM. You’re alone in the backless uniform, an uncomfortable bed, arms shackled with tubes, staring at the walls because you can’t sleep. Strange noises. Pain is too much. Like an annoying prankster it refuses to relent.
In these moments you find your center, your strength, your hope, and faith. There really are only two choices. Up or down. You whisper your sins, send your love, and make promises. Then ride it out. There’s a clock to the upper right and the ticks are loud and slow. Time stands still and the strange thing is when you feel so bad you can’t imagine it ending. It consumes and laughs at your daydreams.
An IV is your lifeline for nearly 7 days. Nothing else. You watch your frame melt. Wonder where muscles go. Get queasy at the sight of Jello and the smell of hand sanitizer, yet long for Jersey Mike’s. Makes no sense, but through it all there is a part of you straight, true, and steadfast. Too much to do… So much to do….
Home. You finally get to go home. The sun is brighter than you remember. Life is louder. Home and its memory, the holograms of holidays, homecomings, and family just being. Smiles, quivering lips, and wagging tails.
The healing begins. You gain a bit more of yourself. Your pooch stays with you all night. Checks on you when you stir. Everyone knows. Everyone waits. Little steps…
And the nights are different. Because you’re home. Time stands still but it’s ok. You hear the whispers of those who care and wish you well. You whisper your gratitude. Tired or not. Pain or brief respites. Your center, your strength, your hope and faith hold you and you feel… alive.