For the past week, showering has been one of my biggest accomplishments. Today wasn’t very different, other than managing to take my pup for a short walk up the street and being able to breathe through my nose for most of today. I count these things as wins.
My phone rang, and I recognized the number immediately- the doctor’s office. I had sent them a message through the patient portal earlier this morning, but wasn’t anticipating a phone call in response.
“Hi, this is J from Dr. G’s office. I got your message and thought I would give you a call to check in on you and see how you were doing.”
I was at a loss for words at first, I wasn’t expecting a phone call. I cleared my throat and explained that I’m hanging in there and feeling a little better today. I couldn’t believe she was calling just to make sure I was okay.
“Have you had COVID before? Or is this your first time?”
I told her that no, I hadn’t had COVID before that I was aware of. And if I did, I must have been asymptomatic. It still felt weird to say it out loud; I have COVID.
“Wow, you’re one of those few people who held on until the end, huh?”
I did. I held on until the end…. the end… I sure hope it is. I held on by doing my very best to follow every protocol. I held on by masking when I’m supposed to, I held on by washing and sanitizing my hands until my fingers have been raw. I held on having my college graduation ripped away from me. I held on after my body ached from the initial vaccination. I held on through my first year teaching in a pandemic. I held on trying to help little humans understand what a pandemic is while also trying to teach them how to be human during one. I held on not seeing loved ones for over a year. I held on through crippling anxiety and dark depression. I held on through it all until my body finally gave up. It had been two years of holding on until I couldn’t any longer.
I could have rattled off my list to the kind nurse of just how hard I’ve held on, along with the rest of the world. But instead, I sighed and agreed that yes, I suppose I did. I thanked her for her kindness after she gave me some tips and recommendations, and we said our goodbyes.
It wasn’t long before I returned to the pink plush blanket I’ve been holding onto for the last four days. As I curled up underneath it, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in. Just keep holding on.