The next few blog posts will be tied to the recent experience I had with Covid Pneumonia. Love is a word that I’ve not really understood most of my life. Due to the abuse that I went through for many years in my younger and teenage years had really distorted my understanding of love and honestly, I hadn’t learned to love myself over all of these years so I wasn’t able to receive and feel real love. Over the last couple of years this is something that I’ve been working on - learning to love myself and opening my heart. I’ve been very blessed with a lot of healing: understanding love, showing love and receiving love.
There were many days throughout my sickness that I wondered if I could hold on. It was super difficult. The hardest thing I’ve been through in my life. There were so many emotions tied to this experience due to losing my dad from the same things in August. I’ve told Rick many times that I can’t get that sick again, I know I don’t have the strength to beat it a second time. Even the recovery over the last few weeks and processing everything has been extremely difficult - more than I could have imagined.
The other night Rick was sitting on the couch and I was sitting in the recliner right next to the couch. This is how things were a lot throughout my sickness. Rick would sleep on the couch and me in the recliner. He would come and sit next to me and hold my hand and squeeze it and I would squeeze back - it was honestly at times all I could do to communicate with him. This was where he would wake up every 20 minutes to me screaming out and needing to be sat up and he would be so patient and help me. There were times he would sit on the floor next to the recliner and tickle my back for comfort. The other night I told Rick that him holding my hand and tickling my back were such a comfort through such an awful time. He also tolerated my super grumpiness. I didn’t want to take the bites of food that he offered me. I didn’t want to drink what he tried to get me to drink. I didn’t want to have my oxygen tested at times. He held the bags for me as I threw up, because I didn’t have strength to get to the restroom and things were happening so quickly. Rick’s acts of love were endless to keep me alive. I couldn’t list everything that he did. He kept me alive!
Then for Rick he is super grateful for my doctor and his nurse that stayed in constant communication with Rick every single day. They answered all of Rick’s questions and then they would check in daily to see how I was doing. It’s my doctor that advised him to take me to the hospital, which I know was a part of my healing process - allowed us to find out exactly what I had. They helped Rick adjust my medications and what to do each day to care for me. There was great love shown from my doctor and his nurse.
My boys. . .wow! I can’t even describe how much love they showed me. Though they couldn’t be by me or around me they would make sure to tell me that they loved me every day, many times, even when I wasn’t very coherent. They were very loving and patient and didn’t complain about the life changes they had to make through all of this time. The night I came home from the hospital Tanner was so worried about my oxygen that he got up, came downstairs and checked my oxygen about every 30 minute throughout the night. He wanted to make sure I was still breathing. I heard from my married kids and they would let me know that they loved me and would communicate frequently. They participated in giving me Priesthood Blessings with great precautions. The day I went to the hospital, the tears, the fear, the family prayer - the list goes on. I’m so grateful for the love of my family.
Then there’s all of my siblings and my mom. Since they had been through all of this with my dad, mom and my sister they had suggestions and tips for Rick. They brought so much over and left things on the door and supported Rick in so many ways. My brother, who is the coupon king, let me know that he paid full price for stuff for me - that’s ultimate love. My mom was in constant communication with Rick and doing all she could to help, love and support. My family sent messages of love and support.
Then my family in Washington. They sent me beautiful flowers that were yellow, bright and happy. Everytime I opened my eyes I would see them and they would brighten my day - I’d smile. Then a package arrived with a bunch of Dollar Store items to cheer me up. They were super supportive and showed so much love daily.
The acts of love and kindness are so far reaching. A friend sent me a couple of books - one that she knew I would want and one that she knew I would love. Sometime throughout the time I was sick my door was heart attacked with so many sweet and kind messages on hearts. Then on my window there were hearts taped so that I could see the messages from inside. Yes, I wasn’t able to read the hearts until I got better, but Rick shared the messages with me. A very cute balloon that was brought in my home was left on our door too. The sisters in our ward - oh my gosh - they brought in meals for 2 weeks to our family. That was such a huge blessing for our family. It was a huge relief for Rick where he was trying to hold down the home and a brand new job and save me. Rick’s mom brought in a dinner for us too. His family touched base with him often to see how I was doing. A good friend, who had covid in December, thought a smoothie would help and she and her husband came over and brought a smoothie. I received cards in the mail and the list goes on.
As Rick would post and asked for friends and family to join in a fast for me there was amazing support and love. There was so much power and strength in the fast and the prayers that were offered in my behalf. All of the messages that were posted and sent - as I started to wake up and read the messages of love it was such a strength to me. Rick would also read me messages and share with me the love that was being sent to me.
I had so many commitments over the weeks that I was sick and where I wasn’t alert at all I wasn’t even aware of what days were passing by and what my commitments were. I’m super grateful for all of the friends that I serve with, picked up the pieces and kept things going. For some things it was difficult, because I’ve done some of these things for over 10 years and all of the files were on my computer. They would reach out to Rick and have him try to find the information and sometimes he had luck and sometimes he didn’t and they moved forward and kept things going. It was such a relief to me as I was healing to know that I’m surrounded by so many who love me and picked up the pieces and kept things going.
Then the love that I felt from my dad on the other side. So many times through this experience I felt I would be with him shortly. At times I wanted to be with him. Then through a priesthood blessing I knew and felt my dad with me. I knew that he was helping me heal. I knew that the real plan was for me to stay here. I’m so grateful for my dad’s love for me throughout this experience.
I’m sure that I’ve missed things and I’m sorry - I would never want to leave out anyone who showed so much love and support to me and my family. The reason I wanted to share these things was because the love that I felt, even though at times I couldn’t comprehend or read the messages, was healing. It gave me the strength everyday to keep going and to fight. As conversations come up about why I didn’t stay in the hospital Rick will comment that my emotional, mental health is so closely tied to my physical health and he agreed that if I was in the hospital alone, without my family and friends I might not have made it. Nothing to do with the doctors or nurses, but with me personally. I need my loved ones, my foundation, my safe people around me. I needed the love that surrounded me by being at home. That love is what kept me here. Love is super powerful! It is healing in all ways - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Love is what got me through!
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity