My husband, Thomas, sat propped up on the sofa, coughing with red-eyes, fatigue, fever, and so achy that he didn’t want touch. If you know Thomas, you know something is seriously wrong when he doesn’t want to be touched. We were told by three diagnostic gatekeepers that “his symptoms are consistent with coronavirus. It’s not bad enough to get tested. Stay home.” How bad does it have to get? Where is the line between “stay at home” and going for emergency care? That was the question that we were wrestling with for hours Thursday night, April 2nd.

How does one make that decision about asking for help? We’re generally healthy people, so we decided that we wouldn’t utilize scarce virus testing when somebody else might need it more. But if we need to go in, is there a shortage of ventilators? Would he be exposed to other risks? We hated the idea of him not having guests and me being unable to stay with him.

Our family and friends were talking to us, offering regular check-in’s and saying they are there if we need anything. Of course, they remained “there” and not coming near. My dad’s a jokester, so when he asked what he could do to help, and I said: “keep me laughing.” Encouraging his humor, you know I must be desperate.

It’s not clear what I was feeling through this saga. The seriousness hit me when, instead of taking our “shelter in place” daily walk, Thomas didn’t have the stamina. He’d slept until 1:00 PM and then fell asleep again. Walking alone with our dog felt eerie. Something was missing and wrong.

Thomas left a phone message for our two young adult sons, saying, “if I go into the hospital and don’t see you again, know that you are the best part of my life. You and your mom.” They immediately answered with lots of love. We arranged a call between the four of us, from Minnesota to Washington state.

Telling the boys how much he loved them was heart-wrenching. Through this sickness, he realized that what he wanted most, he has achieved. He and his two sons could tell each other that they love each other. That never happened between Thomas and his father.

I was surprised to hear Thomas say that he had lain awake much of the night composing his deathbed letter. Just in case.

It felt surreal hearing those words of Thomas possibly dying. That can’t be. Let’s have some more medicinal tea and vitamins. Is this all we can do to help the situation? Thank goodness for my friends and Margot, who sent healing energy and regularly cued me on what to do next.

Thomas breathing essential oils

We had several conversations with our nephew, Ben, who just started his medical school residency in a New York City hospital on the Intensive care COVID-19 unit. He told us about emergency criteria for Thomas’s blood oxygen level. The first time we measured, he was right on the borderline of needing medical assistance. For now, he could take deep breaths and raise his oxygen level. That night, we breathed a lot together.

It took many hours of monitoring and attention before his fever broke. After two weeks of decline, on April 3rd, he started to feel better.

You’d think we’d feel so much relief that we would be all lovey and positive. Touching each other for the first time in weeks was beautiful, and yet sometimes we were pecking at each other.

Cooped up Coronavirus living is challenging. There are moments of tenderness, appreciation, and quiet, also, times of tension and strife. A week after Thomas recovered, I had my meltdown, finally curled up in his lap, and collapsed.

Now when I reach for him, feel the warmth of his skin, and he reaches back, there’s still a small jolt of surprise from the relief, noticing how precious life is, I don’t take it for granted.

By Sara

11 Comments

  1. jordy

    oy – thomas! glad it’s on the upswing. thanks for sharing, and thanks for sharing the importance of touch. I need to be reminded of that. healthy vibes and blessings and peace – Jordy

  2. Teresa Weybrew

    Sarah and Tom
    Sending much deep heartfelt love to you both. Rob and I read this and cried.
    We are so happy to hear of the happy ending. We are all so lucky to know you and for that and all of life’s gifts we are very grateful. We know not what this virus will bring. I have been in the house since March 9th as I have battled a lifetime of asthma. We treasure the stories of survival and the beauty of the love shared.
    Thank you for sharing. Stay safe 💗

  3. Amir

    I’m so glad that your husband Thomas got recovered. Also you had your best effort to make him comfortable. Stay home and stay safe

  4. Doug Shannon

    What a heart rending few weeks you’ve both had! I’m so grateful Thomas pulled through! I’m also proud of him for sticking to health professional advice and staying home even when it must have felt like an emergency room situation. How you two have handled this will serve as inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing this! And know you both are loved. -Doug

  5. Richard Tallman

    Beautifully written Sara. Thanks for sharing this most intimate time with us. And seeing you today Thomas looking so well is just amazing. Stay well.

    Love to you both,

    Richard

  6. Jane Breneman

    Thank you for sharing. I am relieved to hear that Thomas has recovered. Love to you and yours. Jane & Mike

  7. Siss

    The power of awakened love and taking care of your Health is powerful medicine. The universe is smiling for you both. ❤️ Me too.

  8. John Latz

    Wow I did not know this was happening. My love to you both.❤️John Latz

  9. Arun Hejmadi

    What an ordeal! I am very glad he’s feeling better. Very glad for statements between family of deep loving. Wishing you both health and happiness! You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. Chris

    Deerest Sara & Thomas,
    I saw how sick Thomas was on a zoom & knew he had the plague.
    I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooo happy he’s bounced back.
    Infinite Love!
    Chris & Donna

  11. Louise Dontigny

    So happy that Thomas made it through this! What an ordeal that was! Thanks for sharing. Take care. Much Love, Louise Dontigny who lives in Mexico and attended your ‘Ecstatic Touch Level 1’ at Rowe Center last October with my friend Dana from New York. I also participated in the recent online workshop; thanks again for doing this.

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