Rachel, Day by Day
New Year’s Eve 2019: I was excited for 2020. My Uncle John just got out of the hospital after a bone marrow transplant. I was excited to meet our daughter, who was born in January. I was to receive a promotion at work to publisher/editor-in-chief. Things were looking up.
Of course, everyone knows how horrible 2020 has been for the world. With COVID-19, politics, and racial injustice alone, I’ve been terrified to watch and read the news these days. Life has not been fair for many people: losing jobs, loved ones, and more.
I want to share things about my life in 2020. And some thoughts.
My daughter was born on January 18, one thing that was amazing from this year. It all happened very fast (too fast for an epidural), and I’ve never felt pain like that before in my entire life. But it was completely worth it. She’s a little bundle of joy, and I sometimes tear up from happiness when I see her smile or hear her giggle.
Things turned sour for my family and me in March—like for most people—but for different reasons. Of course, my preschool son switched to remote learning in March like many others, and he handled it well. My daughter started having feeding problems that involved vomiting during almost every bottle, so I took her to many doctor’s appointments. Doctors didn’t want to run tests to avoid COVID-19 exposure, so we tried new bottles, new formula, new feeding positions, etc., and things didn’t change much. I’m normally not an outspoken person, but there were times I was almost arguing with doctors in person and on the phone. They finally ran tests and found her platelet level was high and she has a slight milk allergy. After all this and a visit to the ER, she’s still vomiting occasionally, but she’s doing a lot better.
In April, my Uncle John got worse. He wasn’t responding to the bone marrow transplant very well and passed away on April 6. I hadn’t seen him for a while before his death since we couldn’t visit. When he took a turn for the worse, family was allowed to visit. I wanted to so badly, but I decided not to in case I became exposed or exposed my family to COVID-19 after a hospital visit. It was one of the hardest decisions ever. He was a wonderful uncle and godfather to me, and I’m glad he’s not in pain anymore. I think about him every day.
On top of these things, my brother got COVID-19, we had flooding in our basement, a tornado hit our town, we lost power for days, a mouse got in our house, and our air conditioning went out during a very hot week. I won’t be negative during this whole post, I promise.
On the other hand, I’m lucky. I have my job and I received my promotion to publisher/editor-in-chief. My brother is OK. My daughter still has vomiting episodes, but it’s a lot better. I’m grateful for all the wonderful memories I had with John. I feel like I’m looking at people and the world differently, almost in a sentimental way.
Here’s the thing. My family and I have decided to take this virus seriously. It’s difficult to follow the rules 100% of the time, and I know we’ve slipped up, but we are trying our best. I would never be able to forgive myself if I had COVID-19 and gave it to someone else. I have asthma, which makes me high risk, too. Here are my family’s thoughts and choices regarding this virus:
*We choose to wear masks in public.
*We choose to stay six feet away from people as much as we can.
*We choose to avoid bigger groups. This has been the hardest part.
*We choose remote learning for our son until schools are OK.
*We choose not to have play dates with our kids.
*We choose to stay home as much as possible.
*We choose to do grocery pickups when we need a lot of things.
*We choose to stay away from parks when they are busy.
These are just some of our choices right now. If you agree, great. If you disagree, fine. I choose to do what is safest for me and my family.
I know some people are thinking, Screw this, I’m going to live my life. Well, guess what: I am living my life. I’m making a lot of wonderful memories with my children and husband. I’m able to spend a lot more quality time with my little daughter. We go to places on weekends, just the four of us, where we know there won’t be many people (parks, playgrounds early in the morning, etc.). I’m living my life, but in a safe way to avoid getting anyone sick.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone. We’ll get through this someday.