I can hear you. “Patient is Female. Over 60 . Immuno -suppressed due to complications from arthritis drugs, recurrent pneumonia, lung issues Survival is doubtful. Umm.. no. Next” And so I will be passed over for the ventilator.
My husband and I aren’t sick. We haven’t been sick. We’re feeling fine. But to healthy-so-far Liz, this scenario is an all too real possibility. And if I didn’t have enough things waking me up in the middle of the night, this one has taken front and center.
The fact of the matter is that I’m closer to 70 than 60. I can Botox the hell out of my wrinkles but there’s no Botox for the insides. I can never miss a monthly color and cut, stay as coolly fashionable as I try, but 67 is not the new 47 or 57 and that cannot be altered. As much as I’ve embraced every age, reality is reality. I’m 67, I have shitty lungs and no one is giving out medals -or ventilators- to cancer survivors or beloved sisters or grandmas.
“Wait, Doctor! You don’t know me.. I’m Liz LIZ! I’m Jack’s wife. Jake and Britt’s mom. I’m Rosie’s and Will’s and Mick’s GG.. I taught for 35 years in Boston. I’m still in touch with lots of my kids. They love me. EVERYBODY LOVES ME! I’m funny. I’M FUNNY! I Ask them – ASK ANYBODY! I DESERVE THIS VENTILATOR! “
So not getting sick with ANYTHING but especially not with C19 is crucial because-and here I must face facts-if there is a shortage of ventilators my sick bed will be bypassed. I just won’t pass the screening. Reading the who gets it/who doesn’t it screening guidelines, it all makes sense. Being actually confronted with the reality is wholly terrifying
So I try to practice self-care and mindfulness like all the experts tell us. Embrace each day. Breathe (through your face mask). Go for a walk. This last one is tough for me. To say I am not an outdoors person-unless it’s a beach, pool or al fresco dining- is a woeful understatement. So it’s just Jack and me every day at 1 walking along the ocean. I’d like to tell you we have great conversations and have become closer but we mostly walk single file, each of us listening to our audio of choice. He’s mostly sports (poor guy -he is having his own set of issues with no Red Sox) while I go among political talk, an Audible book and Bravo-related Podcasts (don’t judge please) These diversions have made me tolerate if not embrace walking.
I’d like to tell you I’ve learned to appreciate nature, the fresh air, the blue skies and ocean breezes, but again, it all becomes kind of boring to a person who just has never liked the outdoors that much. But I’ll keep doing it because maybe if I keep moving Covid 19 won’t catch me.