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Still surviving COVID

On the Bright Side

The Coronavirus stole my January as I was home sick for a couple of weeks, then in Tehachapi Hospital for eight days. Then home again to recover.

And, actually, the recovery part took an additional couple of months, which is largely why I haven't been around much lately, and why I have this one more column to write about it.

I'm feeling pretty much back to normal these days – whatever "normal" is – and grateful to be alive. I'm a former smoker. I haven't had so much as a puff since 1993, but I do consequently have some lung and heart issues. I figured if I ever got COVID that would be it for me, which may explain why I was in denial and took so long to get checked out. Anyway, thankfully, it wasn't it for me and while I may seem a little worse for wear, I feel pretty much over it.

The hardest part was getting my energy back. I celebrated when I didn't sleep all day through and got even more excited when I only had one or two naps per day. I started feeling pretty darned confident when I went a whole day without a nap at all!

Brain fog was pretty prevalent through my illness and my recovery, and I also suffered from some vertigo and dizzy spells. I'm glad to say now that I'm pretty much over those, as well. I don't know what the future holds (nor do any of us) but it feels bright and positive and I can't ask for much more than that, can I?

I have, as usual, several people to thank for getting me through the ordeal of having COVID. I'm reminded once again that no woman is an island, and we all need one another in a variety of ways. I feel so fortunate and grateful that I have friends I can count on and those friends really came through for me the first quarter of this year.

My thanks to Karen for insisting I finally go to the emergency room; my thanks to Susanna who took me. Once I was diagnosed with COVID, Susanna had to go into isolation for 14 days, which she did, and from which she emerged without having the virus. Susanna also kept my cat alive and fed and watered while I was in the hospital.

Suzanne picked me up when I was discharged and got me home and settled safely. I'd been sick before I was in the hospital so I was sadly lacking in food in the house, so Susanna, Lauraine, Joan and Constance brought me prepared meals and groceries when I felt like cooking for myself. A good number of other kind folks called or messaged me to check in and offer help and well wishes.

My thanks also must go out to the volunteers at my store who stepped up big time and kept the place running in my absence, which stretched to almost three months. Karen, Sheree, Nancy, Peggy, Stacy and Meg did (and continue to do) overtime duty – how can I ever thank them enough?

The day after I got home from the hospital, still unsteady on my feet and exhausted, we had a terrifically wild and woolly wind storm. In the midst of it I carefully made my way to answer a knock on my back door and found my neighbor Rosemary, who advised me to move my car as the wind had torn up my carport and a sheet of metal was whipping around like crazy. I was too weak so her husband moved it for me. I'm grateful for such good neighbors as the Wilsons.

And a special thanks to Vincent (and later Melody) for coming over and securing the loose parts of my wrecked carport so it wasn't a danger to anyone anymore.

There are still some lingering aftereffects for me (mostly just foggy thinking and the occasional dizzy spell, so I consider myself extra lucky) and I continue to rely on the kindness of friends. I get winded easily but I can move around and do things now, and I can take care of myself and my cat.

And, because I don't wish COVID on anyone, I'll remind you once gain to take care of yourself and others. We are all in this together and together is how we will survive this pandemic.

© Marilda Mel White. Mel White, local photographer/writer and owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove, has been looking on the bright side for various publications since 1996. She welcomes your comments at [email protected].