It is hard to believe, but it has been five months since I was hospitalized with a myriad of illnesses. I would like to go on record once again and state that I did not have COVID-19. I will not go into everything again because you probably read about it in my first blog post after I was released from the hospital to recover at home. This post is an update.
Over the past five months, I have regained most of my strength. My left leg still troubles me from time to time with weakness, but it hasn’t collapsed and sent me flying off the porch lately. I do still have trouble with stairs, but I have been able to manage the last couple of months without using a cane. Though I still have trouble with pain in my right arm, it’s no long debilitating, and I can lift a full cup of coffee without dropping it.
My cough is gone, and I’m breathing much better now. I am happy to say that my stamina has returned to a nearly normal level. I can work all day and take care of my household duties after work. I usually stay up until around 10:00 p.m. now, which is a huge improvement over barely making it to the recliner and needing to regain strength before bed. However, I’m still exhausted by 10 o’clock.
The recovery I was afraid wouldn’t happen is my writing. I have finally started creating again. When I first left the hospital, I feared my wordsmithing days were over. I could barely form a sentence, and they didn’t make much sense when I did. My talent was hiding deep inside me where I couldn’t access it. My relief was palpable when I was able to sit down and write a poem. I’m happy to say that I’ve written well over 50,000 words since then.
My memory is not completely recovered yet. I also still sometimes have trouble forming thoughts and saying certain words. These issues are slowly improving. At this point, we believe those things were caused by my lack of oxygen. We don’t know how long I was at a dangerously low level before I went to the clinic and was rushed to the hospital, sporting a fancy nasal cannula (breathing tube).
I was thinking today about how blessed I am to not only be amongst the living, but to be enjoying nearly complete mobility. I can shower and get dressed without resting between tasks. I can walk an entire Walmart Supercenter and hike the country mile to where my car is parked in the lot. I can cook my own food and clean up afterward. I can put on my own shoes. I can even enjoy a little meat now and then. All of these things were beyond my ability five months ago.
I have been experiencing a couple side effects of my ordeal for the past couple months or so. I’m losing my hair and nails at an alarming rate. I purchased three wigs, but I’ve been able to stop wearing them temporarily due to a clever haircut by a compassionate stylist. She disguised my hair loss with creative layers. The illusion should last a little while.
We don’t know if my hair and nail loss is a side effect of medication, stress to my body, sepsis, ketoacidosis, or a result of my kidneys nearly shutting down. Perhaps all of the above. My doctor assures me that things will return to normal with both of them eventually.
There is a silver lining. My hair loss has slowed down, and I have new growth. It’s all silver, but that has been my natural color for several years. I’ve chosen to hide it under black dye, but I don’t want to damage this new hair by subjecting it to any processing until it’s well established. I may keep it silver. We’ll see.
The most precious part of my recovery was discovering and enjoying a tremendous outpouring of love from so many people. I never knew how many folks cared about me. I was included in several prayer circles, and Mom swears that is what made the difference. I received many cards, texts, emails, and phone calls. A few brave souls even visited me.
To those of you who supported me, prayed for me, visited me, cooked for me, sent flowers or cards, and offered well wishes, I thank you. You surrounded me with a blanket of love and protection so I could heal. I’m so much stronger now, and I am certain I’ll regain the rest of my strength. I may even surpass it. But I couldn’t have done it alone.
May you all stay healthy and safe!
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