Everywhere I look around my home, I see the magic that is my husband Dan; the lights, the gardens, the fountains, the peace. I look at his now empty chair and feel his presence all around me, his sweet smile, gentle spirit, and wonderful sense of humor. He is my twin flame, my soulmate, and my heart will not feel complete until he is home with me again.
Yesterday afternoon the news we had been dreading became real; Dan, in the hospital again for complications from his emergency appendectomy earlier this week, was confirmed to have the dreaded COVID-19. My stomach dropped when he shared the news; though my sixty-seven-year-old yoga-teaching husband was healthy and strong, the damn virus has changed everything. An invisible foe that is keeping us apart and threatening everything we cherish.
The Gaineys are now at war, and though I’m not able to be at his side and am now quarantined myself, I will be the General of his Army to help him fight to get healthy again. I spent yesterday informing family and our closest friends, doing yard work, and shedding a lot of tears. I have seen far too many horror stories of how quickly COVID-19 can take down an otherwise healthy person. I have stopped watching the news- I just can’t deal with it right now and need to focus my energies on trying to stay positive and advocate for Dan. I will also have to be tested for the virus myself (again) so that I know how quarantine will work when we are both at home. I will do whatever I have to do to help him be comfortable and heal well.
Thankfully Dan’s breathing issues have improved, and now they are working to combat the awful nausea and vomiting that are keeping him from getting any sustenance. His temperature spiked to 103 the other night, but has since improved, though he experiences hallucinations at times. This morning he was told that he will have to have an awful procedure called a NasoGastro to break up an impaction in his upper intestine, the source of his inability to keep anything down. He told me he is in the tenth circle of Hell, each day bringing a new torture. I am just grateful he is not one of the many people on ventilators in UAB’s COVID Ward.
There is hope; Dan was told that when they can get his symptoms of nausea and a few other issues under control, he can be released to quarantine at home. Even though he’s just been gone a few days, it feels like weeks since I last saw him, last held him. We FaceTime as the hospital WiFi will allow, we call, we text when Dan has enough energy. Other than that, Dan only sees nurses and doctors in hazmat suits. He has gotten wonderful care from his nurses, and we are so grateful for that blessing.
As for me, I feel numb. I am stressed and worried beyond belief. I have had to distance myself from social media for a bit, as while the number of people keeping us in their thoughts and prayers is an amazing and very appreciated gift, trying to return the many many private messages has proven to be absolutely overwhelming right now. It is about all that I can handle to keep up with updating our family and close friends, along with trying to keep the house, yard, and animals taken care of, and attempt to teach my students online during this bizarre semester. I feel like I am a juggler, dropping balls everywhere, no matter how hard I try.
This morning we had a Gainey family Zoom meeting, which was a wonderful way for us all to connect and support each other in our worry for Dan during these extraordinary times. I also got to speak with my sister and messaged with my small and tight circle of closest friends. What would I do without them? My goal is to continue preparing the house to bring Dan home when he is finally released, sanitizing every surface, changing bedding, scrubbing. I am waiting to find out when I can be tested. I’m doing my best to exercise each day and eat well to keep myself healthy and burn off some stress. At the end of the day, I will go to the top deck with Marley and a good book to look out at the city, my husband in a hospital bed just blocks down the hill, wishing I would see two glasses of wine rather than one, wishing that my Dan was home with me, well again.