Time in a Bottle

Time has lost any real meaning to me as the COVID-19 pandemic nightmare continues, and especially since my Dan was diagnosed with the virus yesterday. Usually a person incredibly driven by structure and routine, now I have to check the calendar on my phone to know what day it is so that I know what I’m supposed to do. Is this a teaching day? Do I take out the recycling? The trash? And the most important question of all- is this the day that Dan might get to come home?

Ready for the procedure.

This afternoon was awful; as if things weren’t already miserable enough for him, he had to have a NasoGastro procedure to remove an impaction in his upper intestine. This involved a tube being inserted through this nose, down his throat, and into his stomach. The doctor had told him it would take four or more hours and would not be “fun”; the nurse told him it shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes, which brought great relief to Dan and to me. As usual with this hellish week we’ve had, things didn’t go quiet as expected.

I was outside watering plants when Dan’s text came. Now the plan was to leave the tube in all night, taking Dan to- in his own words- the Thirteenth Gate of Hell. My heart just breaks every time another painful procedure or experience happens to my sweet husband. He was not able to talk, as the tubes were painfully pressing against his vocal cords. At least a small blessing; they gave him morphine that allowed him to sleep some during the ordeal. Hopefully they will remove the tubes early in the morning to give him relief sooner rather than later.

A long night ahead.

Dan is such a strong man, so positive and spiritual, but as each of these experiences come at him I worry that they are chipping away at his spirit and his resolve. The ultimate goal in getting through the procedure today is that it will hopefully put him another step closer to being stabilized and able to come home to quarantine, something we both want more than we can adequately express in words. To have to go through this hell apart, without being able to hold hands and support each other, has been unbearable. He is alone, in pain, and afraid; I am alone, worried sick, and afraid. We are always stronger together- and we’ve been through so much together over the years to prove it.


I have been on edge today, the smallest sounds or intrusion rattling my already frazzled nerves. I am trying my best to be there for Dan in any way that I can and to get the house ready for a true quarantine, I’m trying to keep family and friends aware of Dan’s status, trying to take care of the gardens and the animals, and, bless my wonderful students, I’m trying to keep some semblance of our derailed semester moving forward.

I am a wreck but trying not to let myself give in to the fear. Writing is helping me process it all, just as if did when I was caring for my mother. I am staying razor focused on the goal of bringing Dan home and getting him healthy again…and hopefully not having this evil virus myself. Again, today I circled my wagons and touched base with my small circle of trusted friends who are like family to me. As an INFJ (just like Dan) and a huge introvert (just like Dan), when times become stressful I go inward, feeling emotionally safe with only a very few people. I appreciate my tribe; there is no pressure, just love and support, and the ability to help me find the silver linings and the laughter even on dark days.

I have to believe that tomorrow will be better, and that soon Dan will be in the comfort of his home, surrounded by the love that is always there. So many people are lifting us up during this time. One day, one trial at a time, we will get there. Love will win the day.

34 thoughts on “Time in a Bottle

  1. This breaks my heart that you two are apart. Seems even Shiva is feeling it – I thought she would be the last one to look for comfort from Marley… Looks like she is circling her wagons too! Much love to all of you.

  2. You may be physically alone and he may be physically alone – but you have a whole tribe of people sending you both well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. You are never alone. You are stronger than you know and you will get through this. Take a deep breath. Try to get some rest. And just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Take the day an hour at a time. You will get through the storm. Sending you hugs.

    1. Thank you so much, Jenny. We are deeply grateful for all of the love and support from so many people. One day at a time. Please stay safe in all of this scary stuff. ❤️

  3. Oh no ! How truly horrible for both of you. I have always found your posts very inspiring and I do hope the support of your family and friends will keep you going.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with the both of you.
    You are stronger than you think 🙏❤️

  5. Sending you big hugs, and many healing prayers, Denise.💕
    You are stronger than you think, and Dan is feeling that strength, right now….🙏💑💝
    Thank you for these updates. We are all here, sending you love, and support. 💞

  6. Denise- in the darkest of moments know there is an Army of Light surrounding you and Dan, embracing you in Love. Let the tears wash away fear and breathe in peace. ❤

  7. Just let yourself be in whatever way that is. Enjoy the closeness of Marley and Shiva and your surroundings. All are part of Dan. I’m sending prayers and light as you traverse through this dark forest —Julia

    1. Julia, you have been wonderful, giving staunch supporters while not expecting anything in return as I struggle to deal with everything. It means the world-thank you. ❤️

  8. Denise & Dan, praying soooo hard for you both. Dan is an amazing spirit and fighter! He’s got this! ❤️💋❤️💋❤️💋❤️💋❤️

  9. Denise (and Dan, too):

    Sending SO much love, hope, and positive energy your way. Thinking of you both every day…


  10. May he get to come home to the critters and you today! In the meantime, I hope you can sit outside with Marley and Shiva and enjoy the beauty of spring. Much love and hope from all of us! ❤

  11. So glad Dan has you to help get him through this. He’s strong, but knowing that you’re there will give him the strength he needs to hold on and come home. Much love to you both!

  12. Prayers going up for both of you. Hoping they get that tube out and get Dan home. I cannot begin to imagine the feelings you have. I am so very happy you have your close circle to help keep you grounded. ❤️🙏🏻

  13. I’ve been thinking of you and Dan all day today. I had that same type of tube after my surgery in October. It definitely is unpleasant, but Dan will pull through. Love coming your way from Kansas!

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