Sunday, March 22, 2020
WORRYING DOES NOT EMPTY TOMORROW OF ITS TROUBLES
Jacob was so very sick. I had just came home from body pump and found Jacob seizing and slightly blue to his skin due to him not being able to hold his oxygen despite Joakim cranking up the oxygen concentrator to 10 liters. In minutes, we were in an ambulance. Sepsis was confirmed in the ER, which led to a whole protocol of tests and rescue medications to save our son's life. Later that afternoon, we found out Jacob had intestinal translocation. Dr. E. decided to deliver the news herself together with Jacob's GI doctor. We knew that meant it was serious. She asked me to have Joakim come to the hospital. She wanted us both by Jacob's side. Due to Jacob suffering from adrenaline insufficiency, he couldn't fight this without high doses of IV steroids. It was one of many times in the ICU when I didn't know the future of Jacob's life. I was sick to my stomach of worrying, and not knowing what the next hour would bring.
It was spring break. Sarah's cousins had saved up their money to come and visit us all the way from Sweden to go skiing with us in Breckenridge. We had organized for nursing around the clock to spend two days together up in the mountains with Sarah and her cousins. The rest of the week, Joakim and I would tag team between Denver and Breckenridge.
All of that was thrown out the window when Jacob came down with intestinal translocation. I still went running around Children's that Saturday morning. I stretched at my regular spot and looked at the sky as I was feeling my tired calves, and knowing that all our plans were out the window including the future of Jacob's life. I remember looking into the clear blue Colorado sky thinking "this will also pass". There will be another vacation with the cousins, there will be another spring break for Sarah, there will be another time. The only thing that truly mattered in that moment was that Jacob would be ok again.
As we're all social distancing and self quarantining, I feel a sense of familiarity. I have put my whole life on hold so many times. I worried about Jacob's life for ten years. I learned to live in uncertainty, and being the best fire fighter you can imagine. I learned how to find laugh and humor in the hardest of situations. I always had someone giving me a big hug, a warm smile or simply holding my son's hand. I went to bed so many times not knowing what the next day would bring, but I always greeted the sun rise no matter what the circumstances were.
As we're now facing COVID-19, we all have emotions and worries. We are all impacted in one way or another. We have all seen pictures and videos from China or Italy or even know someone who can tell her or his own story in great detail. What we fear is to die or have someone we love die. I know this fear. I lived with it for ten years. Sometimes my head would spin from worrying. I knew it wouldn't change anything, but logic and common sense didn't always reach my mind. I always came back to this quote "Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength."
This journey is personal to each of us, but don't lose your strength. If we look closely, we have so much. Know what you need to keep sane. I run again as I always did to clear my head, I walk the dog to breathe fresh air and find my boy in the sky, and I am silly with my girl and husband to get them to laugh. I check in with friends and family, and sending all my positive energy and thoughts to our most vulnerable and healthcare workers to keep fighting the good fight.
In the middle of COVID-19, I have hope for humanity. Good health is never guaranteed. COVID-19 doesn't care who you are or what you have done. We can only work together, and we will need everyone's strength and humanity. I have hopes the world will change.