down my rabbit hole: more memories of the 2020 quarantine

As I plod through my own microcosm of survival during the COVID crisis, I found that my attempts to internally process it all were falling short. Daily experiences of “the new normal” have been driving over my hyper-sympathetic nature like a tsunami. But I have a family that continues to grow, and relationships begging to be maintained. Life has not frozen in place; the gears of human existence have simply shifted to another stage of what living looks like. So, now I am attempting to ride atop this tidal wave of change and emotions by compiling what I see and hear and feel, and what I am learning about myself and others along the way.

Cheering for my son as he took his first unsteady laps of our street without training wheels, and the affirmation that life does, indeed, go on.

The joy and gratitude from watching the cars file into our church’s food pantry donation “drive-by”, as our congregation had risen to meet this need.

The survivor guilt I feel each morning knowing that, despite the risks involved, twelve miles down the road I will find a job waiting for me that provides social interaction and a paycheck.

Attempting some normalcy for our scared, homebound pregnant coworkers, by having a virtual baby shower complete with Amazon drop-off of their gifts.

The sense of helplessness in knowing the best way I can help my parents and in-laws is to stay away from them, despite the sadness that is evident during phone calls, Facetime and the occasional social distancing visits in the yard.

The virtual appointments with my patients, who display an array of confidence versus intimidation at the technology, and most of whom are just grateful to have a friendly face to see and lean on for a few minutes.

Wondering how history will judge us and our response to this period of suffering, compared to the previous generations who had to face the Great Plague and the 1918 Flu, all while living in a much less advanced world.

Watching my children dream together during their weekend “sleepover”, and the overwhelming love and serenity I feel in witnessing such an innocent moment in their lives.

Pouting and whining to myself as I watch one inch of gray roots turn into two, while psyching myself up to have my family do my dye job, and repenting for my vanity at the consequences of being over 40.

scenes from This Ludicrous Life: Pain med questionnaire

So, I was going for evaluation at a pain management office for a “degenerative disc”.  Because of the opioid crisis, they screen everyone for signs of drug dependency. (This is not my issue, I’ve still got stuff left from my 2017 surgery).  I had a hard time behaving myself while completing their screening questionnaire, however, which is meant to be straight-up serious.  Here are the highlights. (No disrespect is intended to any who have struggled with addiction or mental health issues….):

1) HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE MOOD SWINGS?  So, do you mean per week or per day?

3) HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU FELT IMPATIENT WITH YOUR DOCTORS?  Need to discuss, I’m an RN…..

4) HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU FELT THAT THINGS ARE JUST TOO OVERWHELMING THAT YOU CAN’T HANDLE THEM?  Um, I have a full-time job and an adolescent….

5) HOW OFTEN IS THERE TENSION IN THE HOME?  Um, I have a husband and an adolescent….

8) HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEL BORED?  What does the word bored mean?

12) HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU FELT A CRAVING FOR MEDICATION?  Whenever I have to take my kids into Kroger with me.

14) HOW OFTEN HAVE OTHERS TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD A BAD TEMPER?  Do I have to answer that question to receive care?

*PSA: Fortunately, I was filling out my form in pencil, because my husband made me erase all my answers.☹️☹️😬