Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Talk About It ~ How are you, really? And...thank you.

This month was supposed to be a focus raising awareness for those struggling with alcohol as well as to share my continued support for children and families coping with autism. But for today's post, I want to ask a very important question that I've been asked on a daily basis from people all over the world since this pandemic was announced:

How are you...really?

At first, it was nice to have people reaching out. It made having to stay in isolation a little more bearable. After a while, though, it became more of a 'hot topic' to go off about on social media rather than truly caring about those it effects. Not only does this add fuel to an ever-growing fire, but it also increases anxiety for those who have enough of a challenge getting through their day. Plus people were complaining that they had to stay inside and practice social distancing! Seriously? I had to temporarily deactivate my Facebook account in order to get away from the craziness for a little while.

Let me put the social-distancing thing into perspective: I am one of the "compromised". What exactly does that mean? It means that although I don't have Convid, I am at extremely high risk for contracting the virus and would have very little chance to fight it if I did contract it. Not only do I have a very poor immune system, but I am also fighting advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, and the damage these diseases have done and continue to do to my body is irreversible. Let's put it this way, I was in the hospital (again) last November with an overall feeling of unwellness. Long story short, I had an untreated bladder infection (yes, I ignored it) which quickly turned into a urinary tract infection. By the time I took my butt to the hospital, the virus had gotten into my bloodstream and it took over a week for specialists to find an antibiotic to fight the virus because my body was fighting the antibiotic, not the virus. I had a 20% chance of leaving the hospital...from a bladder infection. This is what I deal with on a daily basis without the worry of Convid.

Why am I sharing all of this? Normally I am a very private person, however, I think those who are annoyed, angry or don't understand the imperative need to keep a safe distance, stay inside as much as possible, limit public outings and keep your immediate surroundings clean (especially the hands).

Yes, it's frustrating being inside most of the time.
Yes, it's disappointing having public gatherings canceled.
Yes, it's upsetting not to see family and loved ones who don't live with us.
Yes, it's a confusing and overwhelming time.

There may not be a bright light to see at the moment, but it will get better. It has to. The world has faced many challenges and tragic times over the past decades yet, somehow...many of us made it through to see that light.

Remember: You are doing this for the "compromised", like me and those so much worse than I am. So when you do get to that place where you think you can't stand it anymore, know there are those of us who appreciate your efforts to keep us all safe.

As one of the "compromised" seeing what you're doing: I thank you.

Stay safe and healthy, my friends.

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