Quarantine My Quarantine

(Sung to the tune of Clementine, My Clementine if that’s actually a song – oops, I just looked it up and it’s not!! It’s really, Oh My Darling, Oh My Darling, Oh My Darling Clementine, you are lost and gone forever, Oh My Darling Clementine…………….which doesn’t fit at all, but, ……….since I like MY TITLE, I’m keeping it………).

Here’s my story:

I made the choice last Saturday to allow my son, Jesse, to visit me in my little beach cottage. I didn’t ask him to wear a mask because I didn’t want to feel like a jerk. I knew I was taking a risk, but I didn’t want him to think I thought he was an ass hole. I made the choice and tried to be ok with it.

I tried to stay on the other side of the room. He was on the beige couch so I sat on the white one. He followed me to the white. I moved to the beige. He followed me there. I gave up trying to stay away from him. He was upset and I let him talk. I tried not to give him advice and just listen.

I didn’t think I was helping, but at the end of the night he said, “Wow, Mom. I feel like a new person. Thanks.”

And then he called me when he got home.

“I love you, Mom,” he said. “Thanks.” Wow. Wasn’t it worth it to let him in? He needed me. What was the big deal, I thought? No one has had COVID yet. I’m sure everyone is just over-reacting.

The next day I went to my mom’s house to pick up a package. I knew I hadn’t seen anyone without a mask, but Jesse was a wild card. I knew he had been out with friends, and at hockey rinks. I had made the choice last night and had to stick with it, Jesse instead of my 90 year old mom.

“Come on in,” my mom said. I was standing outside with a mask. “No one will know,” she added.

I just looked at her. My brother had told me that if she went into the hospital she would be all alone. We wouldn’t be able to visit her. I told her the thought of that was worse than not seeing her. She thanked me and I left. I breathed easier as I drove away.

I still thought this whole thing was not real. One of my friends makes me stay 6 feet away and wears a mask. He won’t let me near him. I really thought he was over-reacting.

Until Monday. Jesse didn’t feel well. He tried to get a COVID test but the lines were too long. He’s fine, I told myself. Just a cold, but let’s be sure. Tuesday I kept texting him places to try to make an appointment. He finally got a virtual appointment and then they told him where to go for the quick test.

He called me after the test. “They will let me know in 15 minutes. Can you give me Haley’s water heater and some blankets? I don’t have any at my place.”

I met him down the road from me at the Dunkin Donuts to give him the stuff. I also gave him a “remedy” from one of our friends. It couldn’t hurt.

“Did you hear anything?” I asked, sure it would be negative.

“Yes,” he said. “I am positive.” He burst into tears. “I feel like such an ass hole. My arrogant attitude about how I wasn’t getting it……..what a jerk I’ve been…….” And he erupted into body shaking sobs.

“OK,” I said when he calmed down and could hear me. “Making yourself wrong is not going to help. It’s going to make you sicker. Can you forgive yourself? It’s important.”

He thought about it. He took a deep breath. “Yes.”

“You sure?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said in a way that I believed him.

I couldn’t hug him. I couldn’t go near him. I had my mask on. I wanted to cry too but I waited until we both drove away to start my own sobbing.

My brain went crazy. He has asthma, he might die. I might have it. I can die. His father is 73 and has lung issues. He might die. My heart was racing. I kept crying. My chest was tight.

“I can’t handle this,” I thought. “What if he goes into the hospital? Those people die from the intubation. I won’t be able to visit him. What am I going to do?”

I kept driving. “And there goes Thanksgiving. I’ll be alone on Thanksgiving. We will all be alone on Thanksgiving. That’s fucked up. I can’t handle this. THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!!”

I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, allowing myself a big huge Thanksgiving pity party. My body started hurting like I, too, had COVID. I drove towards my house, trying to see through my tears.

I turned onto my street and headed towards the water. ENOUGH, I told myself. Nothing is happening right now except that Jesse had a positive test. He is tired. That’s all. GET PRESENT.

I stopped making myself wrong for letting him in that night, and my symptoms disappeared. The same thing had happened the last time I was exposed. Once I forgave myself, I was ready and able to take positive actions.

I called the homeopathic doctor I knew and ordered up her natural COVID remedy that I took the last time. I ordered enough for me, my son and his housemates, and his dad.

I was unbelievably grateful that I hadn’t gone into my mom’s house. I thanked God that I hadn’t relented since that was the day after Jesse had visited me. That was a miracle.

I upped my vitamins: C, D, zinc, women’s wellness, probiotics and more.

I finally got to schedule and have my own COVID test yesterday. Even if I’m negative, it’s still recommended that I quarantine for two weeks. OMG.

So here I am, alone in my cottage. I’m sad when I’m sad. The rest of the time I am fine. Sometimes I have a mild headache. I am still working out and eating well. It’s OK, I tell myself. I still have a great life.

And another miracle: My son feels better than he did before his test result. He’s taking herbal remedies from the Chinese acupuncturist, vitamins from the chiropractor, the homeopathic remedy I got him, and sleeping really well. (It turns out the Tylenol I gave him was Tylenol PM – well maybe that’s a good thing.)

I am grateful for many things right now. And trying to stay present. Right here right now.

And waiting for my own sentence, I mean, test results. By the time I get them, my quarantine will be almost over. I’m assuming it will be negative, but if it’s positive, I will stay present and deal with it.

Am I scared when I’m scared? You betcha. And then I breathe, look around me, and tell myself I will deal with it and I can handle whatever it is.

And when I forget and freak out? Please remind me.

Thanks for listening.

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