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August 20, 2021

The Corona Diaries - Delta Whiplash

I just coined this phrase: Delta Whiplash.

I wrote an email to my friend Melissa the other day, catching up on months of stuff and thought - "this will make a good blog post". So here it is with a few minor edits.

Light a candle and prepare yourself.

Where to start? It was all looking so good in the late spring and early summer! People were getting vaccinated and all was going forward in the way we’ve been hoping for. We went to Maui, that was nice. Harper had the quintessential summer pool fun time. Tons of Marco Polo and snacks and burgers and ice cream. Lucky girl. I did a bit of day drinking with my niece, Grace, who came with us. 
When we were on OGG, all the headlines started racing up about Delta and that just brought on all kinds of anxiety. Like I had finally started to relax and feel something close to normal and got the Delta Whiplash. 
The week after we got home a dear family friend died. She was my sister’s best friend and had been dealing with cancer for 13 years. She and her husband and kids were so close to my sister’s family so really it was more like a death in the family. And the service was in the same church that my sister’s was and then just being in that neighborhood and seeing all those friends was brutal. Good, but brutal. 
The week after that funeral (last week) my body was tweaked. I was convinced i had a blood clot in my leg from all the driving and went to urgent care. Much prodding and many questions later, 0% chance you have a blood clot. Cool. But if you fee anything like pain or tightening in your chest or shortness of breath, come back. So two days later I woke up and my left shoulder and ribs were all tweaked and tight and sore. I felt buzzy and weird. So I went back to urgent care. EKG - normal. Ultrasound of left calf - normal. 
I guess we just chalk it up to grief and anxiety -wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! The Delta Whiplash is real. 
I also found out while driving to the funeral that my stepmom is on hospice care and might have months? It’s not clear. I’m not super close, but am of course in touch with everyone. Anyway, it seems we are just waiting. So okay. The week before was a huge fire on the Big Island and Waikoloa (where she lives) had to be evacuated for a day. In my mind I thought - oh, my quasi/second childhood home might burn to the ground. That seems fitting somehow. But it didn’t, all was well that way. But it was a wild thought.
I’ve had paying work to do, which is good, but does take up time in my day and I’m all at sixes and sevens emotionally. Luckily it’s not hard or demanding, but it’s still there.
Monday was the first day of in person school. I feel good about Harper being there - as good as you can in these crazy times - the school district goes above/beyond CDC recommendations and they do on campus testing every week of all students, faculty and staff. I looked up my neighborhood on the vaccine map for LA County and Rancho Park is 100% vaccinated! So that’s a nice thing to know. But still I’m stressed. But I’m working on letting that go because chances are low of getting covid and having her be home on zoom school would be devastating.*
But wait there’s more! Yesterday I got a call from my stepmom’s sister who called to say that her husband had died. (My step uncle) That made me soooo sad. I hadn’t seen him in 20 years, and hardly any time before then, but growing up they would be at my dad and stepmom’s house on the Big Island all the time. He was this local Filipino guy and he was so sweet and kind and funny. The epitome of aloha. Being at my dad’s house was never easy, but when Paul was around, it was nice. Aloha to him. 
But wait there’s more! I got up this morning and posted on IG about Mr. Biscuit’s birthday. I hardly ever look through IG, usually posting something then just scrolling for a minute. Luckily I did because I read about my friend Frances who has early onset Alzheimers and how she’s probably weeks away from dying. She was diagnosed 6 years ago. I went to college with her and her husband. They’ve been married for 31 years (no kids) and live in West Seattle. I knew she wasn’t going to be growing old, but to hear that it’s so soon just breaks my already broken heart. So if they have a funeral (Fuck Covid) and people are allowed to come, I’ll be there.
And then - yes there is more - but not so death oriented! My neighbor had knee replacement surgery and asked if I could pick her up from the hospital yesterday. She had asked a long while back and I had said yes of course. She’s in her mid-late 70’s and a widow. It turned out to be a bit more than I anticipated - bringing her home, putting a bunch of equipment in her house, helping her set it up, getting her sorted with water and clothes. None of it was hard, but just more than I expected and I was so exhausted I enjoyed two vodka sodas that night. I am glad I could help (and will help her with more as she needs it). Doing all that was a reminder of being around Kurt’s mom when she got close to the end (not that my neighbor is, but just all the medical stuff and setting up the house to be more comfortable, etc). It’s a strange feeling and weight on one’s shoulders and heart.
Okay so there it is. That’s what’s been going on. Oof. 
In nicer news, Harper is tall and healthy and omg how did I make such a pretty girl? I know I'm cute, I'll allow that, but she's beyond.
When we were on Maui, we started playing cards at night - Rummy mostly. Kurt and I started playing back here almost every night. Kind of an old fogey thing to do and also kind of fun. We only have 1 tv so when Harper watches, we play cards, then she goes to bed and we maybe watch something. I'm working on my good sportsmanship. I'm not a good loser.
Okay, sorry if this is too much, but that is life. As I explained to Harper, you go along life’s road and there are always twists and turns. And that is life.
*Since then - School started and it's been a full week. We got news yesterday that 1 person tested positive for Covid at Harper's school. Not in her class or grade. Kurt thinks school might shut down again the near future. I'm the crazy optimist and am waiting and seeing. The full covid report for LAUSD this week was 118 cases (there are over 600,000 students in LAUSD, plus all faculty and staff on top of that).
We bought home covid test kits to have handy. Not 100% accurate (98.5% accurate for negative, 84.6% accurate for positive) but a good place to start for $10 per test instead of $140 when one feels nervous like I did yesterday. I did a test - negative. And Harper's weekly school test was negative.
What have I learned from all this? One breath, one step, one day at a time. Are there piles of stuff around? That can wait. Focus on what is important right this minute/hour. It has helped a lot. So has meditating in the mornings again. Just sitting and breathing.
That's my catch up.
Dreamy summer time on Maui.
Back to School.