I am back at home, and to answer the obvious question, no I do not have Coronavirus. I had an unexpected emergency surgery a few weeks ago due to a partially blocked bowel. SUPER FUN! Ok, not fun, but I am truly grateful that the GI symptoms that had been plaguing me for well over a year were finally diagnosed and dealt with.
I won’t lie, it was scary, and especially hard to be without my husband when I went into the emergency room that day. But as we are all aware, Covid regulations do not allow for anyone but the patient in the hospital these days, so that afternoon and for the subsequent five days I spent in the hospital before I was well enough to come home, I was on my own.
That experience was a huge reality check for me on what it must be like to be in a nursing home or other long term care facility right now. Five days was way too long for both me and my family to go without seeing one another, especially given the seriousness of the health issue I was facing. I got excellent care from everyone at Petaluma Valley Hospital, the doctors, nurses, even the CNAs were all amazing. BUT, when my doctor was explaining the seriousness of the situation and what the surgery would entail, it would have felt better to have my husband’s hand to hold in that moment. Not to mention a less “fuzzy” pair of ears when discussing what to expect in the days that followed. I was on a lot of painkillers, which makes it harder to take it all in or remember those important questions. I got through it, but after I was home I did start thinking a lot about those patients, and their families, who have been apart for much longer.
And regardless of whether or not we are separated because of illness, most people are seeing a lot less of the family who do not share your mailing address these days. It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is. I hear a lot of judgement for people who chose to travel over Thanksgiving, or just get together with local family. I think we need to step back from that. The fact is, there are many other ailments aside from Covid out there, depression and loneliness included. We need to be smart about putting ourselves and our families at risk, but we also need to understand that for some people the risk of exposure is outweighed by the benefit of seeing those you love. It is never our role to judge others, and this circumstance is no different.
My mom and I did manage to make a mini version of the traditional turkey dinner this year. I couldn’t rally for homemade rolls, which were sorely missed by Ford. But maybe by Christmas I will be up to it! I am feeling a little better every day, going for walks outside even if they are at nowhere near the speed or the distance that I was capable of less than a month ago.
I know that many of us have enjoyed the meditation that is baking bread and rolling out pie dough these past few months. If you ever wondered why Play-Doh is still so popular either of these tasks will remind you, playing with dough is fun! But for anyone out there looking to switch up sourdough bread baking for a new kitchen challenge, I must point you towards Jeffrey Steingarten’s move to use only a cast iron skillet for a month. Read this link to his experiment and you, too, will want to take on the role of Cast Iron Chef!
Like everything else for me right now I will have to take it slow, but I am looking forward to getting back in the kitchen. I see a lot of soups and veggies in the next few weeks. And as long as I can get Jason or one of the boys to lift it for me, some great things cooked in my cast iron skillet!