“I am getting out of the car to go into the store and my oldest son says, ‘Mask, Mom!’ I roll my eyes and keep walking. Ricky is 19 years old and 6’ 3’, but I am the parent here! I get to the door and there is my eldest son, arms crossed, blocking entry. Next to him, his not-so-little-17-year-old-brother and my husband. Are they serious? Okay, okay, I will just put on the mask.
As I walk around the store, Ricky taps my hand if I try to touch something. THEN, this child pulls out the sanitizer and sprays my hands with it. And here is the kicker, he waits until he is sure I rubbed it in correctly before he continues acting like he is shopping. But really, he is just looking at me through the corner of his eye making sure I don’t touch anything again. I try to tell him this is overkill, but it falls on deaf ears.
I love my son’s affections for me, I am one blessed mother. My children and husband are my world and I am theirs. I don’t love why they are so protective of me lately.
He has been in the hospital with me more times than I can count. Two years ago he stood there and watched me struggle, gasping for air until my breathing eventually stopped, while my husband begged the doctors to help me. He has held my hand during my chemo treatments and has tucked me in during my home infusions, always placing a kiss on the top of my head. Ricky is a Momma’s boy through and through and he loves, loves, loves me.
When the Governor declared a state of emergency and then it soon was followed by the President calling the Coronavirus a National Emergency, well, naturally, he became worried. Then, they canceled school for at least three weeks. Next, the Casinos’ closed. This is Las Vegas…THAT NEVER HAPPENS.
Although it is heartwarming my son loves me this much, I wish he didn’t. I hate that he knows what it is like to watch me suffer. But he does. And I see him take the precautions necessary to keep me safe during this pandemic.
Ricky knows I am one of the ones who would most certainly die if I contracted Coronavirus. I just received my maintenance dose of chemotherapy five days ago, I am on two high dose immune suppressants, as well as high dose steroids. I have Myasthenia Gravis and Lupus. If I get sick, my lungs and immune system are already severely compromised.
With the Coronavirus being named a pandemic, I have been asked what I am doing to prepare. How am I living my life differently?
The answer is quite simple: I am not doing anything different.
As your jaw drops from reading that, let me explain.
I am vulnerable at all times, to all risks. Not just to the Coronavirus. I ALWAYS live my life with an abundance of caution. Due to my life experiences, I see life through a different lense. I always wash my hands for OVER 20 seconds. I have sanitizer on me at all times. My house is cleaned and sanitized weekly. I wash all of my clothes and jackets after each use. I always have a one-month stockpile of food and supplies, not just for this latest scare. And I am an expert at social distancing.
I am prepared, always. Prepared to protect myself from those that think a little sickness bug is nothing and leave the house, putting my life and those like me at risk. I am ready to protect myself from those who are healthy and do not understand how fragile some invisible illness warrior’s immune systems can be.
I have lived this way for years, so this latest scare does not have me changing many things. What is bothering me though, is how my son is so overly concerned. I am saddened by how extra-long my children’s embraces have been and how many times they have randomly told me they love me. What rattles me is the look on my husband’s face when he checks my temperature, waiting for what seems like an eternity for the thermometer to beep and tell him I am okay.
Here is my question:
What if everyone took this as seriously as my son Ricky does? What if you followed every rule and loved and protected society like my family loves and protects me?
What can you do to make sure you are protecting those who are immunocompromised, elderly, or have underlying health conditions?
It is likely not going to be my actions that would be the reason I got sick from Coronavirus, it would be yours. Please think of others and follow proper hygiene practices. And, for the love of God, stay home if you are feeling sick.
We are all in this together, interconnected. I wish you all the best in your health, not just during this crisis, but always.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jennifer Hall from Las Vegas, Nevada. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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