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October 28, 2020

Ann Farabee — My COVID journey part 4 — Taste and see

By Ann Farabee

After the overnight emergency room visit ended, we headed home with hope. I was starting to believe I may recover from COVID.

But days 9-10 took a surprising and unexpected turn that left me with the most powerful emotions of my journey.

Isolation would continue. Isolation means to be alone or apart from others. That pretty much summed it up. The days were hard. They lasted forever.

Day 9

I got home from the hospital and back to bed. A morning cup of coffee and a yogurt were delivered by family to my bedroom door at 9 a.m.  I was spending my morning with the expectation of improvement on the horizon, mostly due to having an antibiotic. I would just wait and see.

Then came the surprise. I took a sip of my coffee. I could not taste it. I ate a spoonful of  yogurt. I could not taste it. How yogurt and coffee both felt like cardboard in my mouth, I really could not understand. It scared me. What if my taste never came back? I knew if I had to live like this, I would never survive. Never have I experienced such a moment. It was shocking. It felt hopeless. Eating cardboard? Why even bother? I could feel the warmth of the coffee, but that was all. I sent it away.

Later, I tried water. Surely that would seem normal. Again — cardboard.

At that point, I was not willing to eat without tasting it, but did try to keep drinking a little water. Napping and watching TV took up most of my day, but as evening fell I began to realize that another symptom had shown up. My vision had become blurry. My eyes were watery. Losing my ability to taste and see hit me hard. Fear of not getting better began to control my thoughts — again.

Hopelessness was still there.

There was no end in sight.

I was starting to wonder if it would end.

Tears came easily on this night, as I prayed alone for my taste and my ability to see clearly to return. I thought about Charles, sleeping again on the floor in another room. He had been working so diligently to care for the family — all of us. It was then that I connected his favorite Bible verse with my very difficult day. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in him.”

I gotta say — I wasn’t feeling it.

Day 10

Double digits. I had lived to see another day. Surely, this day would be the peak and my symptoms would begin to subside. They did. It was the peak for some of the earlier symptoms — no more fever, headache or cough, and breathing improved slightly. It was now mostly achy, fatigued, and the inability to taste and see. Those symptoms were horrible. I tried to feel encouraged, for we were only a few days away from the end of our quarantine, going out of our yard, our children getting back to school, grocery store trips, and church. And I was feeling somewhat better. Our lives would return to normal.

Then came the unexpected.

At 4 p.m., Charles walked in the bedroom, with his mask on as always, looked me in the eyes, and said, “I’m sick.”

We both knew.

Return to normal would have to wait.

Contact me at annfarabee@gmail.com.

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