December 9th, 2020
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – The Buddha
My wife, Karin, is in the hospital. That is part of the present moment, and it really kind of sucks.
Karin has had COVID for at least a week or more. The symptoms have become progressively worse as the days have passed. Karin has suffered the attacks of a violent, wracking cough, usually followed by a wheezing, whistling sound coming from her lungs. She has eaten nearly nothing during the last several days. COVID killed her appetite. She’s been lying in bed, too weak to do anything besides stagger to the bathroom.
I made her tea this morning, and I brought her some hot soup. At about noon, she called me into the bedroom. She stared straight ahead and said,
“I think I need to call somebody.”
I replied, “We already called our doctor. He told us that he couldn’t see you. I don’t think urgent care will either. All we have left is a trip to the ER. There is nobody else to call.”
Karin looked away from me. Her breathing was shallow. She looked pale and drawn. She was listless. Sometimes, Karin will argue with me just for the sake of arguing. Not today. She just nodded in a defeated sort of way.
She said, “Maybe I should dial 9-1-1.”
I told her, “Let me know if you want me to drive you to the ER. I can drive. It’s okay. Just tell me what you want me to do.”
She nodded again, and said,
“I have to get dressed.”
I put on my shoes and my coat, then I went back to her bedroom.
She asked me, “Can you get me my purse. I can’t bend down to pick it up. I’ll get dizzy.”
She checked through her bag to make sure she had all that she needed. She got up unsteadily, and handed me her bag.
“Take this. It’s too heavy.”
It took it. Then we went to the garage and got into the car.
It was only a ten minute drive from our house to the ER. When we got there I helped her out of the Toyota. I went inside with her, and kept my distance.
The lady at the desk asked Karin for her personal information. Karin had to dig out her social security card because she has never been able to memorize her number. Karin had trouble understanding the woman. The masks made it difficult, and Karin’s hearing is iffy at most times anyway.
The woman, knowing that Karin had tested positive, told her to sit in an enclosed waiting room. I moved to follow Karin, and the woman firmly told me,
“There are no visitors.”
I knew that already. I just didn’t want Karin to be alone.
I went home. After a couple hours, I found out that Karin was being sent to local COVID care facility. I took her some clothes, and her meds, and her phone charger. I didn’t get to see her.
I don’t know when I’ll see her.