We’ve lived with this dreaded thing hanging over our lives for so long now and for so many of us, life is beginning to resume some normality. And for us it is in some ways but in others, our life isn’t nomral anyway.
My son, Azariah, is still a vulnerable baby while he waits for his second open heart surgery. Which means catching a virus could mean he could end up needing oxygen and a stay in intensive care. Therefore we have tried to be so careful during this whole pandemic.
It’s meant that we have stayed isolating from people for much longer than some. We continued watching church online and declined invitations to anything social. Our main contact was with family members, my daughter with her high school and my husband with work.
As time went on this became an incredibly lonely place to be, especially for me, stay at home mum.
We have however had to override some of our worries and anxieties just to start living again. I began taking Azariah to baby classes, which really helped me to meet other mums locally. Since getting Azariah dedicated in church at the end of January, we have begun attending in person every Sunday again. And we have begun to consider social invitations.
The weekend before last we attended our first wedding as a family. This was Azariah’s real first social gathering outside of anything family. We could have just attended the church ceremony and sneaked away but we decided to attend the reception afterwards. It was so nice to get dressed up, and go somewhere nice. I have really missed that!
We have been practicing social distancing for so long, and as a person who does not like hugs; it’s a great excuse to get out of hugging people!! But some people have gone back to doing this crazy uncomfortable social interective thing and I was hugged by a few people at the wedding. We tried really hard to keep our distance from people but it was too challenging during the reception meal. The best we could do was to keep Azariah away from people as much as possible and we did leave before the party kicked in.
After two years of avoiding that thing that I shall no longer name, it’s caught up with me. I began feeling sick a couple of days after our social outing, and after testing negative for the first 3 days, the first positive result showed up on day 5.
When you live with a clinically vulnerable baby you know that when you have a virus you have to do all you can to protect the clinically vulnerable baby. So just as when my husband and daughter caught this virus earlier in the year and had to isolate, this is what I have been doing for over a week now. It might seem ridiculous to some people considering how long we have been living with this and we’ve been told we no longer need to isolate. But the fear of your child getting sick and potentially needing oxygen changes everything. It makes us act crazy.
I am so bored stuck in a room on my own. I am missing being with my family so much, particularly my baby boy. But this is a small price to pay to protect my son.
I know we cannot protect him from every little bug that may come our way, but we will do our best to protect him the best we can and I think we have had a pretty good run. We have so much trauma from our hospital stay, so many things that we are still processing and knowing that we will have to go through another surgery at some point, is just hard.
We want to live life again, but our son just needs to be able to be safe and live with his congenital heart defect, while his parents try to manage the risks and their anxieties.
So much easier said than done!!
p.s I am feeling much better and am looking forward to getting a negative test result in the next couple of days and getting back to our “normal”