A Realist, an Optimist, and a Christian….

No, this isn’t a bar joke. I started this post at 5 am with some thoughts I had. It evolved and went in another direction than I originally planned. I am learning to let my thoughts and writing flow. Hopefully, it all makes sense.

It could have been worse. You may ask “What could have been worse?”. My reply would be “Everything”.

I am an optimist. A dreamer full of hope for not just myself, but those around me also.

I am a realist. I know the severity of things around me. I don’t sugarcoat life, there is no reason to.

I am a Christian and I believe in Heaven. I know that when I die, my soul will live on while my earthly body slowly decomposes.

How do these things relate and coexist, especially in the middle of a pandemic?

Well, I know Covid is real. As real as Cancer, Heart disease, Influenza, Pneumonia, or any other illness I could get that can alter my life in numerous ways. I think most people look at Cancer as the scariest of these illnesses. Except now Covid has become the new dreaded C word and people are terrified of getting it. I am not saying people should run out and lick surfaces to expose themselves to it, but eventually we are all going to be exposed to it, just like every other virus in the world. How our individual bodies react to that exposure will determine our individual outcome.

If you have co morbidities you should always be making sure your immune system is boosted as much as possible. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, taking extra vitamins especially if you tend not to eat healthy, and trying to reduce stress and fear.

These are all things I try to do in my every day life to improve my immune system, which has always sucked. I am mindful of the fact if I caught Covid it could potentially kill me. Even though I am in my late 40’s, I have co morbidities. I am overweight borderline obese, this seems to be a big underlying factor of your outcome with Covid from the research I have read. So, I am actively working on reducing my weight. I have MVP, mitral valve prolapse, which means one of my heart valves doesn’t work properly. I am fortunate that it has never gotten to the point where I have needed open heart surgery to replace it, this is one of those “It could be worse” moments. This condition makes me more susceptible to infections in my heart. I was diagnosed with this at 16 years of age, so I have lived with it for awhile. It’s the main reason I had my tonsils removed 7 years ago. I kept getting strep throat which meant basically living on antibiotics. That causes other havoc in your body, so I took the proactive step in removing my tonsils that harbored the strep bacteria. Thankfully I have had strep a lot less often, although anytime I have a sore throat my doctor puts me on an antibiotic anyways.

So, that’s two co morbidities right? One I can change and one I have no control over. But, wait there’s more! I have asthma. It’s not debilitating, but I have an inhaler which incidentally I have had to use more in the last 10 months than I have in the last 10 years. Why? Masks, that’s why. Breathing in hot humid air aggravates my asthma. Simple. I don’t have much control over having asthma, I just control it by avoiding my triggers as much as possible. Having asthma though increases my risk of Covid complications, so that’s 3 Co morbidities. That’s not all though, I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome, that’s a whole story for another day. However, it weakens my immune system, so that’s 4 co morbidities. Yes, there are things I can do to help manage all of these things, and I do.

You would think that with being high risk with 4 co morbidities I would be terrified to go outside into the world with Covid seemingly to lurk around every corner, but I am not. This is where being a realist, an optimist, and a Christian all tie in together.

I am fully aware of my risks, I do what I can to minimize my exposure, but I live my life to the fullest everyday because I never know when my time on earth is up. I have faith in Gods timing. My Dads stage 4 lung cancer journey taught me that. He survived with it for almost 10 years to the day of diagnosis. (That is another whole story!) His journey could have been so much worse, but it wasn’t because he was a realist, an optimist, and a Christian.

I know of several Covid stories, people I personally know who have contracted it. Most, thankfully, have survived, some, unfortunately, have not. I know people who have been exposed multiple times and have yet to contract it. My heart breaks for those who have died from it and the anguish their families feel. One of my Aunts passed away from it and I miss her terribly. This is one of those instances of it could have been worse though. How? You may ask.

My Uncle was sick at the same time. My poor cousin could have tragically been one of the many who have lost both parents in this pandemic. She was fortunate to only lose one. She was fortunate that her mother passing occurred while she, herself, was being wheeled into the operating room for surgery for Breast Cancer. Had her mom passed the day before, they might not have gone ahead with the surgery. I for one am thankful she was able to have her surgery and start her treatments. I have several friends who unfortunately because of the pandemic have had cancer treatments or screenings postponed.

A few weeks after my Aunt passed away and my Uncle was recovering, my Grandma contracted Covid. My Grandma who is 105 years old, and lives in an assisted living facility that was locked down. She thankfully survived!

That could have potentially been a nightmare, one I previously lived in early January. When my other Aunt, my Dad, a dear cousin, a close family friend, my husband’s uncle, and my son’s girlfriend’s grandfather passed away within 3 weeks of each other. So I am thankful my cousin didn’t have to endure the loss of both parents and her Grandma too, while starting her Cancer battle. The loss of her mom, her best friend, was and is a nightmare for her, however it could have been so much worse and I will forever be grateful to God that he spared her that heartache. I pray that she continues to have the strength and courage to beat the Cancer.

As we all navigate through these crazy times we must take the time to be grateful for our blessings through all this. I will continue to be a realist, an optimist, and a Christian. I pray you all stay healthy and safe.

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