So I started writing about the journey my 2020 had been here…
When we left our narrative I had been having shortness of breath, and the motel I was working at was in the start of a busy season. Covid had just really begun to come onto the public consciousness and in a canary in the coal mine moment Disney made the decision to close all their parks world wide and their cruise lines. There was a lot of concern brewing in early March for those of us in the hospitality industry in Central Florida.
I can’t pinpoint when I started consistently feeling under the weather. I was taking allergy medication, and some cold/flu medication, and still feeling terrible. Until the night I just could not seem to breathe easy. As the night progressed and Jonathan went to sleep I took a hot bath and tried everything but I became more and more frightened because I would try to relax and …it started feeling like I had to focus on breathing to continue breathing rather than it happening automatically.
I double checked my insurance information, woke Jonathan, and asked him to take me to the ER.
It was empty when we got there, around 3 or 4 am… just a couple of nurses behind the counter. No one in the waiting room. I explained I was having trouble breathing and that I worked in the Hospitality business. That I had recently checked in guests from Italy and from Asia in the last few weeks. (January thru March can be the starting bell for tourism in Florida with guests from overseas)
They got me to a negative air pressure waiting room, did the covid 19 swab test as Jon held my hand, and I waited and waited and waited. Jonathan had to go to work, and he reassured the hospital staff that his real estate photography involved photographing empty houses and that otherwise he would be staying in isolation at home.
They wanted to do a second swab, but without Jon there I simply wasn’t able to handle it. I am afraid even a few hours of breathing problems and relative isolation had not done good for my mental or emotional state. Nothing like being left to stew in ones own mental juices while fearing for ones life to play with ones head.
I waited some more. In the nearly empty halls of the ER in an exam room clearly labelled negative air pressure room. They performed some other tests including a CAT scan, or perhaps it was an MRI… they wheeled me through the big metal donut and scanned me in some fashion anyway….
Finally many hours after I arrived, they admitted me to a hospital room in an isolation ward. I had forgotten to grab a phone charger, and messaged one of my BFF’s Matt to see if he would be able to pick up a cord and charger for me. He dropped one off, at the desk and they were able to get it up to me. After a brief misunderstanding at the lobby desk that for a brief and alarming moment made it sound like my friend Matt might be put into a forced quarantine at the hospital… but they allowed him to go home for isolation.
Doctors and nurses in masks and full plastic jump suits would occasionally visit. I can’t clearly remember what if any other tests were performed over the next couple of days. By this point I was on oxygen with a… canulla I think it’s called… the little tube with the nose prongs that you see in nearly every hospitalization scene in the movies? It was helping a lot the first couple of days but by my second day in the isolation ward breathing was becoming more difficult again…
Then the doctor got back to me. Tests had come in.
The Covid test’s, two off of the first swab, came back negative… BUT, there were some questions about the reliability of the tests and timing even then and every other detectable symptom matched those shown in cases of Covid 19. So they wanted to put me under sedation and get my on a breathing machine as soon as possible because based on every bit of available medical evidence I may very well have Covid 19.
I took as deep a breath as I could… and told the doctors that I would need to make a few phone calls before they put me under.
I called the GM of my motel, outlined the situation, and explained that I was not sure when I would be able to return to work. He was a rock and told me not to worry that he would reach out to the regional manager and that there were measures being put in place by the company.
Then I called my brother Scott. I explained what was happening and that they were putting me under and on a breathing machine. I explained to Scott through labored breathing and tears and stifled sobs as I tried to stay somewhere near calm that I had not yet made a legal will, but that if the worse happened I wanted Jonathan to get the house and it’s contents. He reassured me that if something happened, that he as trustee of our fathers modest estate would make sure Jonathan would get the house and be provided for from our fathers trust. I made sure Scott had Jonathan’s number, and told my brother that I loved him and to give my love to his family.
Then I called Jonathan and told him what was happening. I told him I loved him. I told him that if the worst happened I had made sure he was going to be taken care of. I tried to express my deep love for and confidence in him. I made sure Jon had my brother’s contact information…
Then, they put me under sedation.
I am crying a bit as I type the above. I also notice I haven’t done very well to describe my fears, or my environment or even my feelings of fear…of grief… of the sensation of hoping with no sense of certainty that I would wake up. The stark cleanliness of the hospital room, familiar from years of visiting my mother in hospitals, and from Jonathan’s own hospitalization for an assault in 2019. How the place felt even somehow cleaner or more sterile because of what seemed like a relative lack of activity and the protocols of masks and the PPE suiting up process. The dreadful sense of being Schrodinger’s patient as I waited on results. The random musings of being in an older section of the hospital that had likely been refitted and renovated multiple times over the course of years and the musings of what other lives and experiences had passed through the rooms there.
Even writing this bare description of these events is difficult. I find myself tearing up, and also going into that emotional cross-roads between numbness and grief that tells me I need to be doing more writing or journaling or magick around this to help deal with this fearful experience I have gone through.
In the different faiths of Contemporary Paganism and the different Traditions of Witchcraft there is a lot of talk about the idea of The Mysteries. Those rituals of experience that you can undergo that can reveal great Truths or Revelations to the one experiencing them. Many times in mystery rites, there is a symbolic death and rebirth, or so the stories go. We don’t know much of anything firm about the ancient mysteries, or the contemporary ones, because in part one does not speak about them to the unimitated. This is said to profane the mysteries… at the same time you could talk about the experience at length and never convey the spiritual truth of the experience.
More on my 2020 adventures later friends…