….are you sure about that?

It is 4:29 in the morning and gratefully I am awake after five hours of sleep. God usually whispers “Come with me” at this time. This morning He and I will discuss the COVID-19 vaccination. Again. Our appointment is at 8:15. Today is the day. We comply with the government’s request to take this preventive measure.

No, I am not sure about this.

Our household of three had COVID in December of 2020. Of the three of us, I am the one with lasting side effects. My eyesight was weakened. I am also the one whose immune system and health history make me more vulnerable to take anything “experimental”.

For me the more the government pushes this vaccine the more I hesitate. Why?

Simple, no one can be trusted to speak the truth. Certainly not Dr. Falsely. (Misspelling intended). Nor the CDC or WHO. Neither can government officials. My own health care providers listen to my concerns and reply with the same assurances. Like every one is reading the same cue card. The risk is minimal, take the vaccine.

By nature I am a rule keeper. But, this time I am unsure. Let’s be frank, the whole COVID experience is fraught with too many questions and too few answers.

For all those assuring me the risks are minimal I wearily reply that they themselves have no idea what it is like to be in that small percentage. I do.

Herd mentality is aggressively pushing us to shut up and take the shot, get in line again and take it again. Oh, and be prepared to repeat the process in six months to a year. Wear a mask, wear two no three masks! How selfish to even think about non-compliance. I am not prepared to be an obedient cow on this. Are you?

What I am sure about is God not allowing evil to prevail. I am confident He knows the future and that He will walk me through whatever the outcome of this vaccine is for me. I am reminded that the moments and minutes I live and breathe right now at 5:18 in the morning are miraculous. I have been on the literal edge of death before and God chose to spare me for this morning.

He is trustworthy. By His very nature He is not a liar. When that needle slides into my arm later this morning I am sure that my Heavenly Father loves me and is with me. Plus, if He does not want me to take the shot He will clearly show me this too.


…what are some positive outcomes we’ve learned from 2020? (Part 1)

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That’s a good question. We all know it’s been a tremedously challenging year on all fronts. Yet, in my prayer time the other morning I realized there are a few unexpected benefits from 2020, so far.

In no particular order, the glaring spotlight has been cast on:

  • education
  • health care
  • the economy
  • how lack of quality internet services creates a barrier for home education online or working from home
  • personal relationships
  • America and her citizens
  • personal responsibility for personal decisions
  • every elected official from Washington D.C. to the smallest towns.
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EDUCATION: Pre-COVID days we woke our kids up, sent them to school, went off to work, and we all returned home later. Whenever later happened to be. Kids had sports, music lessons, play dates, cheering, baton, karate, and dozens of other activities to cram pack their days. Parents worked, juggled housework, childcare, brought work home, had their own extracurricular activities, girls night out, boys night out, golfing, shopping, visiting the inlaws or the parents, and some of us, church. School was someone else’s responsibility.

Then COVID hit like a tidal wave and schools closed. Businessess closed, stores and restaurants closed. Toilet paper flew off the shelves like dry leaves in a tornado. You still can’t get disinfectant spray in many parts of the country. Prices went up. Service went down. Essential employees didn’t like being essential and non-essential staff didn’t know whether to be rejoicing or complaining. Add into the mix that everybody was forced to partake in virtual learning.

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No one was prepared. Not the school systems and not the parents. Certainly not the kids. But in the new way of doing things some positive outcomes have come forth.

  • People are seeing way more thoroughly exactly what their children are being taught from the earliest of ages and who is doing the teaching.
  • Parents are developing a new respect for their kids teachers and other school staff.
  • Teachers are seeing a bit deeper into the home life of their students.
  • Creativity is higher on the list of how to get the job done while still providing a quality education.
  • Maybe for the first time parents are learning that teachers are teaching more than math to their students, they’re teaching personal beliefs regarding politics, religion, parents, and what to think, say and do to be “woke”. Whatever happened to if it doesn’t pertain to the assigned cirrculum then don’t discuss it in the classroom. Wasn’t that a big thing in no longer allowing teachers or schools to pray to God, discuss faith based items with any student, including the ones who ask you outside of class? Chokehold God but not on Marxism?
  • Many of these same ‘teachers” are asking parents not to watch online lessons and discussions but parents are watching and learning anyway.
  • Public education will absolutely never be the same again. Ever.
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Here in our rural location we’ve long wrestled with lousy internet service. We pay premium costs for internet so slow that we can’t hold a connection to watch a movie, download software, receive/send timely email, attend a Zoom or other online meeting. Thankfully, our daughter has graduated and we’re not having to deal with the barrier to her getting her education.

This barrier has long been known, just unaddressed by government decision makers. They aren’t having to deal with it so it doesn’t matter to them. Now though, with both education and the economy being handicapped by lousy internet connections, the spotlight is forcing the issue to the forefront. They can send out all the free vouchers they want to cover the cost of internet services for students, it doesn’t resolve the issue of the quality of that service.

That’s two of the catergories where there have been positive outcomes already. Keep reading for future posts that discuss the others.


…how is the virtual world treating you?

Readers, I am 56-years-old. Learned to use a computer in college. Back then I was amazed at the word processing because I was a writer. Now I am still a writer, but I am coaching the computer and word processing to come up without updating.

Not a gamer. When gaming systems hit the living/bedrooms of people’s homes I was paying my own bills and couldn’t afford one. By the time a friend was upgrading theirs, gave me one, it was two systems behind and I was working full-time and going to seminary. No time to play.

Since I am retired on disability (not by choice), my laptop, lousy internet service, word processing and Microsoft and Google is a true love/hate relationship. This is where the virtual world gets me.

People need connection. At least I do. Virtual reality connections feel “shaky” to me. Looking someone in the eye to get a sense of their integrity still feels uncomfortable. My mind keeps reminding me that we’re all behind computer screens.

Last evening I participated in a “once we were employed there” reunion. A weak internet connection was a struggle. But, I attend my counseling sessions on the phone and that works for me. In both cases I knew everyone involved.

Therapy by phone with the same therapist I had going into the COVID-19 shutdowns works because I had done all the face-to-face groundwork already. I knew everyone at the reunion too, long ago made those connections. The difference lays in the technology of accessibility to the internet. One-on-one connection by phone glitches are remedied quickly. There is no quick fix to the internet issues during during the virtual reunion.

A blog about internet choices is fodder for another blog topic.

Virtual reality treats me unequally based on my location. My location is based on money and safety. Enough said for today. Until next time, I’ll leave the solar powered light on for you. 🙂


What has COVID-19 cost American’s seriously ill but not with the coronavirus?

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Although I have opinions about whether or not all the COVID-19 mandates and restrictions have been necessary I concede I am not a scientist, doctor or in the medical field. Although science both supports and doesn’t support the restrictions, I try to give the benefit of the doubt. The decisions were made in an attempt to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.

This is beyond wearing face masks. In the bigger view of this topic, masks are but a single thread in the larger fabric woven from all of this.

Let’s not get into conspiracy theories.

What I struggle with are the limitations of medical services to those without the coronavirus but who are seriously ill none-the-less.

The first indication something was wrong with my husband began in January, 2020. On January 20 we were in the doctors office and the emergency room. The coronovirus was on the horizon.

By March 24 when COVID-19 was a gigantic towering threat to human existence, we were again at the doctor’s office. Chris had lost 80 pounds in five months and was still dropping weight in rapid amounts. He struggled to breath. He was extremely weak. Exhausted. Could hardly walk. From there we were sent to the emergency room so my husband could be admitted.

It was a heart wrenching day. Because of the cononavirus I wasn’t even allowed to exit the vehicle and see him inside. I had to leave him. Alone. Suddenly we found the methods and access to health care were radically different.

During this COVID-19 shutdown and behavior mandates this is the number of medical interventions we’ve gone through. My husband has faced almost all of them alone. Even with COVID-19 restrictions doctors who he was already a patient of, from his hospital stays, have been a maze of difficulty. The majority of his doctors began trying to get Chris in to see a doctor with the University of Alabama in Birmingham. It took four months to schedule this evaluation.

Unable to get the intervention needed Chris began the rounds for second and third opinions. Doctors have been pushing COVID-19 restrictions trying to keep my husband alive. Then there are the MRI’s, CTA’s, PET scans, and ultrasounds. Then there have been the tests. Everything in his body has been scanned, tested, poked, prodded, pressed, examined, washed out, emptied and wrung out. Followed by repeats. Results? All we’ve heard is, “I don’t know” or “Nothing unusual or wrong was found”.

Yet they all knew this wasn’t in his head. The proof was in his health. Everywhere we were sent or needed to be sent was limited by 50% capacity and new patients were put off unless they had active cases of COVID-19. Over a course of six months though, even on COVID-19 restrictions Chris has gone through:

  • Primary Doctor visits, seven.
  • Emergency Room visits, three.
  • Hospital Admittance, two, for a total of six days.
  • Oncologists/Surgeon–seven visits.
  • Gastrologists, eight appointments, two different doctors.
  • Cardiovascular/Internist, five.
  • Pulmulerologist, two visits and it took four months to get an appointment. Scans ordered in July were completed in August and we won’t get results until October 29 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Scans, labs, tests when Chris was not in the hospital; total of eleven. One took three consecutive days.
  • Three COVID-19 tests, all of which have been negative.
  • Two additional scans have been ordered but not scheduled yet.
  • Approval from our health insurance has to come through first and those are taking longer to get approved because they are short staffed because of, yes, COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Upcoming new doctor with teaching/research hospital scheduled for October 5, 2020. (UAB, The University of Alabama in Birmingham, is nationally known for it’s research, care and medical breakthroughs.) This appointment too took four months to get arranged.

Other restrictions that have interfered in Chris’ recovery:

  • Very limited family involvement allowed in treatment. We’ve not been allowed to attend appointments or scans with him. Only two doctors have been okay with my being on the phone during an appointment. For 95% of his appointments, scans and tests Chris was so sick he couldn’t remember what all the doctor had said, or why a test or scan had been ordered or why a new medication was being tried.
  • Due to staff shortages and resources given to the COVID-19 accomodations in the hospital even trying to talk to a nurse or doctor was an all-day investment in calls and time.
  • Due to staff shortages and reassignments because of the coronavirus the financial assistance personnel were overwhelmed. Phone calls, even if you held for the “next representative available” went to voice mail or were dropped off. Messages went unreturned. Written communication went unacknowledged.
  • The same restrictions were in play at our health insurance company. Scans, tests, lab works almost always required prior approval. Those took longer to get because of a shortage of personnel.
  • The restrictions to who you could visit with took a huge emotional toll. Churches were shut down for a great deal of this time. Outside services in the heat prevented Chris from attending.
  • People couldn’t visit us and we couldn’t visit them. By the time we were able to see our great nieces and nephew they were shocked to see their Funcle. Our oldest greatniece ran her fingers over the pad of his hand where callous had always been prominent. “What happened? They’ve always been tough.” We both cried.
  • His health. Interventions the doctors thought he needed were always next to impossible to get. The plan became to just throw the kitchen sink at the issues until that appointment at UAB could come through.
  • Short and long term disability insurances were also hampered by too few staff. Balls got dropped. No one followed up with their end of the paperwork or submission for approval. His long-term disability has been pending since July 14. Having gone through this process myself I understand “rubber stamping” but this has gone beyond that.

The emotional cost has been the most expensive. None of those making these decisions are the ones paying the true cost for them. Because, even as sick as he was, my husband’s undiagnosed illness, didn’t qualify him for life or death intervention.

What none of these COVID-19 restrictions has been able to do is cut off our source of hope. For despite these costs, we’re so blessed because diagnosed or not, my husband has begun to slowly get better. His weight is creeping up. His strength is better. He still struggles with breathing, pain when he eats, depression and stamia but he is moving forward. Though, like this week, he still has his bad days. He’s slept these days away.

Have all the protective, “in case’ precautious, been necessary? Maybe? But the criteria, the nuts and bolts of enforcing them? Too much cost to American’s in danger of severe health issues or death. Limited access to health care, especially when you’re paying through the nose for insurance, is a dangerous game to be forced into. There have to have been ways that those needing medical interventions could still get them without prolonging their agony. My husband has nearly lost his life. By the time he is actually diagnosed it may to late for him to recover his complete health. He could still die.

There are more costs to American’s with COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. Those will be talked about later.

Until this is over, maybe those in charge can live with themselves but I am praying constantly to forgive them.

For anyone going through something similiar with or without the assurance of God on your side, I pray for you too.



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