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The worst fear should I have tested positive this morning was the fear of losing my independence for up to 10 days as I lived my life in isolation having to depend on others to get groceries, pick up my mail from the post office and deposit my checks at the bank.

Last Thursday I was in a room with two people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

I cancelled a weekend trip to see my mom and visit my cousin to see the renovations that have been done at his dad’s house.

And it was Tex-Mex dip day. It’s one of the favorite dishes my mom makes and one of the things I can eat despite my type 2 diabetes diagnosis in March of 2019. I love that dip.

Out of concern for my elderly mother and my elderly uncle and under advice of our county health director, I postponed the trip and let my mom, uncle, cousin and his wife indulge in that delicacy my mom makes — a delicacy that has been a family favorite for years.

I had already been scheduled to draw blood for my A1C check this morning and I should report if I haven’t already that I’m currently off all diabetes medications — insulin since July of last year and Metformin since July of this year. Big strides for someone who thought between March 23 and 24 of last year their time on this earth was short.

I made it through diabetes and it is under control but I’m still diabetic and the disease has clearly been labeled as an underlying condition when it comes to COVID-19.

So Friday I learned that two people I interviewed tested positive. I immediately called my doctor and told them I had been exposed and since I was to have my A1C test done today they scheduled a COVID test. A positive result would send me into a tailspin — the biggest factor being my loss of independence, essentially knocking off my exercise routine to control diabetes and being away from family and friends.

My mom called last night and had prayer with me over the phone. It meant the world to me and I tried hard to keep from crying as she said an eloquent prayer that covered the best possible result and the worst possible result.

A few people who knew called me to let me know they would be happy to make grocery runs for me. I hate being dependent on people but they said that’s what friends do and I believe them.

I slept soundly last night. I had a bout last week where I was having trouble sleeping, a song kept playing through my head making me think I was going insane.

Those sleepless episodes will be fodder for a future column as a friend of mine who is a therapist told me the most plausible reason that song wouldn’t leave my brain is because I need to use it to reach others. 

Long story short it’s a song about addiction and when I first heard it I thought by the title Sugartooth by Brandi Carlile it was a story of my long addiction to sweets which led me down this new road to a drastic lifestyle change. When I got home I listened to it again and discovered it was about drug addiction, although my therapist friend tells me an addiction is an addiction no matter sweets, alcohol, opioids or any number of things.

She told me to journal my thoughts running through my head and I have started doing that — a wild stream of consciousness rant which covers the addiction topic and veers into other deeply personal issues.

The journaling along with some self-hypnosis relaxation tips worked wonders and I have been using them ever since.

That’s why I have slept so well and was ready to accept the outcome of my test this morning.

Health Director Bruce Robistow showed great concern when I spoke to him of the exposure and wanted to know the outcome when I got my test at Rural Health at Drugco Express. I told him mom would be the first to know and  he would be the second.

I got to Rural Health 15 minutes ahead of my appointment and shortly after 8 the nurse came out to my car, put the swab into both nostrils and went back in.

I thought about the results, thought about that loss of independence, thought about those who treat this pandemic so cavalierly and thought about not being able to go on my three-miles jogs in the morning.

About 15 minutes later she came out and said, “You can visit your mom.” The test result was negative. To me it was like winning the lottery or like the feeling I had last year when the Blues won the Stanley Cup. It was simply a sense of great relief.

After the nurse drew blood for my A1C and after I got my green slip to get my flu shot I called my mom as promised and she was relieved and so I was I.

I texted the health director and he was elated.

After my flu shot I went to the grocery store to stock up, thankful I didn’t lose my independence — Lance Martin