Christina Antus counts her blessings (though she still can't smell them), after recovering from Covid.
Few things feel better than feeling better after a period of not feeling good. Going out in the sunshine and fresh air is probably a close second.
After COVID, it was no different. Except that I couldn’t smell the fresh air.
My record of forgotten dirty diapers left in a room, unbeknownst to me, is skyrocketing. I change it, set it down, and move on. If you can't smell it, is it even there?
I even burned a paper towel by the stove while making dinner the other night and didn't know until well after dinner and into cleaning up.
I wish I could tell you that the entire COVID experience, after all the hype, was life-changing but, for me, it wasn’t. It was just another virus. A really weird one. After almost two years of scare tactics by the news, and bracing myself for an inevitable illness, COVID was pretty anticlimactic. It certainly wasn’t comfortable. It most definitely wasn’t fun. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had — but it was up there. So, I wish I had some major life epiphany to share with you, but I don’t.
I didn’t have visions.
I didn’t have a near-death experience.
I didn’t even have a fever.
What I had was perspective.
When you learn to look for God, you find that He is always there.
That’s a perspective I didn’t have nearly twenty years ago when I had the flu, followed by pneumonia. That was the sickest I’ve ever been. Perhaps it was just something as simple as perspective that helped me navigate COVID one step at a time. Because this felt easier and I continue to push through recovery with a fresh outlook that I didn't have in the past.
Of course, God has lessons for all of us in everything that happens, big and little, from the backlog of laundry to the sink that seems to constantly regenerate dishes. It doesn't have to be a world-changing epiphany. I would be lying if I said I didn’t come out of this without some new appreciation of things.
This November, I am most thankful for the little things, like the cliché goes, that ended up being big things:
- Having some suffering that I could offer up for someone — anyone — in the hopes that they can be helped or relieved of their suffering somehow.
- Having a healthy immune system that didn't fail me.
- Having warm weather on the days that I was most sick, so that that I could go outside and walk the yard rather than be trapped inside on the couch.
- Having the privilege to tell others that, yes, I am doing better.
- Understanding how valuable smell is, from not being able to smell burning food to not being able to nuzzle my face in my children's hair and smell them.
- Appreciating the little bit of smell I've regained and being able to sort-of taste foods I love.
- Having prayer to lean on when over-the-counter medicines weren't working, because by praying, I felt like I was doing something when nothing was happening.
- Having children who were mostly unaffected by this and sailed through with symptoms less severe than colds and stomach viruses they've had in the past.
- Having friends who were there to porch-deliver extra cold medicine when our supplies ran out.
- Being able to do more than a few small things without the weight of fatigue.
- Being in a position to now help others who fall ill and be able to serve without caution or fear.
- Having unlimited empathy for those who severely suffer from this in a much more serious way.
Like all of life and life's issues, perspective has always been the way to cope with everything. Even when it's hard or feels impossible. This is no different. The challenge of our time is to stay faithful to God in trying times when the things He wants us to learn are not completely clear.
Maybe for me, COVID was simply a lesson in learning to appreciate the little things that were often taken for granted before it hit. Maybe they don't seem like big things until you've lost the privilege of having them from the inability to function for several days at a time without feeling tired or having to blow your nose multiple times a day for weeks.
Seriously, how big is your nasal cavity? It's got more storage that the back of my SUV. I'm two weeks post COVID and my nasal passages continue to donate their time and efforts generously. Selflessly.
I'm blessed to walk away from COVID with a lot of good things, thanks be to God.
But no one will rejoice more than my family when the day comes where I can finally smell the dirty diapers again.
Copyright 2021 Christina Antus
Images: Canva Pro