With Severe Underlying Conditions...COVID-19 Is Terrifying

This article was written on April 13, 2020. Further developments in what we know about the coronavirus are continuously emerging. Learn more in Self-Care in Uncertain Times.

During the majority of the current coronavirus crisis, my family and I have been hunkered down on our family farm. One key benefit our farm offers is that it is not through-fair on our property. We feel safe and secure here in the head of this lonely, West Virginia holler. Proud mountaineers in every sense of the word, it has not been a real problem remaining on our family farm.

Fearful picking up my prescriptions

COVID-19 has generated many fears within our tiny Mountain State community. Personally, I have developed a fear of going to pick up my many prescriptions needed to maintain my health during my battle with advanced prostate cancer with extreme bone metastasis, stage IV, Dia. 2. Prior to the coronavirus arrival in our state, I was doing very well in regards to my struggle with cancer. All of us who fight the good fight against our hidden enemy, are now called upon to contest another hidden enemy.

When will I see my doctor again?

Another fear I have daily while I sit here on the family farm is whether cancer has taken ahold of body during the long period between my doctor visits. I was scheduled to see my oncologist on Wednesday, March 18 following my last trip to see him on January 21. Of course, we all know what befell our nation in early March. April 27 became the new appointment as the doctors hoped for the best in the new daily combat at our nation’s hospitals.

As a father, I worry about my family

One very sobering fear dominates my life, the apprehension that I may lose a loved one to this terrible scourge. My oldest daughter, Hilary in early March was 8 months pregnant with her first baby boy. She already had given birth to two fine girls. Here she was having to go into “the mouth of the beast” a reference I had begun to make toward our hospitals as they became overran with people testing positive to the virus.

My youngest daughter, Brittani is a doctor and working internal medicine at one of our two major local hospital. She had run out of PPE (personal protective equipment) and needed some protective masks badly. Cristy, my wife and caregiver, had already begun producing masks out back of our home in her she-shed. Tirelessly working night and day, she had managed to help out many in our local health establishments. Without a moment's hesitation, Cristy made Brittani and her grandmother masks.

Nicholas, my oldest son works as an IT tech at a local machine production company and comes into contact with many people daily. The chief anxiety with Nick for us came from the fact that he lived in an apartment in a relatively highly populated town. He would be alone during the brunt of this assault.

Our youngest son, Shane is currently a college student and lives at home. Thank The Lord for that peace of mind. His classes are currently all online via the Internet. He has struggled with the social distancing a lot. I find that the younger generation has grappled the most with having to stay home. This generation is as my sister said, “They are used to having what they want, when they want it! Many of them have never been through this type of world crisis. They must learn to sacrifice for the wellbeing of others!”

Into the mouth of the beast

Twice during this pandemic I've traveled into “the mouth of the beast.” The first trip was to replace my vantas implant. A vantas implant is a system that has moved me beyond Lupron. Under my arm in the tender skin is where the implant enters my body. I will confess, it is tough going to get cut open in that specific location. My urological oncologist has to ram a Hemostat up into and under my skin to make room for the implant.

The other voyage I made to “the mouth of the beast” was to refill my pain pump. It turned out my pump was not anywhere near empty and the visit was totally unnecessary. At the very least, I was the only patient at the hospital in that particular area.

Stay the course and listen to your doctors

I am sure many my brothers out there are going through the same worries, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness. Stay the course and listen to your doctors and the authorities. Do not panic, but stay strong.

To end on a hopeful note, my daughter birthed the baby boy and both are doing well.

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