His Lifeline

Dearest Rachel –

When I left on my trip nearly two weeks ago (has it only been that long? It seems like it’s been ages), I felt bad about leaving Daniel behind. But I’ve told you about his opinions toward the various Covid protocols, and that he wouldn’t be allowed into the airport with his attitude, let alone a plane. And if he thought that the restrictions were draconian in the States, well, he would absolutely have hated Europe; they make us look ridiculously permissive.

So I figured I could leave him to his own devices; he could eat when he got hungry, and tend to the rest of his own needs when they came up. He’s grown, after all, and has to learn to live on his own to a certain extent, anyway. After all, you and I had been married and living on our own for several years by the time we were his age. And while he has certain… disadvantages, he should be able to deal with minding the house – and himself – without supervision for the time I was gone, wouldn’t you think?

Of course, that was before it was established that I’d gotten Covid. And yes, I’ll own up to the fact that it’s probably what I had, despite having had two vaccines and that experience last year with a false positive. If the odds were still as high now as they had been last year (i.e., 1 out of every 10 was wrong – one would like to think that these tests have gotten better and more accurate over time), the odds of three false positives in a row would be 1 in at least 1,000. Not impossible odds, by any means, but considerably more improbable than one in ten.

All of which suggests that Daniel himself is now suffering from it as well, and most likely spent most of the time I was gone battling it, despite thinking (and still convinced) it was and is nothing more than the flu. To be sure, for a symptomatic point of view (including the endgame of the infection itself), his conclusion might as well be right, for all the difference it makes within his body. But from a standpoint of being able to interact with society, it still happens to make all the difference in the world.

At least, since he is dealing with the symptoms, he’s in no shape to belligerently ‘resist;’ he’d just as soon stay home, away from all human contact, as he tries to will himself toward recovery. He’s even gone so far as to ask me if I can pick up some ivermectin, although I think that still has to be obtained by a prescription, and I’m not sure I could necessarily convince him to see a doctor about his situation.

The problem is that, in his weakened state, he hasn’t done much for himself, including eating or drinking. I get that, if you’re not hungry or thirsty, you wouldn’t take the effort to do something about a need that doesn’t feel like it’s there. But the body needs energy in order to repair itself, and if you’re not fueling it, it’s going to take that much longer to do so.

As a result, he was pretty kitten-weak when I got home, and while I take a particularly laissez-faire approach to parenting (especially given his age), it’s probably not the right thing to do under these circumstances. I’ve been pushing tea and citrus juice (orange and grapefruit), and made him some udon last night (he only ate half the bowl, but at least he downed most of the noodles – wasn’t that par for the course when we were at Sushi Station back in the day?), but like the proverbial horse, it isn’t as if I could cram the stuff down his gullet myself.

Now I feel like, by leaving him alone these past two weeks, I chucked him into the deep end without having taught him to swim first. So it’s only fair that I serve as his lifeline, when it comes to getting him to recover. He doesn’t seem to be ready to handle this on his own, at least when he’s not a hundred percent.

The problem is, I don’t necessarily know what he needs, let alone he wants. My folks had been trying to call him throughout my confinement, realizing that he might be suffering from the same thing as I had been. But he didn’t seem to want their help with anything; the way he put it was along the lines of “I don’t want anyone going out of their way on my account.”

It sounds noble, but at the same time, it leaves his grandparents feeling helpless; like they can’t (aren’t allowed?) to do anything for him when they want to so desperately.

You know how he learned to keep his hands clean at meals, so as to not need napkins at a meal? I forget which of you told me, but I understand that he learned that from Ellen. I’m wondering if he’s learned this ‘please don’t do anything for me’ attitude from Erin.

At least (unlike the folks) I can actually be here now if he needs me, and make up for the time lost over the past week or so. On the other hand, if he does need me, I’m almost as oblivious to his needs as he might be to mine.

If you could spare a thought, honey, give me a little nudge when he needs me; I can’t trust myself.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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