I’m Starting to Lose It with Social Distancing
Have y’all had times during this self-quarantine when you’ve lost it? If so, you’re not alone.
Last week, my husband was home from work all week. He was feeling achy and had chills for several days, which was far from normal. Thankfully, he did not have a high fever. But because of emergency stents that were placed back in November, we were concerned, along with his doctor. They suggested he be tested for COVID-19.
Of course, I couldn’t go with him. When they called him to schedule a test, he was provided specific instructions about where to go and how to proceed. From what he told me, I am grateful that it was a designated area for testing, not where they care for positive COVID-19 patients. That said, it does not sound similar to the friendly environment that we typically experience at doctors’ appointments.
My husband described the test as “torture,” adding that “they stick that Q-tip up to your brain.” I have also heard from several others who had the COVID-19 test, and they typically agree.
And the waiting began.
Naturally, he was sent home and provided specific instructions on self-isolating for at least 72 hours while we waited for the results. Waiting is always the worst part of anything, don’t y’all agree? One would think that after dealing with PH for over 15 years, we would be experts at this waiting game. I believe that I had much more patience with my patients while working in nursing.
Although we already were practicing social distancing, his self-isolation became more difficult. Because we already were distancing from our daughter and “son-in-love,” it all began to take a toll on my psyche. As my husband slept in another room, I did not have the comfort of lying next to each other. Additionally, he took Sasha, our mini schnauzer, with him.
I lost it. That night, I cried alone in my bed until I fell asleep. Then, I woke up almost every hour and looked at the clock.
I don’t know about y’all, but I am not a fan of this social-distancing trend. I am a hugger and talk to everyone that I meet. Dealing with not seeing my daughter weekly for our outings has been tough. In person, I could receive her hugs and touch her face. This is not comparable to any FaceTime call.
Are you craving physical touch?
Research shows that humans need physical touch. Greater Good‘s executive editor, Dacher Keltner, talks about how physical touch brings us emotional balance and well-being. This is the reason that social distancing and self-isolation are affecting my emotional and physical health. It’s almost like a Catch-22. I self-isolate to protect my health, but at the same time, it’s detrimental to my mental health.
My husband’s test eventually came back negative, for which I am grateful, and he is feeling better. Despite that, I realize that my emotional health is suffering as social distancing continues. To cope, I look for ways to keep busy and help to lift others. Although I cannot hug and touch my family and friends, I can talk to them and try to help boost their thoughts.
Another way I try to refocus my thoughts are by writing this column. Using the Pulmonary Hypertension News Forums also helped me to talk with others in the PH community and remind them that this will pass. As I converse with them, I often realize that I also need to take these reminders and use them in my own life.
I would like to leave y’all with a quote from Michelangelo: “To touch can be to give life.” I would certainly agree and cannot wait for the world to reopen for more “touching.” I’m sure that most of y’all are ready, too.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.