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Long Haul Covid Train

Chapter Four – THE SHADOW OF DEATH

Greetings, Earthlings

After spending some time in the Emergency Room, I was moved to a section of ICU reserved for Covid patients. I recall lying on my stomach (a technique to prevent liquid settling in the lungs, which could lead to pneumonia, I was told) and having a doctor quiz me on my “Scope of Treatment” options.  With oxygen pumping through my mask and being face down, it was difficult to understand what I was being asked, but essentially, it was whether I wanted my life prolonged by artificial means.

I remember telling the doctor that this was something I’d like to discuss with my family, but he indicated the decision was urgent under the present conditions. This raised my already anxious level of concern, and I replied that I’d heard most people, once being hooked up to a ventilator never came off it. I understood him to say that was the case, so I said I didn’t want that, and he went away.

It was a rough first night, and as I lay face down, masked up, Psalm 23 came to mind.  Feeling far from green pastures and still waters, I concentrated on verse 4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (ESV)

I felt like I was in that valley, under that shadow, but I wasn’t afraid, because I felt the presence of my shepherd.

Next Week – Chp. 5: Detour: School Days

This was a really short chapter, I know, but it sets the stage for everything that comes later. Even before we go there, another of life’s ironies led me to wander down a side path and share how I got into teaching — a profession I had no interest in at all. Speaking of side tracks, I’m offering the occasional “Sidecar” essay to those who subscribe to my story. The next one might be related to something I’ve referenced often, the No Name story, or at least my part in it. I’m waiting on input from others to try to put the whole thing together, perhaps when the Covid Train pulls into the station. Speaking of No Name, my brother and I made the journey to the fantastical mountain forms outside of Fruita, Colorado, for a memorial for one of our compatriots. Read Mark’s story here: https://markedwardjabbour.com/2022/06/03/memorial-day-down-by-the-river/

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