Coming Up For Air, Or How It Feels to Be Past November 4th

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted (alright, it’s been two months or so). You might be thinking that my title refers to the day after the U.S. election, but you would be only partially correct. You see, I’ve been radio silent for more reasons than drowning in political ennui. Like most of my fellow Americans, I do actually have a life beyond the twin scourges of COVID-19 and Donald Trump. My world turned upside down in September even without their help. Now, after two difficult months, I’m beginning to breathe freely again.

The last week of October turned out to be a very momentous one for the residents of Apartment 6C, human and canine. My pooch Dev, featured in my last post as my emotional support animal, returned to full activity one month post- surgery. The silly little beast had managed to scavenge a small round piece of rubber from the sidewalk, necessitating a scary (not to mention costly) removal of said obstruction from his small intestine. Cut from stem to stern and woozy on drugs for days, he became the one needing emotional support. By month’s end he was back to his old self, except for having become totally spoiled, refusing to eat plain kibble when he had learned of the existence of bone broth and fresh meat.

Just as Dev recovered, my husband Dan began his new clinical trial. While the rest of the world followed the daily news reports about the efficacy of various coronavirus vaccines, we were focused on our own vaccine trial news. Dan became patient twenty or so in one vaccine trial and patient ONE in another vaccine trial to combat HPV cancer, which in Dan’s case has metastisized from its original location in his throat, first to his lungs and now to his thyroid. We are lucky to have as his doctor the world’s foremost expert on his disease. The first infusion went splendidly. He felt awful, which is what is supposed to happen if the body reacts to the viral load and attacks. And now he feels…dare we hope, BETTER.

As if those two events weren’t enough, daughter number one in California lost one of her twins in utero at thirty two weeks, developed hypertension and Bell’s Palsy, and gave birth prematurely at thirty five weeks on October 24th instead of at the scheduled induction date of November 4th. Luckily, both mama and baby are thriving. Thank goodness, since none of us can travel to LA to help out. Oh how I want to squeeze them both! FaceTime will have to do until the COVID vaccine is widely available.

Speaking of vaccines, on November 3rd, the American people gave our democracy a shot in the arm. We must all work to build its immunity to future kleptocratic authoritarians. I’ll have a great deal to say about that in a later post.

For now, I am finally sleeping through the night. My family is healing, at least for the moment, and I hope our nation will too. Nonetheless, there are warning signs that need to be heeded. With cases rising even in New York City, COVID proves its ability to throw an even bigger monkey wrench into our lives than it has already; I’ve ordered extra paper towels, toilet paper and dried beans just in case. If nothing else, the last few months have taught me that just when I think things can’t get more stressful they will manage to do so. And until January 20th, there is no telling what kinds of political chaos might still erupt.

But for now, I am filled with gratitude and ready to catch up on all of the posts I have failed to read, and to write. It’s a beautiful day here in New York, and I hope where you are too.

22 thoughts on “Coming Up For Air, Or How It Feels to Be Past November 4th”

  1. There is hope on COVID-19. See Pfizer and their 90% effective mrna anti-COVID vaccine that may well get emergency approval within weeks not months. I am praying for its safety (so far so good) and success. Good to have you back among the writing.


  2. Oy vey! What a lot of joy, jolts and healings in one single chapter in your life. The babe is truly a beautiful one and was born as another altar to our faith in knowing that grief and gratitude are always served together, no matter how long it takes to perceive it that way. My blessings and support to your whole family including Dev the valiant. As to America, here also gratitude and grief will play their part. Divided as we are, there is plenty of both to go around. The last message in our Quaker meeting was to hold our deposed president and his family and followers in the light as they navigate disappointment, outrage and what must be underlying grief at the outcome of the election. It might be a stretch, just as it is to accept and grow from our own deeply held shadows and misconceptions. A sigh of relief and celebration also helps those of us who feared things may not yet have begun to turn around. Our country must needs prepare for more jolts, joy and healing as the new year begins.


    1. Thank you. It’s been a roller coaster ride, but I survived. Finding consensus in our body politic will take a skill set that I hope we have as a nation. I am going to try to do my part. I hope you are well and look forward to catching up with your news!!


  3. I’ve been wondering where you were! Thank God you have come through your multiple health trials and are on the mend.


  4. May you shower love on your daughter when she is hit with the likely inanity of “at least you have one baby.” People are clueless sometimes, not vicious on purpose, just misguided on what comforts. Bell’s Palsy is a real nuisance, but after 50 years of seeing a slight sag on the father of my daughter I have come to love it as a real part of him. May she recover fully,though. As for your dog, what can I say? We had one eat a light bulb, but she lived to 14. Here’s hoping the cancer gets arrested. My granddaughter just had a HPV vaccination, a great invention for her generation.


  5. Oh My. What a series of gut punches! So very sorry about your daughter’s loss – heart wrenching. Unimaginable really. Healing is needed everywhere in your home and across the country. I agree it started last week, but let’s hope it continues.


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