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Not So Good News and F**k the Pandemic

Earlier this week my brother-in-law called to give me an update on his wife, my sister. (If you’re reading my blog for the first time, here’s links to my two earlier posts about her: Waiting, but not for Godot and Waiting for Good News Sometimes Pays Off.) He had just come home from visiting her and said that she was very confused that day. Then he dropped the bomb: someone at the rehabilitation facility tested positive for COVID so now all visitations are off.

Because of her current condition, my sister cannot advocate for herself, and now her husband and sons can’t see her and advocate for her. I am so angry that my brother-in-law and nephews can’t see her. They are all vaccinated and they wear masks. I understand that, for liability reasons, the facility has to shut down visitations if they have a case of COVID, but I can’t help but wonder if that case was brought in by an unvaccinated person. I can’t help but wonder and be enraged.

We are very worried about my sister. A couple of weeks ago she had to be moved to a real hospital and fitted with an IV for a few days. She had become so dehydrated that she needed IV fluids, y’all! When she was returned to the rehab facility, she was perky and talkative and upbeat. Since then, she has progressively worsen, becoming confused, slurring her speech. Her urine is dark, prompting a urinalysis (for which we don’t know the results yet). I don’t know why the rehab facility is allowing her to deteriorate. My brother-in-law mentions that they are short-staffed and when the social worker told him not to worry, saying “we’ll take care of her,” he assured her that he will worry.

I struggle with being positive, with believing that although my sister is in an apparently substandard facility, she will get through this. She is scheduled for a re-examination of her broken leg at the end of this month. I’m hoping that she can be released after that.

My 97-year-old mother keeps saying my sister “has so much against her” and “won’t be the same after this.” I bite my tongue because she has to deal with her fears and worries in her own way. My mom’s comments have provided some illumination, though: now I know where I get my propensity to always imagine the worst scenario.

Meanwhile, our oldest cat Maxine has a drug-resistant UTI. Rather than put her on a regimen of twice daily injections that could last months without a guarantee of effectiveness, our vet recommends monitoring her kidney enzymes for now. Maxine is currently at Stage 3 kidney disease, but she has a good appetite, drinks water, and pees and poops normally. She sleeps a lot but when she’s awake, she’s alert. Still, at times there’s a sense of her health careening out of control.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic continues to churn up hurricanes.

I want to be positive. Maxine acts like she still rules the household and that gives me joy.

I want to be positive, but there’s still too many anti-vaxxers out there ruining it for everyone else.

I want to be positive, but when it comes to my sister, I won’t be until she’s out of that place.


If you’ve read this far, thank you. Again I hesitated about writing an unhappy post, but I need to write and I need to be honest. Meanwhile, I take my joy where I can find it, like with these two:

Maxine catching some sun.


Maxine, our oldest, with Raji, our youngest.

Categories: life

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

38 replies

  1. Sending prayers…. And thank you for your honest post. It’s real, it’s what you feel, and it’s what life can be like at times. No need to always be positive. When we’re real, we help others, who might also be struggling, to not feel so alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo ❤️ I always feel like I should wear my “happy face” when I blog, but I can’t always find it. I really appreciate everyone’s kind words and thoughts. It really does help.


  2. Oh, Marie! I’m so sorry. I would be feeling the same way if it was my sister. And of course, we did go through this with my mom. I’m angry, too, at people who still refuse to get vaccine. . .I’ll save my rant though.

    I do hope your sister is able to be moved out of that facility soon. Good luck with Maxine. She’s beautiful, and her name just makes me laugh. I’m glad she’s still feeling feisty.

    I hope there are no more hurricanes around. Sending hugs. 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Merril ❤️ I was thinking of you, remembering how you went through this with your mom. It’s so much salt in the wound, but I’m trying to be positive and send positive energy to my sister. I imagine hugging her and I hope she can feel my hug.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Indiana finally came up with Essential Family Caregivers – essentially if you were a family member visiting and providing comfort care at least twice a week prior to being shut down, you can still get in for your family member. I’m sorry you don’t have that option for your sister. This darn pandemic seems to be impacting everyone in different ways and having unintended consequences. I hope she gets excellent care and recovers. And I hope Maxine lives a comfortable life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Pam. That is a wonderful idea—essential family caregivers. I imagine the facility would prefer to allow visitors so I hope they’ll lift the ban soon. Thank you for your kind words ❤️


  4. I’m so sorry to hear this about your sister. I’ll certainly keep her in my prayers. It’s hard not to be able to see family who are quarantined in care facilities. My 96-year-old aunt has been locked down in her nursing home since March of 2020. No visitors are allowed and sadly, she doesn’t have a phone either. My mother is so confused as to why she can’t talk to her sister. I hope your sister is able to move. Unfortunately, even the vaccinated are getting sick, maybe not as severe, but if they come into contact with an elderly person or someone with a compromised immune system, all bets are off. I’m so over COVID! It’s been spreading in my office and throughout our court system. I try my best to stay hunkered in my cubicle, and I’ve had 3 vaccines. I worry about bringing something home to my parents. I’m happy Maxine is still feeling feisty. She’s such a beauty! Keep us posted. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill, for your prayers and sharing your story. That’s awful that your aunt has been on lockdown all this time and without a phone. My sister has a phone but if it’s not right next to her, she can’t reach it so I’ve only talked to her when my brother-in-law or a nephew was visiting. I pray your mom can talk with her sister again some day soon. Stay safe. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Worrying doesn’t do me or anyone else any good, but it’s definitely in my DNA. My mom told me once that if there were nothing to worry about, I’d find something. I should have responded, takes one to know one 😏❤️


  5. I have not been keeping up with this but went back and read–I am so sorry about these difficulties with Maxine and your sister. I also can’t help but think how much more difficult it makes that the “Atlantic keeps churning up hurricanes.” The last several weeks, it’s been hard to keep up with where to place my worry–COVID? Hurricane Ida? The dog’s broken hip? It is crazy making for one to resolve and a feeling of relief to wash through me…only for my worry to remember the others are still up causing grief and harm. I’m sending prayers for everyone involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ellen. Your prayers and kind words are appreciated. Indeed, there’s so many stress layers these days, I sometimes feel I’m being smothered even if the crisis doesn’t impact me directly. Hope your little dog is mending well ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “…but I can’t help but wonder if that case was brought in by an unvaccinated person. I can’t help but wonder and be enraged.”

    Very difficult to navigate through these medical issues even in non-Pandemic related times. Stay “enraged”, it helps to sharpen your ability to advocate for your sister, but take care to not become ‘bitter’…A fine line, indeed.
    Meanwhile, yes…I join you in taking the joy where you find it! Raji seems to have really grown up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura. Anger can be a healthy emotion if it’s directed properly. We had some good news today: the quarantine (at least on my sister’s wing) was lifted and she is having visitors again. I know my brother-in-law and nephews are being “eagle-eyed” about her care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I did have some good news today. She is allowed visitors again (yay!) so I guess the full facility lockdown was just for the weekend. Whatever ;-). I’m just glad her family can visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh that is so difficult to have to deal with. I so hope you sister can be moved from there pronto. Sending good wishes for strength and lots of love to you, your sister, your cat…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sweet Marie, sign me up for the “worry is in my DNA” group! I swear it is. And if I were your sister’s husband or if I were you, I indeed would be worried until she could come home and be back among those who truly care for her. This pandemic and nursing facilities are not two of my favorite things. If we could sit down over coffee, I’d share my nursing facility story involving my mom several years ago. Grrrrr like a mama tiger! Praying for your sister, her husband and sons, and for you, and as a cat loving family, we’re all praying for Maxine too.

    Liked by 2 people

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