It is amazing what can happen in a week. How quickly everything in life can change.
Seven days ago I was busy counting down the number of images remaining to be edited for my online shop. Excitement was high with my latest collection just about to be released. I was SO looking forward to the moment when I could finally hit 'publish' and everything would be live. Months of whittling away one tiny detail at a time was coming to fruition. The NZ Flora 2020 Print Collection launched at 8am Monday the 23rd, and was grounded by midnight the 25th as the Covid19 Pandemic escalated to nation wide lock down.
Now here I am... trying to put together the words to relay the perspective from where I now sit.
Those who are close to me will know the full story of our youngest child's journey. My son was born with CHD. We knew at 20 weeks gestation that he would require open heart surgery, but we did not know how urgent that surgery would be until the moment he was born. We were very fortunate that he was not whisked away, we had an hour with him before he was taken to NICU, where he stayed for 4 days before we were able to take him home.
A place that completely changed the moment we walked back through our door.
The specialists and surgeons agreed that 6 months of age would be his first surgery. In the meantime, we had to keep him healthy - he was not allowed to be sick. Any respiratory infection could be life threatening. We had daily, then weekly visits from our support nurses. Other than that very few were welcomed into our home. Hand sanitizer at every door, and a harsh reality that we had to keep all of our friends and their families at more than an arms length, if we were going to give our son his best chance.
That was our first experience of self isolation as a family. It lasted for 6 months, and definitely had its challenges. But there was a goal, and a purpose very close to my heart that made it easy. Easy to stay home. Easy to close my door and visit with friends through the closed windows if they popped in unannounced. Hard to explain... but it was easy. I wanted my bubble, very much.
That was well over 4 years ago now. Since then we have endured taking our son to Starship Hospital for 2 separate vascular procedures and his second open heart surgery right on his 3rd birthday. Either side of each of these trips we, as a family, have slotted quiet nicely back into our bubble. Nobody complains. We all know that this is our best option to keep everyone well.
It was definitely the back log of all these experiences that has created a language in our home about stitches, and washing hands, and taking care of each other. This language made my journey through breast cancer much easier to explain and traverse with my kids. Through this my husband and I have also learned our own coping methods, and how to support each other when things are hard. He needs to discuss, I need to be.... in a bubble.
Which brings my story full circle to why I am sitting here today... trying to collate my words.
You see, my bubble is amazing. It is my safe place. But with this new heightened level of alarm hanging over the entire nation, my bubble is not big enough. My bubble cannot stretch far enough to encapsulate my entire family every second of every day. My bubble cannot stretch the length of my street... it cannot stretch far enough to cradle my parents and extended family that are still living in the USA. My bubble really is only big enough ...for me. My family bubble only feels safe when I make it stay home.
I need everyone else to value their own bubble as much as I value mine.
There has been no news about any Covid19 cases being survived by a child with CHD. The concern I carry is real, reliving every hospital stay I have had with my son. Empty worry that he could end up in hospital isolation at the age of 4. Empty worry that my parents do not manage to weather the storm.
As for me physically.. compromised immunity is not an issue. But I am constantly run down, just by doing life. This would be so much easier to roll with the punches if I simply was not so darn tired.
So for what it is worth.
Love your bubble.