Sarah Stultz: Do your best to protect your family, others

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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Have you ever had that feeling where you’re in limbo — stuck between two different experiences in life but unable to move forward for one reason or another?

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That’s where our family has been since last week when I received a call early in the evening on Wednesday, notifying me that my 8-year-old son had been a direct contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Though he was not experiencing any symptoms, the contact happened almost a week prior, so we were in the time window where health officials urge you to be tested if you had been exposed. We come in contact with a lot of people and have some vulnerable family members, and we didn’t want to put anyone else at risk if he were to have contracted it as well.

I scheduled an appointment for testing for the next day through our clinic here in Albert Lea. Though the test itself wasn’t too pleasant for Landon, the process itself went smoothly. About 24 hours later, on Friday, we had already received the results. His test was negative.

Landon started developing minor symptoms the night of the test — mainly congestion. But as time went on, that congestion expanded into puffy eyes, fatigue, a fever and even throwing up.

Knowing that COVID-19 symptoms can develop up to 14 days after exposure, and considering the timing, we requested he be re-tested again on Sunday.

Again, I can’t say enough for how smoothly the process went to be tested, and the nurse advised us we should have the results back within 72 hours.

As I type this, it has been over 48 hours, and we are on pins and needles waiting for the results to come back, often checking Landon’s online patient account to see if the results have returned. If he doesn’t have it, we need to figure out what he does have because the poor little guy sure has been struggling with something.

Luckily, I have been able to work from home. My husband doesn’t have that option and is waiting out the results to determine if he will be able to return or if we will be home for an extended period in quarantine.

I know our little sphere of the world is nothing compared to all of the others in worse situations across the country and the globe, and it makes you think of what others might be experiencing.

I’ve known others who have been quarantined, others who have been infected with the virus and others whose loved ones have died. While it has been mild for most, for some it has been horrific. No matter how severe the physical impacts, COVID has brought stress for many.

Though I have not known someone personally who has died or who has had to be intubated from COVID-19, I can only imagine what their family members might be experiencing. I’ve seen people intubated from other injury or illness, and it is scary.

We’re living in such an unsettled time, and I hope people do their best to protect their friends and family, to be kind to each other and to be supportive in whatever way they can. Remember the domino effect we all can have on each other for good or bad.

Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, Landon’s results will be back, and we will have been able to determine something else is causing his troubles. But in the meantime, this mama has her fingers and toes crossed and is offering up prayer that he and all of us will make it through this relatively unharmed.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.