Last year was such a difficult year that, when people would ask what good things happened, I couldn’t think of anything. But after some reflection, it turns out there were some good things that came out of the pandemic.
First and foremost, Grace is as healthy now as she’s ever been. Ironic, right? The entire world shut down because of a virus and she got healthier. Staying home prevented her from getting the usual array of respiratory and stomach viruses that spread like wildfire through schools. But in addition to this, being home meant that Grace didn’t use as much energy throughout the day, and therefore was able to conserve her strength for fighting bacterial infections. We were able to ward off several bad bacterial infections at home—some by the skin of our teeth—and it has been a year and a half since her last hospitalization. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest she’s ever gone without an inpatient stay. And good thing, too, because it would have been very hard on the family to have Grace and I in the hospital. Elliot couldn’t have gone with us because of COVID restrictions. Actually, Chad and Jackson and Elliot couldn’t have even visited because of COVID restrictions. Elliot would have suffered terribly from not having me and Sissy around, from having to change his daily routine so drastically. It is a very, very good thing that she stayed out of the hospital.
Because of this newfound health, I am reticent to send her back to school once she’s able to be vaccinated (hopefully this fall!). She’s thriving at home. She doesn’t want to go back either; she doesn’t even want to do the remote option I enrolled her in for the fall. We will see if she gets overexerted with the remote option. I can always pull her and homeschool her again if it’s too taxing for her. But the benefit of the remote school is she will get time with her vision teacher again, and since her vision is drastically worse than when she last attended in-person school, this is a huge selling point. (Grace doesn’t think so. She doesn’t want to see her vision teacher and doesn’t want to go blind—but that’s a different story entirely.)
The other pandemic pro is also related to Gracie. Grace has been trying very hard not to bite her fingers. Thank the good lord!!! Her fingers will take a long time to heal, as they have deep fissures where the tissue has a hard time pulling together, but this is a HUGE step in keeping her healthy. The only new injuries on her hands, in general, are accidental—and she still has plenty of those. For the first time in years, Gracie has fingernails! She is able to paint the four nails that grow (both thumbs and both pinkies) and loves it. (The rest of her fingers are too mangled to grow nails, or else they’ve had amputations and the nails will not grow.) For so many years, I wondered if she would ever stop biting. It was a horror that seemed neverending. But now, amazingly, she stopped. She’s working so hard not to bite. She still slips up now and then but at least I’m not finding hamburger fingers every other day. In fact, even when she slips up she’s not biting as severely. This is a definite improvement and I’m so proud of her. And it has contributed majorly to keeping her healthy, so that’s a plus too.
There is no doubt that this past year was ROUGH. A post describing all the horrible things that happened would be far too long for anyone to enjoy. But there was good, too. It took me a long time to see it; I was enmired in the dark and couldn’t notice anything good. But sure enough, two major benefits emerged from the pandemic. I am grateful.