It’s Important to Make Positive Memories Despite the Pandemic

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by Jaime Christmas |

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The day arrived when COVID-19 stepped into our home via our youngest daughter. She found out that a university classmate who’d sat next to her had been infected with omicron. Fortunately, she is in a self-contained area of our home, so as long my husband and I don’t come into close contact with her, we should fare well against the contagion.

We knew we all stood a chance of contracting the virus. No matter how vaccinated and boosted we are, COVID-19 is rife in our community in Auckland, New Zealand. As meticulous as we are in masking and sanitizing, it sometimes feels like we are trying to prolong the inevitable.

COVID-19 came into New Zealand a little later than the rest of the world. In 2020, when most countries struggled to contain the pandemic, we successfully kept the number of people with the virus exceedingly low. But for immune-compromised patients like my husband, Aubrey, the virus provoked fear in us from the start.

It is well-known that people with underlying health issues do not do well with COVID-19. The mere thought that he could catch it, develop symptoms, and end up in the hospital stressed the family. Three of our adult children decided to move out from the family home to avoid the chance of bringing COVID-19 back and infecting their father.

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Fast-forward to this year, and now, with the more contagious omicron variant spreading like wildfire in our local township, two years of living under the shadow of this virus have made us a bit fed up and tired. The vaccine, thankfully, has allowed us to become more resilient and prepared should Aubrey catch the virus.

My husband has hereditary ATTR amyloidosis. Amyloid has deposited in his heart, causing the heart wall to become thickened. The other main organs affected are his autonomic nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and nerves. Despite his condition and weakened immune system, he still remains positive and seeks to live his best days.

No matter the dangers around him, he decided early on in the pandemic that he would not allow fear to rule his days. This can come across as a bit foolhardy, but when people have a terminal condition, perhaps it changes their perception of life. It’s like the popular quotation, “There are seven days in the week, and someday isn’t one of them.” When your days are numbered, it’s interesting how your outlook and behavior adapt to daily situations.

Looking at my husband, he doesn’t take people and things for granted anymore. No doubt, there are days when he still gets annoyed with his limited ability to do something, but it does not get him down.

The pandemic did determine how we needed to live. But now that some time has passed living with the virus, we’re both desperate to begin living out meaningful moments before our time with each other is up. We are still unsure what the future holds, but for now, Aubrey and I have decided to start traveling again on an aircraft, maybe sail again around New Zealand, and do more social visits with our friends and family.


Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

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