“Five Thoughts from Quarantine” – Reflection

Let’s get real. The COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming and terrifying. Thankfully, I am still able to work on a campus that has banned all visitors and is not allowing girls to fly home. My heart goes out to those who are unable to work or provide for their families. I am currently treading very lightly knowing that my immune system is compromised. Apart from the occasional Walmart trip, I’ve been faithfully practicing social distancing and hand washing.

Despite the toilet paper hoarding, I am encouraged by the world’s response to the pandemic.

Ellen’s Instagram home-videos keep me laughing.

And a close friend is posting daily “Quarantine Karaoke Challenges” with her parents. The videos are something I look forward to during this anxiety ridden time.

However, at the end of the day, when I’m trying to fall asleep, it’s hard to keep the anxiety at bay: How much longer will this isolation/social distancing last? Will someone I love contract the virus? Will I lose my job due to the economy tanking? Is there a “normal” life that will meet us at the end of this tunnel? Will I catch the virus? WHEN CAN I GO SKIING AGAIN?!

Amidst the chaos, there is a constant. That constant is God and His sovereignty is a solid foundation we can rest on. Paul Tripp’s article “Five Thoughts from Quarantine” is an encouraging reminder that points us to this reality.

Tripp reminds us that God is in control and that COVID-19 is not a surprise to Him. This pandemic reminds us that there is a greater virus that infects all of mankind – sin. Tripp encourages his readers to hold fast to the Creator and long for our final destination as Jesus followers. Check it out as I hope it can encourage you like it encouraged me!

If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior or have questions about the God of the Bible, please reach out to me! I would love to share with you the story of reality and the hope embedded in God’s will for you.

Stay safe and stay home! Click here to learn more about my response to the COVID-19 here.

-Brooke

Thoughts From a “Crohnie” During the COVID-19 Crisis

Hoarding Beef Ramen, face masks, social distancing, and toilet paper! What do all these things have in common? These are a few of my favorite things.

ALSO COVID-19.

Amidst these CRAY times, guess who HAD to go to the hospital to get bloodwork done? Let me tell you, I did, and it was an eerie experience. Keep reading for more details on the apocalyptic adventure coming to a theater near you…just kidding. They are all closed. #socialD

AND

I will also go into why the COVID-19 virus is not only terrifying for the average bear, but why this pandemic is even more terrifying for the average “Crohnie.”

The COVID-19 Effect 

The story begins like this: I found myself starring in the global blockbuster tv show, COVID-19, when I entered the hospital for blood work. Just the walk into the hospital gave me the heebie jeebies (not the clinical term).

Upon entering, the hospital required you to sanitize your hands before entering. Like they had attendants standing at the dispensers with forced smiles to confirm that you had cleaned your hands.

Clean?

Typically this hospital is extremely inviting and packed with people. Beautiful architecture and natural light encourages a comfortable atmosphere. A piano player fills the lobby with etherial music. However, this time around, it was empty.

And silent.

The few people that were at the hospital all wore face masks and had gloves on. It felt like a hybrid between a CSI crime scene and the scene in Monsters Inc. where they are looking for children at the fear factory.

COVID-19! COVID-19!

What do Aliens and Bloodwork Have In Common?

Once I got through the intro to 28 Weeks later, I got into my appointment fairly quickly. The blood work was called a “Prometheus” test. This test determines how well my biologic medication, Stelara, is working in my body. And it immediately made me think of the mediocre Alien prequel: Prometheus.

*WARNING*
Do not watch this movie unless you want the above image embedded in your nightmares.

Now, I am someone who gets woozy when a needle is being plunged into my arm. The last thing I wanted to be thinking about is a disgusting, gut-bursting alien during the bloodletting process. “Needle-ess” to say, the experience was better than the movie Prometheus. Although, Crohn’s still makes you feel like a baby alien is about to burst from your insides.

So why all this bloodwork?

It’s possible for your body to develop an immunity to this type of medication. This means my body has the potential to view the medicine as an attack and seeks to build an immunity to it. Just when you think Crohn’s became simple, think again.

In the era of COVID-19, it is of the utmost importance that one has an Iron Man immune system. The most effective medications out there for Crohn’s, seek to suppress an overactive immune system. So, basically all biologic medications, like Stelara, are Thanos to your Iron Man immune system. You can see the dilemma.

I’m still waiting to hear back with the blood results. But so far, I am encouraged by Stelara. Upon starting the medication, my symptoms have improved tremendously. My symptoms have subsided and my fatigue gets better every day! I’m actually….*looking for some wood to knock on….* starting to feel like a healthy Brooke again. Learn more about how far I have come right here.

One Day at a Time

If you have gotten this far, then it is time for you to take a moment to wash your hands.

Furthermore, It was an encouraging visit to the hospital as I conquered my fear of blood work LIKE A BAWSSS. However, I can’t help but see my joy diminished by the current pandemic. For someone with a compromised immune system, what is the best way to proceed?

I am learning that it comes down to a few simple chores:

-Use Common sense. Or should I say, “Uncommon sense.” Don’t panic!

 -Take this seriously. Listen to our governing authorities for instructions regarding social distancing. Don’t use this time to go on a vacation and put others at risk. 

-Pray. Draw closer to our Creator. The COVID-19 is not outside God’s control.

Colossians 1:16-17.

-And last but not least…

Check out this great article that answers a lot of important questions regarding COVID-19 and Crohn’s.

For those with compromised immune systems, take heart! This is only temporary. If the anxiety is crippling, some of my favorite coping skills involve staying busy. I love cleaning, cooking, baking, painting my nails, and watching Impractical Jokers.

Sal Vulcano from Impractical Jokers

What are some of your coping skills? Please feel free to reach out with any comments and questions you might have. Let us rise to the occasion in this time where the world needs encouragement!

-Brooke