My Family got COVID-19!

A few weeks ago, in early July, an employee at my husband’s work tested positive for COVID-19. She was asymptomatic and only got tested because her boyfriend had tested positive. My husband had worked with this employee recently and he soon started having symptoms. It took him eight days to get his test results back. By then, he was starting to feel better and I was starting to have symptoms. Luckily our 12-year old daughter only had a headache and felt kind of sluggish for a day or two. On the other hand, my husband and I both had fever, body aches, chills, trouble breathing, and felt like we could not do anything.

I think my husband felt like that for about a week, but mine lasted closer to two. I think I handled it a little worse, because anything you already have it makes worse. I already have Anxiety, so that got worse including upset stomach symptoms. I have a pinched nerve and my back and for a couple days that pain came back at its worst in a while and was unbearable. The pain comes and goes but any time I am sick or stressed it usually comes. I also have gotten walking pneumonia a lot the last few years so between that and the anxiety, that might be why I felt like something was on my chest for a while and it was hard to breathe. My daughter was so sweet and checked on me often, and even gave me a bell to ring in case I needed her.

Our cases were still mild and we were never hospitalized. American Family Care provided some cough syrup and an inhaler. We stayed in our house for a couple of weeks, but unfortunately had already spread it to my nieces unknowingly, but luckily no one else. They did not get as sick as my husband and I did, but they got a little worse than my daughter did. They are a little older than her, but still only teenagers. They each spread it to their best friend, but as far as I know the spread stopped there. They tried to stay away from my sister, because she is high risk and luckily she and her husband never caught it. I was also glad we had not spread it to our parents or my grandmother. We actually did not go on a family vacation with some of my husband’s family due to us having the virus. I had to put off starting my new job one week. The preschool I used to work at closed permanently due to the virus, but I found a job at another one closer to home.

I finally started my new job and my first day there, they had to close for a week due to an employee testing positive. We did get to come in some later in the week to help clean and do some training, and we were able to open back up the next week. It was actually kind of nice to have another week to recoup, because I still got easily winded doing basic things. It was days before I could even take the dogs for a short walk again, but by my second week at work this week, I feel back to normal finally. It reminds me of the time I got walking pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time (except this was worse). I was so sick that time, my husband had to drive me back to the doctor for a second visit. I had gotten used to taking the stairs at my work. We were on the 5th floor and I would take them several times a day in the morning, evening and at lunch normally. I could not do this after I was sick. It was too hard to start all over again on working my way towards doing it again.

Even after all of this, I am still one of the lucky ones.  Until this I did not even know anyone who had the virus, I only knew of others through people I knew. I have had some close to me lose people close to them, but now I have known a few people with the virus. Of course I hope this means we are immune at least for a little while, but apparently they are not even sure if that is the case. Even if it was mild again, I would not want to go through that a second time before they come up with a vaccine. I have never had the flu before but I still normally get the vaccine every year, so I will definitely want the one for this. I just hope it comes out soon. My daughter is doing virtual learning for now and is actually enjoying working at her own pace in her pajamas, but I want her to eventually go back to school, and I want to eventually not have to wear a mask at work.  I also do not want anyone else to get sick or lose loved ones to this, but it looks like it may be a while before this all ends. On a positive note I guess, I have only smoked a few times socially, but I have not since the last time I had walking pneumonia. After having this as well, I honestly cannot imagine ever doing it again.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor

I Lost The Job I Love to COVID-19

I recently wrote a blog about us not all being in the same boat when it comes to COVID-19 and how that compares to women postpartum, which may be why some go through postpartum mood disorders and some do not. I wrote about being one of the lucky ones. Well, maybe I cursed myself because right after that I found out my work would not be reopening. I still consider myself one of the lucky ones. I am still babysitting for essential employees, they have a pool, my husband is still working and I am about to republish my book and am blogging. Once my babysitting job ends, I have many other options to consider. I still do not know of anyone close to me dying or even getting really sick. I am still walking the dogs and am now even able to get their nails trimmed and my hair cut again, and I can get massages again!

I had to miss watching my niece graduating from my old high school in person because only 4 could attend, but I got to watch it on TV and part of me even thought can we keep doing it this way forever, as I watched comfortably from my bed in my pajamas. I also recently wrote some blogs about my career not going as expected so of course that continues to be the case. I have no idea what I am gonna do next. Of course I am hoping my book and blogs take off and/or my husband gets promoted in the near future, but if not, I must decide if I want to find another preschool teacher job, maybe even stay a Nanny, maybe even for one of my former students, go back to the corporate world maybe even in HR or payroll again, or do something completely different. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. Since I have OCD and Anxiety of course it is scary, but over the years it has kind of become so normal I have had to learn to manage through it.

Most people do not stay at jobs for long anymore. I often wish I had lived when people kept the same job forever and companies took care of you even through retirement. It is so hard to change jobs, even when it is for a better one. It is hard to start over learning everything again, it is hard to make new friends again and it is hard to leave your old ones, it is hard to hope you get a good boss and management and a company that really cares about you. The place that is closing is a church daycare. Many are hurt by their decision to close. Some say they are a business that needs to make money, but there is also frustration because they are a church, not a business and they don’t pay taxes for that reason. Yet when it comes down to it, they layoff people if they do not make enough money. Not only are they not required to pay unemployment, they are not allowed to in the state I live in.  If it were not for the exceptions passed by Congress due to COVID-19, no one would even qualify.

Although the reason for not reopening seems to be that the unpredictability of when and how to reopen and new stringent requirements(which are already pretty stringent), the daycare had a waiting list of 100 people and was one of the best around, but despite that it often seemed to be hinted that a yearly consignment sale helped to pay our salaries, and we were strongly encouraged to volunteer to work at it for free, so I guess the money parents paid each month was not enough? The church did pay workers more than most of them around here, in addition to a huge childcare discount, which was amazing, and they are still paying us for another month even after we just found out we are closing. The parents of most of the kids were amazing and often gave the teachers gifts and you always felt appreciated by most of them and most of the church staff. The people who made this decision were not people I knew well or worked closely with.  My bosses and coworkers were all amazing and I will miss them and my work babies so very much.

Those of us who all loved this job, are left with so many questions. Even working for a church, I found my HR background have me questioning the morality and legality of many of their practices. I felt there was no fighting it though because if someone did, they probably would have just closed like they are now. I personally did not need benefits and paid time off. I currently have them through my husband, but many did need them but could not get them. Many struggled to even pay for lunch each day and I personally helped as many as I could. One thing I have really been shocked about over my career, is how little most people at the top care about employees or really even customers for that matter. It always seems to come down to money, even in a church where I thought my job was mainly a ministry to win young people to the church and to give people in the community a job and to give parents in the community great childcare. I just hope after how many have lost their jobs and many even their insurance permanently or temporarily during this pandemic, that some things will change in our country.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor

What COVID-19 and Postpartum Mood Disorders Have In Common:”We Are Not All In the Same Boat”

I have often wondered why only some women get postpartum mood disorders if we all go through the same hormone changes, etc. I discuss this in my book some, but lately I have been wanting to blog about how this compares to how people are dealing differently with the current COVID-19 pandemic. I have heard it said more than once during this that we are not all in the same boat right now. Some have lost their jobs, some are still working but fear getting sick, some want to work and can’t, some have small businesses and may lose everything, some have gotten stimulus checks and/or unemployment, others have not. Some of us know people who have died or have been or are sick, some of us do not yet. We all know of someone though, including some famous people.

Some of us are enjoying time at home, some are sick of being home and it is affecting their mental health. Some wish they could be home and working through this is affecting theirs. Some already have a history of mental illness, others do not. Although I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and had postpartum depression years ago, I am actually probably doing better than most during the pandemic. I am making more money during the pandemic than before. I am still getting paid by my work while babysitting for essential employees and received a $2,900 stimulus. My husband is still working and my daughter is 12 and doing school from home. She is a very good student, is gifted and hardly ever needs help, so that is going well.

I can still walk the dogs, I get to swim with the kids I babysit with and play video games and board games with them. I have actually caught up on all my TV shows and started some new ones and watched several movies. I have even re-watched some of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. For one, like everyone else, I have been scared at times. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. I am scared of high risk people I know getting sick, I am scared of me and my family getting sick. I also regularly get massages to help manage pain from an injury from falling down the stairs years ago. I have gone a while without one and I am feeling it ,and having to use every other way to try and manage it in the mean time.

Of course I miss going to the movies, and out to eat, and getting my hair cut and my dogs bathed and their nails trimmed, those last two are torture to do myself, let me tell you. I miss my work babies and my coworkers so much. Also, the kids I babysit do not willingly do their school work, so that has been a fun challenge, that may have given me a panic attack one day. They are also siblings who fight a lot and I am used to an only child.

When women have children, they do not all have the same support from their spouse and family and friends. Some have none, some have a lot, some work, some stay at home, some have more money than others, some have a history of mental illness, some have a great birth experience, some have a horrible one, some planned their pregnancies, some did not, some had an easy time getting pregnant, some had a very hard time, some experienced deaths or layoffs or other sad experiences around the time they had a child, while others did not, some already have several kids different ages, some have none, some are younger when they have kids, some are older, and all have different life experiences.  Some babies are great sleepers, others are not, some babies are happy all the time, some have colic and cry all the time.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my real father died. We had not spoken in three years. Less than a year after she was born my grandfather passed and I was laid off from my job. My daughter was not a good sleeper and I did not handle sleep deprivation well at all. When my daughter was 2, my husband left me and I finally lost it enough to not hide my depression anymore and got help. I knew many had been through worse, but it was the worst I had ever been through. I once had a dream where I had a rash, but other people around me had a worse rash. Mine kept getting ignored because it was not as bad, until it got worse and worse and I could not stop itching. We are not all in the same boat. Regardless of our religious, political or other beliefs, this is affecting everyone differently, so we should all try and have some compassion for everyone. No one knows the right or wrong way to react to this yet. Most of us are trying our best though.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor