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We do not handle suffering, suffering handles us.

In the past 10 months of the pandemic, I have heard countless times that we now know who our real heroes are – the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who risk their own health and lives to serve us In the COVID-19 units and throughout our hospitals and nursing homes.

We are told our heroes no longer wear helmets, they wear N95 face masks instead.

I hear this, but lying in a hospital bed now for 3 weeks, being waited on by totally dedicated and loving nurses, doctors and healthcare workers, all I can think of is – HOW QUICKLY WE ALL FORGET and go back to our old way of thinking.

Words and cliches are nice, but America’s heroes still wear Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Kansas City helmets. They still grab our attention and make us excited.

Three thousand deaths occur every day from COVID-19 and we switch the channel to the men who wear the helmets on the playing field. I guess we suffer from COVID-19 fatigue. We pay lip service of praise to the women and men fighting to keep us alive and offer an occasional prayer for them, but we have not let them capture our imagination.

Rebecca has been one of my physical therapists for my cracked femur injury. She is a lovely young woman who contracted COVID-19 in July. Rebecca had all the typical symptoms and her husband had to literally carry her through the ravages of the virus night and day.

After 5 months Rebecca is back at work in orthopedic rehab. But the lingering effects to her blood, heart and brain are considerable. I would never guess that there is a thing wrong with this wonderful woman, but she says she practically collapses when she gets home awaiting her husband to care for her. Rebecca endures tests and more tests but doctors tell her she may be this way for the rest of her life.

When I ask her how she can suffer through the rigors of patients like me, she tells me that this is her calling, she loves what she does – helping people in dire straights so that they can get back to their families and their lives. I tell Rebecca that there is not a day that I don’t think of her, worry about her and pray for her.

So many people say they are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue. I cannot remember the last time someone told me they are suffering from Football Fatigue.

We do not handle suffering, suffering handles us. 

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