On day in late May year I began to feel sore, achy, and tired. My son and I had been staying at home since mid March, but my husband is an essential worker so I knew it was possible I had been exposed to the Corona virus. I had also chosen to break the stay at home order to attended a Black Lives Matter protest the week before so I was worried. By the afternoon I was in bed sweating and shivering. I quarantined myself in our spare bedroom. Luckily at this time CVS began offering free, drive up COVID tests. I scheduled one online for the next day. My husband drove me as I could barely sit up without feeling dizzy and nauseous. I was very scared that I had exposed my family or people at the protest. I was scared for myself because of how terrible I felt. I was worried because later that day I had to host a virtual Poetry event. We drove up to the CVS. The pharmacist explained how to self administer. It was unpleasant and made my eyes water, then I put the swab in its tube and dropped the test in the drawer. I was told it could be up to 5 days for results. The waiting, the not knowing, and the thought that I exposed my family raced around my head. By a miracle of self will I appeared normal on my zoom appearance then fell into a deep sleep for almost 24 hours. I woke up and checked my results in an app that I installed when I took the test. No result. Another day alone in a room, unable to hug or kiss my family, unable to seek the comfort of touch for fear of infecting them. More sleep. Finally 3 days after the test, a negative result! The relief was instant. But why did I still feel so weak, sore, and where did this fever come from? The mystery was solved later that day when I noticed the upper part of my thigh was tender and swollen, upon further inspection I found two brown recluse spider bites! Gardening had been a balm and joy rediscovered during the early spring months of lock down. Watching seed sprouts gave me hope during hopeless times. Growing things reminds me that healing takes time and cannot be rushed. Spiders always fascinated each because of their patience and craft. Healing from a venomous spider bite reminded me that rest is a necessary part of growth. Blessed be.
Submitted by Aly on Oct 11, 2020