Last week I was planning to add a part three on the general theme of intercession.

Last week I was sick.

Nothing serious, I hope. We had taken a road trip to move Middle Son’s belongings out of his college dorm room (during his finals week), and at first I thought it was possible food poisoning. Except after I’d thought I was recovered for a couple of days, it came back this week.

As I laid in bed most of a full day, in pain, I was faced with the question of what I could do if I thought it was something serious.

I also had to laugh (okay, actually grimace) at the irony that I, who has said probably hundreds of times that I have a high pain tolerance (with varying levels of pride), lay moaning and almost writhing in between naps.

The naps were to avoid the pain.

Can I just say that Sprite is a miracle drug? Not that it completely removed or cured my stomach and intestinal pain, but at least it relieved it quite a bit.

I lived on it for two days this week, and Vernors the same last week.

And on day two for the Sprite, I anticipated a slow day of recovery, trying some food and getting more refreshing rest.

Instead I found out a little of what to expect if I really needed to be seen by a health professional.

Baby Girl woke me up. She’d talked to Dad on the phone, and he wanted her to tell me he needed me to drive him to probably get stitches.

Hazards of his job.

Except it’s been about 34 years since he cut himself on a job badly enough to need stitches.

So, up and running, I was ready to chauffeur him to the local urgent care. Or as we’ve often referred to them, our family doctor.

As I pulled in the parking lot Dear Husband asked if I wanted to go in with him, like I had the last time he needed stitches, when we were newlyweds and every outing was an adventure, but I answered that I didn’t think they’d let me. Even though it would have meant more excitement than I’d had in a couple weeks.

And as he stepped up on the sidewalk outside the doors, a man in a mask opened the door for him, thermometer in hand, asking why he was there.

Nope, I was waiting in the car.

It wasn’t long until he came out, hand wrapped in a blue sterile pad instead of the paper towel he went in with, as well as a spiffy cloth face mask. They couldn’t stitch him up there, just in case he chipped a bone in his fingertip. So we headed just down the road to our little local hospital emergency room.

I figured, rightly, that there was no need for me to even walk in with him. Luckily there was no wait and he went right in, again met with a masked attendant, thermometer, fast and efficient check of vitals, and little wait for the doctor to come in ready to put in stitches.

While I waited out in the van, it was my first quiet moment to assess how I was feeling that day. Better but not great.

So I considered my own options for health care right now.

My primary care had already canceled my annual checkup, rescheduled from mid-March to this week, so I suspected I would have to be pretty sick to get seen in person. I could head in to our familiar urgent care, but in my experience the symptoms I’ve had aren’t anything that can be observed during an exam.

Prior to this pandemic, I might have gone in, just to find out what viruses are going around right now, and what the treatment options would be.

But now I hesistate. Not for fear of catching something, a little that I’ll pass something on.

Mainly I don’t want to strain the system in any way.

And I don’t like this feeling. I would want any person who is sick or hurting to be able to be seen by a knowledgeable professional, both for an accurate diagnosis and the peace of mind of knowing they are doing what they can to regain their health.

But in these strange pandemic days I feel like my probably minor illness is not serious enough to seek treatment.

I can’t really describe the way it felt to know I couldn’t go inside with my husband. Not that he isn’t capable of navigating it alone. We just usually do those kinds of visits together. Extra ears, at least one person thinking clearly and pain-free are pluses.

To be living in a time when health care is on an urgent level only is completely new to me.

And it makes me feel for the people I know who are dealing with truly serious health issues during this time. I pray for their safety, for their peace.

And after this week, I’ll be praying for strength in the times they have to walk into that emergency room alone.

Because even though the public service announcements assure us we’ll get through this together, when I’m sick and vulnerable, having someone with me who knows and loves me is what I want.

So I’m praying for you all, wherever you are, that you also can stay healthy enough to wait this pandemic out. And if you do fall ill, I pray that, like my husband’s mishap and my friends’ more serious issues, you receive great care and know the love of God that never leaves you alone.