Homebound, Confined, And Patience
by Roberta B. Turner

The dictionary defines the adjective “confined” as: “Limited or restricted and unable to leave a place because of illness, imprisonment, etc.”

I recently spoke to a dear friend who was “confined” to her home for a little over a week due to COVID and she was extremely anxious to get out of the house and do anything: shopping, visit family and friends, go to the grocery store, enjoy a restaurant, participate in a sporting or social event, and the activities list goes on.

Being confined is very restricting and it requires a tremendous amount of patience for the person who is confined and for his or her loved ones. But patience only lasts for so long.

Whoever said ‘patience is a virtue’ was probably waiting in line for the best things in life and eventually landed up with them. It certainly does not imply getting what you want sans hard work and dedication. Patience as a virtue speaks volumes when you know how to practice it.

Most relationships in today’s day and age need the overpowering presence of a lot of patience. Let us face it; we are not our parents or our grandparent’s generation anymore. We, as a society, don’t compromise easily on things and we certainly look for an easy way out when we’re running out of patience to deal with minuscule misunderstandings or fights in a relationship. Unlike the older generation, we are less forgiving and shrewder. All this breeds impatience.

This article is about being homebound, confined, and patience. All three emotions I have been tackling personally over the past five months. What seemed to be a simple accident in March has been far from simple. I am not planning to talk about the details of my three operations and eight hospital stays, but I intend to talk about the virtues and hurdles. The virtues are short because being housebound and a great deal of the time bed-bound is not fun for anyone, and especially for someone like me who is self-reliant and a person on the go.

What has been positive about my confinement? I have grown to care more deeply about others. And when I say others, I mean people I may or may not know and not just my immediate family. I could not possibly love my family any more than I do everyday of my life. But I have grown to appreciate them more. My husband and daughter have gone far beyond the norm to make my life at home better and have showered me with kindness, special moments, and treats. It has not been perfect because there have been sharp words and tears, but these were all the result of everyone’s frustration. Five months has been too long.

When I say I care about others, I mean the many people who have suffered lifelong injuries, have severe handicaps, are without a close family and suffer from loneliness, and have financial issues, especially with the outrageous cost of healthcare when it comes to medicine, home healthcare aides, medical supplies, and of course the entire medical industry. The list goes on, but I am sure you get the drift.

I have always been an animal lover and that includes household pets of cats and dogs, and beyond. The only exception is iguanas. I cannot stand them. But back to the virtues of being homebound. Loving the companionship of our dog Lucky Lou has been another positive. I have always loved her and appreciated her but now I feel so much more attached as she is so supportive and loving to me as I struggle on my walker and go through the motions of getting back to my new normal. The stares and licks mean so much more. And, during this time, she had a bout with her own illness, but she was still one hundred percent there for me with the love and cuddling, all of which has meant so much more. Being loved means the world to me and Lucky’s love has helped me tremendously through this very difficult time.

Friends have shown their true loyalty during this time. Phone calls, homemade muffins, a lady’s lunch at the house, a card, any small gesture means so much when you are so confined. So, thank you for thinking of me and this is yet another positive lesson I have learned about my confinement…consideration.

There is one more positive experience I had and unfortunately lost, and that was my doctor. He was with me through all the hospital stays, all the visits, all the calls and all the emotions. He was far more to me than my doctor; he was my dear friend. I trusted him, respected him, and loved him. I am referring to a wonderful man, Dr. John Strobis. He is a tremendous loss to all of us who knew him.

This article would be endless if I discussed my frustration with the medical industry, lack of quality home healthcare, and all the errors that were made during these past five months.

I will not go any further than to say that the healthcare system is broken and needs a major overhaul, and this needs to be addressed. The question is by whom?