On Day 30, I woke up differently.
I finally accepted that I’m not in control anymore. My plans have been thwarted and completely thrown out the window. As someone who is used to being in control, the past 30 days were scary, dark, had me confused and questioning why something like this would happen to me.
But not on Day 30.
Rewind to Day 30
Day 30 was a day of surrender. I mean, might as well, right? What else could I do? I’ve done everything that I could do.
Asked for my test results (which I finally received).
Contacted the US Embassy and heard back from the consulate in Guangzhou. Unfortunately, they’re utterly useless in this situation as their hands are tied. ??♀️ #GoFigure
Started a new steaming regimen with mint leaves and Vick’s vapor tablets including nasal irrigation with saline solution.
I mean, friend, what else is there to do? I’ve been in this situation for over a month now.
FACT: I’m being held here against my will.
FACT: I hate this and wish that I had gone to Shanghai instead (I’ll write about why later).
FACT: There’s nothing that I can do to change this.
FACT: I can only control what I can control – my perspective, my attitude and what I do with my time.
Time to suck it up, submit to what’s happening and move forward, even with these imposed restrictions.
When I think of some of the famous world leaders in history and the things that they had to endure, it makes me wonder about their psychological state of mind during that time. Of course, most of them were political leaders so they were incarcerated for fighting for justice in systems where injustice was the norm.
They were imprisoned. Restricted. Restrained. Confined. Detained. Yet, they endured.
If I could have a conversation with these world leaders, I’d ask, “how did you overcome the mental anguish? What kind of mental practices did you implement to stay sane and hopeful that you’d be released?“
And, even though I’m not in jail (friend, I was not going to jail the other week. When they said to go to the hospital or go to jail??? Nah, I’ll go back to the hospital.), this is still detention by definition.
Friend, there’s so much more that I could say about this right now, but I’ll wait to save it for the rest of this month. Just know that I’ve stopped trying to be in control. I haven’t lost hope, but I realize that I can’t control what happens to me here, so instead of be resistant, I’ve surrendered and will only focus on the things that I can control.
Day 32: 6:00a – New Morning Regimen
5:55a – Alarm went off
I got up and rummaged through my duffel bags to find today’s toothbrush, my neti pot, and saline packet, and went to the bathroom to fill the kettle with water.
5:57a – While the water boiled in the kettle, I brushed my teeth, irrigated my nasal cavity with saline, and rinsed off the mint leaves to put in the bucket.
By 6:00a, everything was ready to get started. I steamed for 15 minutes while listening to two songs that would calm my spirit and increase my faith.
After the steam, I washed my face with African black soap since my pores were wide open and took a relaxing hot shower.
We need a win today, friend. Today must be the day that we get the consecutive negative result so we can get out of this place and go back to the quarantine hotel – and not return to the hospital EVER. AGAIN.
7:42a – Second Test, New Nurse
Usually the nurse arrives around 7:00a, even though yesterday she came at 6:50a since she saw that I was up and moving around.
This morning’s test was different.
There was a different nurse and she arrived 40 minutes later than the usual nurse. Not only that, but her collection method was very different than any of the others I’ve had in the past 32 days.
Her collection method
First, she started with the oral sample collection. She held the back of my head, inserted the long Q-tip, and swabbed in a side-to-side motion for about 30-45 seconds.
No one has ever done that.
They usually just jab the long Q-tip around the back walls of my mouth and try to tickle my tonsils for about 3-5 seconds, ensuring that I gag just enough to not vomit on them, and then move on.
Not this lady.
She was extremely thorough.
Then she moved on to the nasal cavity.
I was already prepared to just have the long Q-tip sit in my nose for a few seconds like the other nurse does it, but nope. This lady was different. Once again, she rested her hand at the back of my head, knelt down and looked inside my nostrils. Then she gently inserted the long Q-tip all the way to the back of my cavity as the others have done prior to her.
But she didn’t let it sit.
She slowly turned it in a clockwise rotation.
After 5 seconds (that’s actually a long time for this), I opened my eyes to look at her, allowing my perfectly microbladed eyebrows to speak for me [? whatcha doin???], and she smiled.
Friend, she continued to smile as she slowly started to retract the swirling Q-tip from the back end of my nasal cavity. She was intense. And on a mission.
She would not stop swirling the Q-tip until she collected what she came for.
Snot. (Sorry, friend…It’s gross, I know.) And she kept smiling as she pulled her discovered treasure from my right nostril which was completely translucent (Thank you, mint leaves…I think ?).
Then she left.
Sadly, the first thought that came to my mind was negative.
They’ve been watching us on the camera in the room so they know we’ve been steaming. They’re trying to do everything they can to make the test results come back positive so they can continue to keep us here against our will.
But then I had to check myself.
What if it’s just the opposite? What if this actually helps the test results to come back negative? What if this is the kind of thorough collection method needed to get me out of here?
Friend, I was disappointed that my first thought was negative. I’ll admit that being in this predicament has chipped away slowly at my optimistic nature, however, one thing I’ve learned about myself and everything that I’ve ever had to endure in my life (listen, I don’t have enough time to tell you my story; you probably wouldn’t believe it anyway. ?) is that I am resilient.
I don’t know how but I will bounce back and spring forward simultaneously from this setback, friend. I just know it.
10:16a – P.H.A Training
I can only control what I can control. And the past 32 days, I’ve been a lazy bum as it pertains to taking care of my body.
For my new friends, I’ve lost a total of 135 lbs, but gained 35 of them back ??♀️. I refuse to keep wallowing in sorrow and let my body suffer by undoing all of the progress I’ve accomplished thus far.
Nah, bruh. She doesn’t deserve that.
11:00a – Finished Session
Workout: ✅ ?? (click to see hyper-lapse workout)
12:04p – Lunch
For the rest of the day, I tried to relax and respond to messages and comments left on social media. My email looks completely disrespectful right now with hundreds of unopened messages. I shouldn’t have let it get this bad but I promise to tackle it little by little this week so that Google doesn’t send me another warning message for having low storage space as a result. ??♀️
3:00p – Discovered that Netflix works pretty well on my computer at the hospital with a “little help” ?
5:04p – Received a Voice Message From a Dear Friend
Have you ever received a message from someone you care about that just warms your entire soul?
If not, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest treasures.
A dear friend sent me a voice message on WhatsApp telling me how proud he is of the woman I’ve become. We’ve known each other since my freshman year of university.
He was one of the few people who always made me feel like I could do and be whatever I put my mind to. He was never intimidated by my personality. He never played on the insecurities I dealt with and knew that even when I put on my Wonder Woman cape in public, I was still simply me in private and extremely fragile. We’d laugh and joke at work (we worked at a call center for 4-1-1 Information) and have the best of times.
I was always grateful for his presence in my life. Fast forward 17 1/2 years, after keeping in touch from time to time, and he sends me the most encourage voice message, telling me how proud he is of the woman I’ve become and also, how I’m handling this situation.
Friend, I played the message several times because it was the reassurance that I needed. I’d been concerned that these moments of darkness and negativity would give you the wrong impression of me.
I’m honestly not a pessimist.
In fact, I’m the kind of person who loves to encourage others when they are down and frustrated. I’m the kind of person who checks on others to make sure that they’re okay in less-than-ideal situations. I’m the kind of person who will send inspirational messages to you when you’re dealing with the tough things in life. I’m also the kind of person who will sit in silence with you when you don’t want to talk about “it” but want someone to sit with you.
But I was discouraged and wondered if this situation started to portray me differently…
until I listened to his message.
It was exactly what I needed to hear today. And I can’t say this enough, I’m forever grateful for my dear friend’s presence in my life.
7:45p – Facial Steam with Mint Leaves & Vicks Vapor Tablets
I’m still waiting for today’s test results but I’m getting ready for bed. Yes, I know what time it is but I also wake up before 6a – without an alarm – and haven’t taken a nap during the day, soooooo, yes, friend, it’s almost my bedtime. ?
Either I’ll come back and update this post with the results when I receive them or simple make a single post with the results.
As we say in Chinese, 晚安, [pronounced Wǎn’ān] which means, “goodnight.”
And if I want to get really fancy with ya, I’ll say, “晚安朋友。” [pronounced Wǎn’ān péngyǒu (pung yo).] which means, “goodnight, friend.” ?
7:57p – NURSE TOLD ME TO PACK MY LUGGAGE ?
N E G A T I V E ?? ?? ?? for the BOTH of us.
Although this isn’t the final step, it’s nice to believe that this time, neither of us will have to return to the hospital due to a positive test result.
9:22p – All loaded up and ready to go
11:22p – Updated Blog Post to Include Test Results
Okay, friend. Seriously, I need to get some rest because I have to do my steam in the morning before the next PCR test.
晚安 • Goodnight. ?