Why COVID-19 is the last thing on my mind

Photos of Ellen Tailor and her dad throughout the years

Life has stopped yet continued to move on all at the same time.

This isn’t a story about how I’m living my best life, enjoying quarantine and getting a ton of stuff done. You have no idea how much I wish I was bored. Instead, this is a post to remind you that while a lot of the world is on hold, life is still happening despite a worldwide pandemic.

For months, the universe, signs, or God (which is who I credit this all to) had been giving me every indication that I needed a shift in my life. It was impossible to ignore. I let go of control and let God take me where He needed me. My cup was empty and at the beginning of March I made the trek from Seattle back home to Michigan to replenish.

Since I was driving back from (at the time) one of the country’s COVID-19 hot spots, I decided I’d wait to reunite with all of my friends to ensure I wasn’t sick.

But not even a week after I got back, my dad, who lives alone, wasn’t answering his phone. This was unlike him so I decided to stop by. When he opened the door, the first thing I saw was the right side of his face drooping. My dad was having a stroke.

We quickly got in the car and headed to the ER. My mind was racing. Was this really happening? I was distracted as I drove and realized it when a guy cut me off and flipped us the bird. If only he’d known how his delay was so insignificant compared to what life was about to deal our family.

Once we got to the ER parking lot we were met by a police officer and a nurse in full protective gear. I explained this wasn’t COVID-19 related and they allowed me to drive to the entrance. There, another officer put my dad in a wheelchair and brought him inside. I wasn’t able to see my dad for almost a week after that.

I felt helpless. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t be next to him. I couldn’t be in the same room or even the same floor. The closest I got was the hospital lobby. Doctors had asked if I’d bring his glasses. I also brought a picture of us he’d had on his nightstand. I never wanted him to question why I wasn’t there. And luckily, he didn’t.

The family photo my dad was able to have in the hospital

Dad remembers everything up until he had the stroke. He understood he wasn’t allowed visitors because of COVID-19. What he didn’t know was what happened to him.

The biggest setback my father has remains with his cognition. Physically he’ll be ok. But mentally I wonder if he’ll ever be able to fully recover and if he does, it’s going to take months if not longer.

I’ve taken on a new job title. Caregiver.

There was no doubt I was going to take care of my dad. Not only because there was no one else to do it (he’s single and my sister still has her job in Seattle) but because that’s what our family does. Despite my cup being empty, I was going to lean on Him to give me strength.

I’d had a vulnerable conversation with one of my nearest and dearest. A friend whose Faith has brought him through so many highs and lows. And during our conversation, he reminded me a couple of things. 1) That while things that are happening might not be our fault, they are our problem. And 2) that sometimes you have to be selfless in order to be selfish. There will come a time where I can be selfish but now wasn’t it.

As I hung up the phone, I got out of the car to pick up my dad from the rehab facility. In the windows, patients had put up signs of encouragement for the medical staff.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

No one, absolutely no one, will convince me that this wasn’t a literal sign from God and confirmation that He had listened to our conversation.

Dad’s been home for exactly one week. We’re hoping he’ll be able to regain his ability to live the independent life he had before but I’m cautiously optimistic. What’s the saying? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

So what does that mean for me and my future? Who knows. Everything is on hold. As is the rest of the world. In the meantime, we’re going to keep taking it day-by-day here. And while I don’t wish a pandemic or COVID-19 on anyone, I can appreciate that at least the world is also pausing like I am. We’re forced to reevaluate and reassess. To test ourselves, our patience, our drive, tenacity and Faith.

So forgive me for being MIA. Life happened. And for the first time in months, I can admit, 100%, that I have no control and that I am not worried about how it’ll all turn out because, like my dad always says, “Oλα θα πάνε καλά.” Everything will be ok.

Why I (Temporarily) Retired

After spending the last 13 years in morning radio & television, I needed a break. My cup is empty. And while I considered quietly disappearing, I’ve shared my entire life with the world for so long and you’ve supported me through all of it. I needed to explain why I decided to (temporarily) retire.

Is this what normal people do?

Yesterday was my last day which makes today my first day. My first day to sleep past 3:45am…or maybe not.

What do normal people do in the morning? Make coffee? Watch the news? Maybe they workout?

After 13 years (that’s almost 4000 days!) of waking up before the rest of the world, getting used to this whole “normal” person schedule thing is going to take a while, but we’ll get there.

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So I did a thing…

It took 30 years of hard work to make it here. To achieve my dream. But that’s the thing about dreams. They’re infinite.

Perhaps it’s selfish to think that I could accomplish more than one dream in this lifetime but as many of you know, I’m a gambling woman. The best bet I’ve ever made was on myself and I’m doing it again.

Thank you to the amazing news director who hired me and saw my potential long before I did. Thank you to the general manager that let me quietly sneak out of the building so as to avoid all of the sappy goodbyes. Thank you to all of my co-workers at Q13NEWS who taught me that anything is possible with teamwork.

For almost 13 years the alarm has gone off at too-damn-early AM and I loved every second of it. Both radio and television are amazing platforms that aren’t going away anytime soon. I feel so thankful to have earned the right to work in, and be successful in, both industries. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back.

For now, I’m betting it all on me.

I needed to do this for me

Something is wrong.

Maybe “wrong” is too extreme. Maybe it’s not? I’m not functioning at my best. There. That’s probably a more accurate description. I’m struggling to give a name to what’s going on. Is it Seasonal Affective Disorder? After all, I live in Seattle and we haven’t seen the sun in a record amount of time.

Is it a midlife crisis? 35 hit me hard. I’ve found myself asking where the time has gone more often than not. Also, I’ve been feeling like I’ve missed out on some very important years that are now gone forever. Is my perfectionism getting the best of me? ADHD? I do know my anxiety is in overdrive and that’s definitely leading me to feel more depressed than I, dare I say it, ever have.

I’ve found myself thinking (and probably overanalyzing) every single aspect of my life. From little things like what products to use to wash my face to my apartment, my career, relationships, and deep philosophical things like what will truly make me happy.

Above all else, I’m frustrated. Perhaps if I could put a name to what’s going on, I could fix it. But I’ve wracked my brain for months, yes, months, trying to figure out what it is that I’m feeling and why.

After countless hours on Pinterest, blogs, and against my better judgment, WebMD, I had to find someone to help. Understanding that this isn’t just a physical thing or an emotional one, but rather a combination of everything, I sought the help of Dr. Darvish, a naturopathic doctor.

Yes, she’s a doctor. Yes, she’s smart. But what I was most drawn to was indescribable. This is going to sound so cheesy but Dr. D felt like a soul sister from the moment I met her.

Before we continue, it’s important to note the differences between a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and a naturopath. It’s also important to note that Dr. Darvish’s full title is Dr. Nooshin K Darvish ND, FICT, ABAAHP. With all of those initials, I’m pretty sure that means she knows what she’s doing. 😉

The day of my appointment had come. I was excited and anxious to finally meet with Dr. D and do so without cameras around. As I waited in her perfectly lit room, nerves washed over me. I knew deep down in my gut that I was about to get the help I was so desperately searching for.

Not once did I feel rushed with Dr. Darvish. We talked about my physical health and she dug into my emotional health. The best way for me to describe it is a blend between an appointment with a medical doctor and a talk therapy professional. I felt seen, in a good way, as a whole. In a world where our attention is divided among a million different things, distracted by cell phones and our short attention spans, I felt like Dr. D truly heard me.

Before we can put together a plan, Dr. Darvish ordered a few tests. One of them included figuring out my blood type. Check out the chart. Can you figure out what my blood type is?

Spoiler alert: I’m A+ (and you better believe my inner schoolgirl got giddy about it.)

I hope you’ll understand if I don’t go into details about everything Dr. Darvish and I discussed. Perhaps I will at some point but for now, I need to trust that I’ve found someone who’ll help guide me back to my best self.

I don’t know what the future holds. I also didn’t walk in expecting to have all of the answers. But I do feel like I’ve made a start. What’s the saying? “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”

I took my first step.

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