Martha Modawell, our Yoga for Caregivers instructor, has recently recovered from a case of COVID-19 that hit their entire household – including her two children with CF. She has now returned to work and still plans to teach our Yoga for Caregivers class on Wednesday mornings in August, even as her children with CF continue their COVID-19 recovery. We invited her to share her experience with our CF Yogi community, knowing that this issue is top-of-mind for many of us. This is her story.

On July 2, 2020 I woke up with the worst feeling, generalized pain throughout my whole body. I was stuck in bed for the next three days. I’ve always been pretty healthy so never before has anything like this happened to me. After three days I was able to get up and move around, but I couldn’t gather my thoughts very well, having really bad brain fog. I could not for the life of me remember how I got to Costco, where I had parked, or if I even had a car.

When you’re sick, do you push through like me? I am guilty of this and I think to myself, “Who is going to take care of me? I am the Mother, the Care Taker, and the cornerstone of this house for goodness sakes!” If you are like me, I welcome you with open arms. Know that I get you and empathize with you.

On July 9th I felt like I was hit by a freight train and could barely get out of bed to use the restroom. On top of that, my husband – never one to be left out – started showing COVID symptoms. My thoughts turned to panic…

Who is going to run this house? Who is going to take care of the kids?

My husband and I were now both laid up in bed, confined to the four walls of our room. Our CF team told us to isolate as best we could from the children, with emphasis on not preparing any food they will be consuming.

Now people, lets get real, how in the hell are a 12 and 14-year-old CF’er and a very energetic 9-year-old going to take care of themselves? Every care takers worst fear just came to light.

Through this experience, I learned my kids actually know a lot more than I originally thought. I also had to realize that in my limited capacity to act as caretaker, I needed to allow video games, Netflix, and Easy Mac to run the show while my husband and I healed. We were blessed with friends and family reaching out to offer help. Grocery runs and meal deliveries were in many cases our saving grace.

I am here to tell you that it is hard, but possible. I learned that I don’t do well in situations that I cannot control. Yes, I learned that I am a control freak, which was news to me. 😂

I learned that I had the ability to let go of control. With that, I was able to watch as my children were able to harness their independence and learn to play together. I feared isolation would hurt their sibling relationship, but it proved to be the opposite.

Once I made a full recovery, my 12-year-old CF daughter began to show symptoms of this frustrating virus along with my 14-year-old daughter with CF a couple days later. Once again fear set in. We know so little about this virus, but we do know that it can manifest in so many different ways. Fully recovered, I could now embrace and take back the role of care taker. One question kept cycling through my head…

How will this virus affect my kids with CF?

The kids are doing well so far, especially the one who has already started taking Trikafta, so I’m optimistic that they will continue to improve. They are the first diagnosed COVID-19 cases at their CF clinic, so there’s a lot that we still don’t know, but we and our care team are optimistic that they’ll make a full recovery as I and their father did. I’m happy to share our experience with you, and I’m sure those of you who come to my Caregivers classes on Wednesdays will be getting regular updates on their progress (as much as the kids let me share, anyway).

With this my dear caretakers, join me on the mat and let’s show each other kindness, space for ourselves, let go of the tight rope of control so that we can be the care taker our kids need, and the person we need for ourselves. My gift as a yoga teacher to bring it out the best in you, for this is my calling with caregivers.

Join Martha online for Yoga for Caregivers on Wednesdays August 5-26 at 9 am PDT / 10 am MDT / 11 am CDT / Noon EDT. All CF caregivers are welcome to attend our free virtual yoga classes, thanks to the support of our #HealthyAtHome campaign donors.

If you’re new to CF Yogi, register for the program here. If you’re already registered, find the link to join Martha’s class here in the Member Portal!