Ann Farabee column: COVID journey — go to rehab

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 7, 2021

By Ann Farabee

As I left my doctor’s office, all I could think of were her words that had been spoken ever so gently, “Your symptoms may linger for up to a year.”

It took a few minutes of sitting in the car in the parking lot to pull myself together.

Really? I was in Week 7 of my COVID recovery and I had assumed everything would be back to normal any day now. I guess not.

The news meant that I could expect body weakness, mental fog, and lingering lung issues to continue. They did.

A few weeks later, I received a call from my doctor’s office recommending I go to rehab. The word rehab was a little overwhelming until I read its definition.

Rehab is defined as a process to:

• Restore optimal health.

• Restore optimal functioning.

• Restore optimal well-being.

That sounded pretty inviting.

My faith had been weak.

My fear had been winning.

I was definitely not optimal anything.

Even during a stretch of doubting — I chose to go — to rehab.

Pulmonary rehabilitation.

I was all in.

Rehab was hard work. Rehab took commitment. Rehab costs time and money. I had to listen. I had to follow instructions. I had to learn. I had to work toward my goals. I had to push myself.

Three days a week for 75 minutes a day.

I went.

I was re-trained.

I was re-educated.

I was restored.

I became stronger. Then one day at rehab, the therapist checked on me while I was on the treadmill. She asked the same question I am asked several times a visit, “How’s your breathing?”

For the first time in months, I realized I was heading toward optimal. I had made it the entire day without even thinking about my breathing. Breathing without thinking about it? That is a great feeling!

I went.

I conquered.

God is good.

If someone suggests you go to rehab — or if you think you need to go to rehab — no matter the type, I highly recommend it.

Is there a rehab for those who eat ice cream every day? Asking for a friend.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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