“I find myself leaning even more toward my faith and trying not to sway.”

Diana Lewis, 57, lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, with her husband of 28 years, Adrian, and her son Joshua, 29, who has autism spectrum disorder. Diana, a pastor, taught pre-K and elementary school for 14 years. She was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) five years ago. The couple has four sons and 10 grandchildren. She shares her story about dealing with the pandemic.

By Diana Lewis

COVID-19 has drastically affected my household and everyday life. My son and I loved going out to lunch, the library and thrift store, and volunteering at my nonprofit.

Now I can’t go out much at all. When I do, my family and I wear masks and gloves. I have sanitizer in the car and more in my purse. Disinfectant wipes are always on hand. My husband does most of the grocery shopping after he comes home from his job as a line haul driver.

I heard about COVID-19 in February after I returned home from a hospital stay. The pandemic prevented me from seeing my grandchildren for several months, which almost destroyed me.

I love traveling to visit my grandchildren, children and family, as well as going on cruises. Due to the virus, I can’t travel as much because of financial concerns, travel restrictions and my many health concerns. I am currently on disability due to PH, obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and congestive heart failure.

The pandemic has made me take better care of myself. The only challenge I have is wearing a mask. I have been working on a mask design that will fit well and not constrict my breathing any more than it already is.

Three years ago, I received a calling from God to study and speak the Gospel. I teach bible study online and lead a ministry that my husband and son co-founded. We put together bags for the homeless and indigent and hand out masks. We buy all of the supplies. I hope that my ministry will help feed, clothe, educate and engage children all over the world.

I find myself leaning even more toward my faith and trying not to sway. If I do, I must get back on task immediately because my mental and physical health are at stake.

New Mexico is reopening slowly, but I remain cautious. I will continue to order takeout, curbside or drive-thru.

Although the pandemic is here now, we will survive. We must not give the pandemic so much power. There will eventually be a vaccine and prayerfully soon. We can hope, have faith, pray and believe. At this point, that is all we have.

Does Diana’s story resonate with you? Inspire and give hope to the PH community by sharing your experience with PH. Submit your story here, and read more stories from PHA’s Right Heart Blog.

Adrian and Diana Lewis