My mum came out of quarantine last week after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Apart from her nursing care, she spent a few more than 14 days and nights alone in a room of a residential care home.
And we spent it ... waiting.
Behind the formal language, when we finally got her through a very frightening fortnight, came a cavalcade of emotions.
I could have danced - if I wasn't so shattered.
In fact, however, most of her family did dance, and sing, and cheer for mum two Saturdays ago, in the middle of her ordeal - on her 90th birthday.
We did it looking up at mum at the window of her second-floor room, being held up by two staff members unable to take her out of isolation, even for a minute.
Like mum, we were totally dependent on those staff, and their colleagues at the Rosemount Home which, like many others, had shut down to all visitors since March. It would be unfair to single out individuals, we are so grateful to them all.
My sister Angela and brothers Keith and Mark, who had been mum's main carer since our dad died seven years ago next month, kept in twice-daily phone contact with the home since the closure and managed many brief chats with mum, including one video call for most of us.
But a few weeks into lockdown our mum, Doreen, developed a vomiting and diarrhoea bug which left her exhausted.
A few times, on the phone to one of us, she would say, "I can't be bothered talking" and put the phone down. Always frank and to the point, our mum.
Yet this was also unlike her. She sounded weary, and not a little fed up. So, it was decided mum should be tested for coronavirus, which of course in itself made us all anxious.
The problems in care homes had just slipped onto the local and national news headlines.
We were told we might have to wait two days, but in a little over 24 hours the call came that mum had tested positive and was to be kept in her room and monitored. Her GP would be contacted should she deteriorate, and if necessary mum would be transferred to a hospital for ventilation.
We were stunned. The feeling of powerlessness overwhelmed. By this stage we had not seen mum for a month and now faced the prospect of - worst case scenario - not being able to even say goodbye to her.
When you're lying awake overnight you can think unwelcome thoughts - like, if mum passes, how do we decide which 10 people get to attend the funeral?
And, if you're like me, you begin to ask strange questions - does the pastor of mum's Independent Methodist church count as one of the 10?
Our mum had been diagnosed with dementia last summer, so we were not sure of the extent to which she was aware of her own illness. We were not going to be the ones to tell her. She did know and appear to remember that there was a virus which was stopping us from visiting.
On one of the calls after the Covid-19 confirmation, mum sounded dreadful.
Another day one of us heard that she was "not in great shape". Staff said she was not eating well. We told each other to stay strong.
Mum would nearly always ask about her grandkids and in one call said she did not want everyone to be worrying about her. Then she seemed a little brighter and more cheery and, incredibly, almost against the odds, seemed to get a little stronger each day.
Sometimes it was us who had to end the calls, in my case because I was about to blubber.
We knew there were very good signs when she told Mark she was eating a "gorgeous" banana sandwich and said she had "nothing to do and all day to do it." This was our mum coming back to us. She never developed the cough associated with Covid and her temperature did not fluctuate wildly. Mum also seemed to have no other underlying health conditions.
We are not entirely out of the woods yet - the virus can remain latent - but we are increasingly optimistic.
It is obvious that a lot remains to be learned about Covid-19. Mum seemingly goes from strength to strength.
And as a poem in the notebook in mum's room puts it: "Despite all our fears/We are hoping to have her for many more years."