I wrote all of the following last night when I was feeling halfway decent. I’m glad I did, too – today hasn’t been as great as yesterday afternoon and evening were in regards to how I’m feeling. I’m taking my medicine and resting, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to write the rest of this. Here’s part two for you for now, though:
If you didn’t read Part One, read it at this link: Illness During a Pandemic – Part One.
So, picking up where we left off. . .
The receptionist at my doctor’s office got me set for an eleven o’clock appointment, and satisfied I went back to sleep until almost ten. Showering was a struggle, I didn’t even want to stand to get ready, let alone make the drive to the doctor’s office. I just wanted my bed. Knowing that I needed a professional opinion, I forced myself through the process of making myself halfway presentable – and by that I mean I showered, shoved my unruly hair up in a clip and headband, and put clothes and shoes on.
Finally making it through the drive, and the walk into the building, and the check in process, I made it into the exam room. I felt like every moment away from the comfort of my bed was pure torture. I talked with the nurse who was asking me questions about my symptoms. She sighed heavily and adjusted her mask, which was your run of the mill doctor’s mask. “I should have worn my N95,” she stated.
“. . . do I have that many symptoms?” I asked, too tired to really feel any sort of alarm.
“You have more symptoms than not,” she stated. “Oh well. A little late now. Let’s just go with it.” she said cheerfully, getting up. “Let’s get your vitals.” I was relieved that her thermometer didn’t detect a fever. My blood pressure was normal, but my pulse was high. My oxygen saturation was lower than it normally is, sitting at 97 instead of 98 or 99 like is normal. Which was concerning to me – remember, I am quitting smoking. It should have improved, not gotten worse. And it was starting to sink in what she had said.
I might have the ‘Rona.
The doctor came in and said much of the same. She with a face shield and N95 mask on. I had a double ear infection, a sinus infection, and they wanted to send me for testing for COVID-19 at a different clinic. She said it was completely possible for me to have all of this – ear infections, sinus infection, and COVID. She clarified what the CDC guidelines were and told me I couldn’t go back to work for ten days from the onset of symptoms.
Then it hit me. Then I knew. I wasn’t just a little sick.
Ten days? Ten whole fucking days of this? She prescribed me an antibiotic for the infections and in one breath told me I needed to be sure to eat plenty of yogurt so I should pick some up, and in the next told me I needed to stay away from public places. If I were just sick due to the infections, the antibiotic would work. If it was COVID, the antibiotic would just exasperate the stomach issue symptoms, and I didn’t have to continue to take it.
Fuck my fucking life.
They set the test up for two-thirty that afternoon, and I drove home through traffic, thinking of all the implications. Chase had been dropped off with Matthew while I was gone, and I couldn’t even hug him when I got home. I needed to sanitize the house. I needed to wear a mask while in the house. I somehow needed more body armor drinks and some yogurt. How was I going to care for my kids? How was my property going to fare with me gone for ten days? What in the actual fuck was going to happen to my carefully planned and orchestrated daily life without me being involved in it? How was I going to make any extra money by writing? How was I going to manage any of this, not wanting to leave my bed except to use the bathroom and take medicine?
I pulled Scarlett into the garage and slipped on my brave mom face along with my face mask before exiting the vehicle. No way could the kids know how panicked I felt.
I went in and stopped Chase before he could jump on me like he always does when I walk in the door. Matthew bounded down the stairs as soon as he heard me as well, and I told them what was going on. “I have a double ear infection, a sinus infection. . . and I have to go for a COVID test at two-thirty this afternoon,” I told them.
“Man, your head is all messed up!” Matt exclaimed, followed by, “You don’t have COVID.” He was trying to state a simple fact, but it came out sounding more like he was trying to reassure himself.
I shrugged. “I don’t know, kid. The doctor said I have more symptoms than not.”
He shook his head and smiled. “You don’t have COVID,” he responded with more certainty, and as if to seal it, walked away and bounded back up the stairs to his room.
I went into my room and closed the door and read through my paperwork. Realizing I was hungry, I went to the kitchen to find something to eat and walked around wiping down anything I may have touched in the last few days with Clorox wipes. I then went back into my room and closed the door again and removed my mask. I proceeded to bawl like a baby. I wanted to hug my little one. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to want to do things – read, write, work. I am always busy doing something, I’m always moving forward and getting shit done. . . and instead all I wanted was sleep. And so, I curled up under the blankets, and slept.