Yeah, you read that right. I legit think I have survived one of the world’s most pandemic agents in my lifetime.
I wish I knew for certain if what I overcame was, in fact, COVID-19. Because I wasn’t diabetic, being hospitalized or in the ER, or at least the age of 65, the state of Ohio would not permit me to procure a test to see if I was infected. How I know this is yet to come.
It started shortly before posting my previous entry. In said blog post, I noticed that I was nearing my all-time adult weight and that it wasn’t helping my lung capacity.
Since the blog post, I began to notice more odd things about lung status. First, I was using my C-PAP machine hella more than usual, especially during hours when I was normally awake. Second, I had to reach for my emergency inhaler (used for allergies and exercise-induced asthma), something I don’t use unless I run a half-mile to catch a bus running ahead of schedule or the equivalency. And speaking of running, even taking fifty steps or riding my bicycle around the block made my lungs swell up inside, as if they were about to explode in a New Year’s fashion. Hell, even moving those fifty steps made me sweat into drowned rat mode. That never happens.
But I can’t have the ‘Rona, I thought. I didn’t have a cough, and I didn’t have a fever, which were the other two hallmark symptoms for COVID-19. But my lungs superceded any worries about (a lack of) coughing and high temperatures, so I decided to get some medical advice.
I mean, it’s bad enough for the first twenty years of my life I lived around a bunch of cigarette smokers, which made my lungs compromised to start with due to volumes of second-hand smoke (ain’t nobody was smoking outside the home during the ’80s and ’90s). And with the death toll continuing to rise here in the USA, I wasn’t going to take any chances.
After a quick internet search for a COVID-19 hotline near me, I called the number. This was on May 10 (American Mother’s Day). I spoke with a nurse who asked me a few questions about my symptoms. I told them about what I was experiencing and was concerned that it could be legitimately something else entirely.
The nurse passed my info to a doctor on-call. The doctor asked me a few more questions, like if I also had headaches, which in fact I did since I had to think about it, I told them. At that point, the doctor gave me the good news and the bad news.
The bad news: I couldn’t get tested because I didn’t meet their criteria at that time.
The good news: I did get a five-day regimen of prednisone and azthiromycin from the doctor, in their own words, “to be on the safe side.”
I had to wait the next day to go pick up the meds. I did get them and started the regimen on May 11. After finishing the regimen on May 15, my lungs were no longer on the brink of bursting. No pain whatsoever. Pip pip cheerio! I still dealt with a recurring headache every 2-3 days, but nothing major otherwise. I got my lungs back.
As of this blog post, I feel fine. More or less the luckiest son of a bitch in the entire world is how I truly feel. Almost 100,000 of my fellow countryfolx can not say the same. I still can’t get tested because I don’t meet the requirements to receive a test, so I have no idea if I’m infected still or infected at all.
Which makes what I’m about to say more heart wrenching. I fear nobody would want to embrace me physically ever again. I mean, let’s face it; the majority of us Americans have regressed to our primary school years of playground taunts and bullish cliques in an attempt to communicate with one another over a plethora of issues. I can already hear the teasing in my mind: “ewww, Vera has cooties!” Heh, that’s actually more lighthearted than what I was really exposed to in my primary school years, but you get the point.
When it becomes safe to consent into another person’s space, will anybody want to reach out to hug me or to shake my hand? Will someone ever want to date me? Or will I be ostracized to outside the proverbial tribal camp for contracting a modern social version of leprosy?
I find it absolutely amazing how something this invisible to the naked eye can travel halfway around the world to a place where most people claim “to avoid.” I mean, if it did. Or I did. Or, whatever.