you wake one morning feeling finey-fine. and then casually – maybe somewhere around midday you’re spontaneously not feeling finey-fine. in fact you outright do not feel well. Maybe it’s just a bad cold – right?
So you go home- drink 27 cups of scalding hot tea still shivering while you wait ’til tomorrow’ to see if the symptoms lessen or hopefully go away altogether.
Voila!! it’s tomorrow. it actually didn’t come that quickly – it seems like a lot more than 8-10 hours have passed while you were laying there watching the ceiling fan blades go round and round…..allllllll night…tired but not able to sleep.
You feel worse than you did -so you drag your broken ass to the closest testing site.
You hurt…everywhere so it makes getting dressed and into the car the most extreme chore. ugh. Outdoor ready at last you go and get that little rough Q-tippy swabber thing jammed into your nose. compared to how the rest of you feels this is a pleasure cruise.
results that normally take approximately 15 minutes are delivered to you in less than 7. THAT’s how aggressive your virus is. It doesn’t want to take its time- it wants you to know and surrender ASAP.
‘we’re going steady now- you’re mine’
kind of like a weird creepy stalker fella who turns up in the least likely of places ‘coincidentally’ -like your bathroom shower (yikes!!!!!!)
NOW you have to drive home with your covid positive confirmation paper riding shotgun on the front passenger seat feeling like this just happened:
once home again and in you most comfortable daytime pajamas – under two comforters still shaking -you take a few minutes to feel sorry for yourself. laying on your side in a fetal position because you were advised not to lay on your back. hot tears on a hot face rolling down from the duct onto the bridge of your nose over to the other side where they fall soundlessly on your pillow.
‘why did this happen to me? who’s gonna help me?’
for a brief second you kinda regret breaking up with mr not so wonderful last month- at the very least he’d be there on the other end of the phone with his annoying hyper optimism
‘it’s gonna be okay- you’re strong and brave and perfect’
uh- but isn’t that one of the reasons you ended things with him to begin with? his continuous and unrealistic irksome cheerleader attitude. I mean it was okay sometimes- yes a supportive mate is heavenly -but there’s times which call for a figurative slap in the face to put you back on track. A partner who sugarcoats everything consistently is aggravating and delusional. there is absolutely nothing wrong with reality- it teaches us – when we learn we grow. I need someone who’ll tell me not EVERYTHING is ALWAYS okay. that in and of itself IS okay. okay? did I over emphasize that? yea. I did. shoot me.
once the self pity party is partially over you go through the contacts in your phone to find friends who will tell you
‘it’s gonna be okay- you’re strong and brave and perfect but before that okay part happens you’re gonna go through hell- sorry doll…..how can I help you? what do you need?’
aren’t you grateful for people like this? the ones who’ll kick the wallow straight outta you while saying ‘you’re one pretty cute hot mess with your adorable rats’ nest hair and swollen eyeholes
isolating is a great tool to learn that in times of crises like these facetime is not your friend.
within hours -paper sacks filled with homemade chicken soup/water/tylenol/more tea/ etc collect on your doorstep and from the front door you see your best friends waving from their car windows – blowing kisses and motioning for you to call if you need anything else. anything at all.
you unpack and again collapse in bed hoping for the energy to heat some of that soup …maybe later.
days and nights and days and nights and days and nights (what’s the difference at this point?) are endlessly painful- your skin- eyes and ears are burning and even taking the shortest walk from the bedroom to the bathroom is treacherous- leaving you violently coughing and yearning for more oxygen but somehow- weak as a newborn kitten-you’re managing.
those same friends and family call daily- asking if you need anything else and check on your recovery process until one day when you say
‘i’m feeling a little better.’ you mean it.
The cough is still there but definitely less raucous. Your body has gone from a raging forest fire to smoldering embers and really….you just hurt a lot less- can breath easier- and….yea. you’re absolutely better. not great. but better.
eventually you’re more than better. and finally you classify yourself as a covid19 survivor.
this is the abbreviated version of the story and the result is the same whether long or short. you know you’re lucky.
Because at the end of this covid journey- you’re here. you didn’t end up in some strange hospital bed surrounded by people who weeks ago you didn’t know- but are now some of your closest friends the kind that say you’ll ‘go for a drink when this is all over’
the kind you say ‘ thank you -goodbye- stay safe’ to- hoping you never see again -while you all laugh about this fictitious drink outing knowing it aint ever gonna really happen.
the kind that you to send a large gift basket to two weeks later to thank them for their service and for helping to keep you alive.
‘you guys are my superheroes’ your card reads with a little
yep. you’re alive and hopeful to never have this experience ever again.
it’s been almost five months since this ordeal. And now as you finally qualify you anxiously wait for there to be openings less than 450 miles away to get you some of that vaxing all the cool kids are talking about.
til then….fingers crossed.
be well friends-be well.
here’s one of them things for you too