I – am sick. And, this fact has unpacked a whole lot of thoughts & emotions in myself, as well as the people around me.
Now, to preface this, I don’t yet know if I have covid19 or not. So, let me start at -the “beginning”.
For a few days, I’ve had various body aches & a runny nose. I wrote them off, because
1. I have hayfever, so spring allergies usually start around this time of year. Stuffy, runny nose, is norm for me, along with sneezing & scratchy eyes.
2. My shoulders have, for some reason, been popping in and out of place when I move my arms a certain way, or raise them above my head. As such, the muscles in front of the joint -fucking hurt.
3. I have rheumatoid arthritis, so achy joints, especially with the barometer bouncing in spring, as it does here, is totally normal.
See how easy it is to dismiss things when you’ve gotten used to pain?
Anyway, yesterday I woke up with a sore, scratchy throat. Again, I dismissed it, as, if I sleep in a cold room, my throat hurts the next morning. Guaranteed.
I had a headache, but that, too, is normal. I brushed all these things off & went to work.
Midmorning, I started feeling feverish. My stuffy head got a lot worse, and I started feeling the various aches & pains more. Fevers seem to bring every little owie forward, magnifying them. Doesn’t it suck how that works?
I knew I had to leave work.
I don’t want anyone else to get sick because of me, no matter what it is I have. And especially now, with the way things are…
So, I told my supervisor that I wasn’t feeling well, & was going to go home to take my temp. Who knows, maybe it was low-grade, & I’d feel better after some fresh air?
Anyway, I had to call in after I did that, because I did have a fever, & knew I couldn’t go back. I wouldn’t expose anyone further. I felt hella guilty, tho, as there were reasons I was supposed to be in the office next week.
Instead, I worked on setting up my laptop as a wfh station, & got my TV to act as a 2nd monitor. (Cool as shit, let me tell you. HDMI cable & a couple clicks, et voila! )
Then, I called my parents. I felt bad, bc my dad’s birthday is next week, I have a present for him, & with everything, I can’t get it to him. But, I digress.
My mom chewed me out for not having called my dr. already, so I could get tested. I knew she would, that was part of why I called her.
Nothing like a nurse mom to kick your ass about taking care of yourself, am I right?
So, I called, got shuffled to their covid response team, & told when & where I could go to be tested. It was a drive-up in the parking lot deal, & I didn’t even get out of my car.
If I hadn’t felt like warmed up roadkill, it might have been morbidly funny.
The test is not fun. They stab your brain through your sinuses with swabs, giant-ass Qtips, & make your eyes water & your sinuses burn.
The well-covered (rightly so) nurse told me I should get a call within 48-72 hours with the results.
Here’s praying it’s bronchitis. That I can take antibiotics for, & I’ve had it many times, so I know what I’m dealing with.
So, where’s the learning moment, you ask?
Well, I’ll tell you.
I am the ultimate introvert.
I go to work, the grocery store, the gas station, & home. That’s it.
I don’t go out to eat, I don’t go to the bars, I don’t attend church (obvi, being Pagan), I don’t do sporting events, & in general, hate large crowds.
People don’t stop by my house very regularly, & it’s usually just me and the cats.
I also wash my hands multiple times a day, always have, & wash them the same way I was trained to as a CNA many years ago. Universal Precautions for the win.
So, IF I do have covid, where did I get it from?
This is the moment things started opening up for me.
The store? Sure, I could’ve caught it there. I’m generally pretty careful about touching stuff in the store, I’ve been wearing my gloves thru the store, & washing as soon as I get home, but, it’s still possible.
Work? Well, we’ve been really careful there about cleaning, not touching door handles, no customers allowed inside the building, etc. But, sure, someone else could be an asymptomatic carrier.
Gas station? I usually pay & fill at the pump, using my card, & wearing gloves, because I don’t want the smell of gasoline on my hands. So, unlikely.
At home? Well, can’t get it from the cats, so, I think I’m good there.
The thing is, you don’t know what’s in the air around you, especially when you go to public places. And being cleanly & careful will only get you so far.
Sometimes, you get sick anyway.
And, frankly, the stigma of now being someone who’s sick, possibly with the corona virus, is difficult.
If I do have it, then I didn’t know that until late Friday morning. As soon as I felt off, I left for others’ safety, & saw to getting tested & setting up my self quarantine.
Which means, yes, I could have been carrying this in my system for days, incubating. But, I am NOT to blame for this. I did NOT ask for or seek this out. I’ve been as careful as I could be, practiced social distancing, the whole 9 yards, and I still got sick anyway.
Now, think about what you’ve been doing to avoid this? Do you think it’s enough? Could you do more? Is any of it enough?
That last question I’m still stuck on.
But, right now, I need a nap.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Follow the 6 foot rule. Stay home if you can. And, if you have faith – any kind, I’m not judgy – Pray.
Hope you all stay healthy. ❤