That’s as close to a portmanteau as I can promise y’all at the outset of this post. But even though I dodged it while it was all the rage – just like my refusal to watch Game of Thrones when everyone else was watching it – the coronavirus finally landed at my doorstep.
The weekend before Thanksgiving.
Because the universe likes to play for extra credit, it arrives on the first day of my vacation.
But I shall not be reapt, so Grim ‘Rona is what you get.
And you think I’m bitter. What kind of force of nature plays that dirty. So petty.
Like I said, in true “This could only happen to grumpy l, old Xtopher” fashion, it happened on a national holiday week, so I spent Thanksgiving alone, which should make the universe happy.
I’ll make a joke about dodging a Grim Reaper’s best efforts, but in reality, this was a shockingly low key event. So much so that I didn’t even think to take a home test until Sunday. By then my symptoms were nearly a memory.
Two days. That’s all the longer I suffered. I joked with my doc when we spoke that the side effects from my second vaccination were worse. Those lasted a full, miserable week. My symptoms consisted of two nights of fever and the dreams that too often accompany them and a cough so intense, I’d have believed I had consumption over COVID.
I’m also willing to chalk those dreams up to being my own pharmacist those first couple of nights. I’d been taking DayQuil that Friday afternoon, thinking I was just getting a cold. That evening, I switched to Tylenol. Then NyQuil around 8 pm.
None of these doses seemed to last through the window their directions prescribed. There was a lot of overlap in the efficacy potentials…which could explain what happened next.
I was in bed at 830 that first night. I may have (most certainly did) back up my NyQuil dose with a Tylenol PM before turning in. I left my radio on versus setting a fader to shut it off after an hour or two like I normally do. That ended up being the catalyst for a truly lost weekend.
Seriously, it was the radio, not the drug cocktail I had on board at bedtime – that was supplemented every time I got up. Remember, Friday nights my local station plays a program of 80s and 90s music from 8-midnight so I was thinking that would ease my fever tortured mind.
I slept like a champ. My consciousness was still drifting in and out, but my body was dead to the world. My mind would come nearly to briefly and overhear my parents talking outside my bedroom door in hushed tones.
This absolutely did not happen. It was an excellent throwback to my childhood illnesses, though, where id overhear those hushed tones from the hallway and swear my parents were discussing things like what to do with my room after I died or whether the other kids were dumb enough to fall for my parents just pretending I never existed versus explaining a dead sibling to them.
That happened to everyone, right?
I also briefly experienced a moment of near lucidity where I was listening to the DJ who does the station’s Sunday Brunch radio program from 7-noon on…Sundays. I thought “Damn! I slept all through Saturday!” before drifting out of consciousness again.
So that’s where my brain was when I finally acknowledged I needed to use the can. I remember thinking it was super dark for 2 pm on Sunday when I saw the clock on Myrt’s automatic feeder. Also acknowledging a moment of gratitude that I was sick on a weekend of shitty weather. When I came out of the bathroom – yes, I washed my hands – I had to stop and look out the windows because it was such a dark afternoon.
It was 2 am Saturday morning and I’d been asleep for less than six hours. But I’d managed to convince myself it had been closer to 42.
Lucky for me, I thought to pop another Tylenol PM as I crawled disbelieving my back into bed.
You cannot imagine my surprise when I woke up at 730 Sunday night and realized moments later I’d only been asleep an additional five hours. I may not have been able to believe I’d been asleep less than 12 hours at that point. But I felt rested.
To celebrate, I took a dose of NyQuil, went back to bed and slept another five hours.
The rest of the day felt like the week after setting my clocks back an hour on the Fall Equinox.
But one more night of that nonsense and I finally mustered the wearwithal – or is it wherewithal? I never know, but “wear with all” seems to make more sense than “where with all”, so I’m sticking with it regardless of what spellcheck thinks of that decision – to take a COVID test.
Not shockingly, it was positive.
More shockingly – and in true what-the-literal-fuck-ness that my life requires like oxygen – I immediately started to feel better.
Like, symptoms gone.
I wondered if the combination flu shot and MPOX vaccination I got at my doctor’s office on Tuesday could have created a false positive. I actually requested a phone consult to ask just that question. Sure enough, Monday afternoon my doctor was talking to me in that measured tone of his that he uses while trying to get me to accept both reality and his credentials as a medical professional versus asking questions like how far from the bottom of his class he graduated.
I don’t feel bad. He’s highly compensated and it’s a legitimate question.
But his calm tone lured me into believing that I should accept the Rx he had called in for me for Paxlovid. He assured me that if nothing else – given my weak ass symptoms – the Paxlovid was likely to reduce the chances of me drawing the Long COVID card.
You’re sure this home test couldn’t just be like a false positive on s pregnancy test?
Instead of answering that question, he asked me if I had someone who could pick up my scrip. Well played, doc…we’ll played.
Fortunately, the Silver Fox was in town.
Through that afternoon., when he had to leave to pick up his son at the airport for the holiday visit.
Despite my pharmacy’s efforts to derail his plans to leave by telling him my Rx wasn’t ready and then never following up as he seethed in the waiting area for 45 minutes.
Paxlovid might reduce the risk of Long COVID, but someone should really warn you that it leaves your body like too much garlic.
My mouth tasted like I’d been chewing iodine tablets like candy. The aftertaste was tangible. I was actively secreting this foul taste from my salivary glands.
When I woke up the morning after my first dose, I regretted the cozy night I’d spent sleeping in a sweatshirt under my weighted blanket.
Well, not instantly, mind you. It hit me – literally – when I crossed my own scent chemtrail on the way back to the bedroom after taking a whiz on Tuesday morning. In a fit of bad judgment, I tucked my nose into the collar of my crew neck to double-check and my legs buckled.
Not my wisest moment.
But I stuck it out. Five days, two three pill doses per day. All the smells to make you ungrateful for not losing your sense of smell or taste as a result of COVID…but I took every damn one of them. And you know if anyone is gonna not fall in line with the “helps reduce the risk of Long COVID” that it’ll be me.
So there’s that to
dread not look forward to.
I have to say, if I had to lose the COVID lottery, I feel like I still won my figurative ticket money back. Sure, it might have hit me on my vacation causing me to isolate for five days and then mask another five on my nine days away from work. Yeah, it meant not spending the holiday with my favorite people who have no choice but endure me.
Most regrettably, it deprived them of the holiday tradition of heckling me while I make them gravy for their Thanksgiving meal.
Seriously, they insist it takes me 45 minutes, but you know how women (and bottoms) complain that sex only lasts three minutes when you know you go well into double-digits?
Well, this is the inverse phenomenon.
Gravy doesn’t just happen, beloved family.
But I’m sad that this year it didn’t happen at all. Next year, I’ll take twice as long to make up for it.
Unless I die.
But as I learned in Thanksgiving, if I die it won’t be from COVID, because…not COVID, just fat.