This is a draft that began during Spring Break (April) 2022. Newer, more relevant content coming soon.
It started innocently enough, a little tickle in my throat as I drove into work. As the day went on that tickle turned into an itch that got worse as I sniffled and swallowed all the extra goo my sinuses were suddenly making.
By that first night I felt bad, not awful but bad. Bad enough to take an at-home COVID test before going to bed. Negative.
Woke up feeling even worse, took a second test.
I don’t remember most of the day, but I do remember wishing someone would pull a fire alarm or just send me home.
At one point I coughed myself stupid to the point where a coworker thought I was choking to death, I thanked her profusely at the end of the day for caring enough to check. Feverbrain was so glad someone cared.
Once the students went home I took a lie down in one of the kids cubby’s (it’s like a cubicle but for students, and this one had gym mats on the floor). I laid down sipping water and forcing myself to eat crackers for about 10 minutes. At one point my supervisor stopped to ask if I was having chest pains, I hadn’t realized I was holding my chest as I lay there.
As I packed up my things for the extra long weekend at B’s, house to ourselves with only the puppies to keep us busy, I took yet another covid test. Negative. Then I noticed the thermometer I keep in the medicine cabinet and decided to check my temperature..
By Saturday afternoon that number had climbed to 102.4 by one thermometer’s measurement. I say that because I’d gone out to buy a non-digital version of a thermometer, because if I couldn’t quantify my illness by some outside metric how bad could it really be?
Really fucking awful, that’s how bad.
Lying in the fetal position crying for my mom to come kind of bad (which has been established with B as the metric, the way to know I am Really Truly Awfully Sick).
Coincidentally, crying cause I’m sick and want my mom made me cry even harder knowing she wouldn’t come. This then lead to other always-helpful cycle of thoughts like “She can’t come cause she left me”, and everyone’s favorite “She left because I didn’t save her”.
Logically I know that, but I was sick and rational thinking was not a priority for my brain.
Instead it ruminated to the darkest, most self-loathing, deprecating doomsday scenarios that could be conjured. Questioning all my choices and leaving them lacking. If in that moment I had acted on any of those thoughts I would likely be unemployed, single, possibly homeless and very fucking sad.
I did not. Instead I got B to bring me some water, make me peas & rice, and then passed out for 14 hours.
I wouldn’t say I woke up feeling refreshed, but I was certainly better than I had been.
In the end I took 5 COVID tests, all negative, over the next 5 days. Turns out a fever can fuck you up real bad, even if it isn’t ‘Rona-related.
Wash your hands people. Wash Your Fucking Hands.