Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for May: (5/4) Linda Norlander, (5/11) Connie Berry, (5/18) Mary Keliikoa, (5/22) Annette Dashofy, and (5/25) Rosalie Spielman.

Monday, January 24, 2022

A Hypochondriac’s Guide to Surviving COVID by Nancy L. Eady

I gave up reading about disease symptoms online about the time I read up on the symptoms of bubonic plague and decided (wrongly) I was coming down with it.  However, with the advent of the COVID pandemic, I find at least one news story a day which sets out the current list of possible symptoms. As I told someone at work weeks ago, if I got tested and isolated myself every time I thought I might have COVID, I would no longer be employed.

So, it is ironic that the time I finally tested positive for COVID is the time I went to get help with something else. I suffer from an IGG deficiency, which means the memory in my immune system isn’t always great. It’s really just a fancy way of saying that if I get a cold or a sniffle anytime in the winter, I end up with bronchitis. And in true January fashion, I had every sign I was headed there—the congestion, the drainage, the sore throat and the coughing. And with IGG, the only way to stave off  bronchitis is to take antibiotics.

Tuesday, January 11, found me setting off in search of an urgent care. Little did I know one would be hard to find. The first place I tried (note, I arrived there five minutes before it opened at 8 a.m.) had no openings before 5 p.m. that day. The second place I tried, where I arrived 20 minutes after they opened, was already closed for the day because they had filled all their appointments. I tried one other place, which wasn’t any better, so I bit the bullet and drove the two hours back to the town where the Alex City branch of my work is located.  The Alex City hospital’s urgent care could see me after a mere two and a half hour wait. They insisted on testing me for COVID and darned if I didn’t test positive. The doctor there loaded me up with a bunch of prescriptions, told me to stay home for five days, and wished me well.

The good news is that IGG patients, at least this one, apparently don’t develop bronchitis with COVID. We cough like we’ve got bronchitis, mind you, but we don’t have it. But this fatigue stuff is for the birds. No matter how sick I have been with anything, I have always been able to read and write. Always. Until now. COVID fatigue is like trying to push a thought through cold molasses. The thought is there, somewhere, but you just can’t get it to filter through. And somewhere in the middle of searching through the molasses for the thought, you end up falling asleep. I have slept more and written less the last 2 weeks than ever before.

I am slowly climbing out of the Sargasso Sea I have found myself stuck in. I am distressed by how conflicting the information out there is about when I will finally be done with this mess. Three different people told me I should keep getting tested until I test negative, and two different urgent cares told me there was no point in getting tested again because I could test positive even 90 days from now but that was okay because no matter how I feel, I’m no longer contagious. Now, I just tell the armchair quarterbacks trying to call plays I am following doctor’s orders.

So, I’m going to be grateful I am getting better, no matter how slowly, and be thankful I have been able to keep a steady supply of DayQuil and NyQuil to get me through it. Now it looks like it’s time for me to take another nap…

Have you had to deal with COVID yet? What was your experience? 


Kait said...

Oh, Nancy! I am glad that you are on the mend. This round of COVID has been vicious. It seems that everyone who managed to miss out on the first two rounds of variants is being laid low. Feel better, take care of yourself and yes, follow your doctor's orders, everyone else is just speculating.

Jim Jackson said...

Feel better soon, Nancy.

So far, so good on my not catching Covid-19; but avoiding exposure sure has cut down my social life (not that it was all that much to begin with).

Susan said...

I’m with you, Jim, and still crossing my fingers. Nancy, I hope you feel better soon!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Nancy, wishing you (and your family) a complete and speedy recovery! Take care.

Molly MacRae said...

I'm so sorry, Nancy. Echoing all the good wishes.

E. B. Davis said...

Sometimes I wonder about the accuracy of the tests. Colds and other viruses still exist. I have not gotten it yet, hope I don't, but then I wear a mask in stores and don't have a social life anymore. I hope you feel better soon, Nancy!

KM Rockwood said...

Take care of yourself & I hope you feel better soon.

I haven't had COVID (that I know of, at least) but many family members have. One of my brothers had it for the 2nd time over New Years. My fully-vaccinated mother-in-law ended up hospitalized and will probably never fully recover. The family moved her from Wyoming to West Virginia in the hopes that the lower altitude would reduce her need for supplemental oxygen, and it seems to be working somewhat.

That fatigue is what everyone complains about, usually followed by "If that was mild, I can't begin to imagine what a serious case feels like."