For several days last week, I felt like crap, to put it bluntly. My wife, who had been at her mother’s house, helping to get ready for my MIL’s move this week, called to ask that Thursday, “How are you feeling?”
“I’ve felt better. My sleep was interrupted a few times by coughing jags.”
“Any fever? Or other COVID symptoms?”
Now, THAT’S a tricky question. From the list I found:
Fever or chills – no fever, occasional chills
Cough – definitely
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – yes
Fatigue – definitely, because of above
Muscle or body aches – ditto
Headache – a little
New loss of taste or smell – I don’t know, I’m so stuffed up
Sore throat – definitely
Congestion or runny nose – yes, a lot
Nausea or vomiting – no, though I was coughing so hard I thought I would
Diarrhea – no
Could it be…?
The thing about the COVID is that it mimics other ailments. My daughter currently has a post-nasal drip. And we tend to experience similar symptoms around allergies.
Maybe it’s bronchitis, which I’ve had before. Maybe it’s the flu, though I was vaxxed for that last fall. Heck, it could be the reaction to the fires in the western US, the smoke from which is reaching new York State.
The weird thing about being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is that I don’t know how vulnerable I still may be. I feel the pain of Mile High Comics proprietor Chuck Rozanski/Bettie Pages: “I am still working to recover from a dreadful flu-like illness that hit me over the weekend. While initially assumed to be a dreaded Covid-19 ‘breakthrough’ infection (I am fully vaccinated), it turns out that it is an entirely different virus. I will spare you most of the gory details except to mention that at one point that I slept for 28 hours in a single stretch.”
One of the primary issues I have – if it’s not TMI – is a lot of phlegm in my nose and chest. I happen to think that phlegm is one of the ugliest words in the English language; it’s the damn silent G.
Early on in the pandemic, it seemed that getting a COVID-19 test around here was difficult, limited to people who were clearly showing signs of infection. Now I could go to the nearest CVS that has a drive-through. Thursday, I made an appointment for Friday. It was a rather frustrating experience.
Primarily, it was that neither my wife, driving nor I, in the back seat, could hear a damn thing the technician was saying. The air conditioner outside of the building was Very Loud. “Oh, break the stick that’s in the tube? Oh, I see the place…” Saturday, I got the results. Negative. Which is good.
The answer is…
But what DO I have? Sunday morning, we went to the urgent care place. Given the fact that they only take walk-ins and I was fourth in line, it was a rather efficient operation. Ultimately, it was determined that I have a sinus infection. The physician assistant prescribed an antibiotic and Albuterol.
Actually, I had occasionally used an unused puffer during the week, I told the P.A. They asked if the drug had hit its expiration date; I shrugged. (Later, I noticed it ran out in Sept 2019, so I switched it out for one that ran out in March 2021, which is MUCH better.) They also said that most of the OTC cough medicine was a waste of money in that the condition is masked but not treated.
It’s quite fortunate I did not have COVID beyond, you know, not being too ill. My daughter has a summer job she would have to quit. Worse, my wife is one of only two teachers teaching 70 kids for four weeks in August. If I DID have COVID, they would have to quarantine, and there’s no redundancy in either of their jobs.