The COVID Chronicles – Day One

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Writer’s block is never easy to navigate, because it robs the writer of the desire to create. It’s like a double whammy when it strikes. First, it creeps into the writer’s creative vault and stifles ideas. Then, it takes away the desire to even try to write anything remotely entertaining. Usually when I have to deal with writer’s block, I fall back on my music as a way of keeping myself in the creative flow. But this bout has been particularly nasty, because I’ve been sick for a day or two. No energy to do much of anything. So, this morning I rose, ate a little breakfast, dressed and was in the doctor’s office by 8:15am. By 9:00am, I was informed that I’d tested positive for COVID-19.

Now, I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, because I feel like there’s a great opportunity here, people. Suddenly, I’ve got something to write about. Writer’s block is over. For the next 14 days, I’m going to try my best to write about my experience with COVID-19. What I hope to accomplish here is…well…honestly…I don’t have a plan. But maybe someone might read the COVID-19 Chronicles (Ooooo, yeah. I think I like that), and learn about how one guy experienced the virus. After all, it’s still out here and it’s still killing folks. So, let’s get to it.

DAY 1

To say that March 25, 2021 is day one would be a formality. Looking back by a couple of days, the one consistency I’ve had to deal with so far is a constantly fluctuating temperature over the last three days. Now here’s a little-known fact about me. There is a period of time every year where the seasons change from Winter to Spring, and I come down with a little cold; like clockwork. It doesn’t matter if I’ve received the flu vaccine or not, I’m prone to get sick just as the seasons change. On Monday, March 22, right around 11am, I broke out in a heavy sweat while at work, just as the ambient temperature was reaching toward the mid-60s. A friend of mine noticed the perspiration rolling down my face, even behind my mask.

“Dude,” Brett said, “are you okay. You’re sweating like a motherf—” well, I can’t exactly repeat what he said.

I honestly didn’t think anything of it, and simply blew it off. But, in hindsight, I see now, I was probably sick that day and didn’t realize it. Later that night, I even turned in for bed before 9pm. People, I’m a night owl. There’s no way I’m going to bed anytime before 11pm on a given night. But on that Monday, I ignored the fluctuating temperature and the slowly developing muscle cramps. I attributed that to lifting weights on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday seemed to be a better day. I rolled out of bed sore (blaming that on my old mattress), but ready to function. I took my daily temperature for work’s COVID-19 screening, and passed with a 98.2 degree reading. Not much to worry about. I arrived at work ready to get the day rolling. But, as the day progressed, I did notice something strange. I stopped for lunch, and went to Subway to buy my customary 12-inch Tuna, on wheat bread. I only ate half the sandwich. Another oddity came up as well. At some point in the afternoon, I had to go to my bag and take some of my secret stash Ibuprofen because my back started to stiffen up on me. Tuesday evening, I hit the bed at 8pm.

Wednesday morning, I figured it must be my seasonal illness kicking in; nothing major. I ran the temperature scan and found my temp at 99.1 degrees. Seemed a little hot, but I went to work anyway determined to complete my task started on Tuesday. It turned out to be a lost cause. I failed the site temperature scan…twice…and was sent home. That’s when I accepted the reality that I’d come down with something. I arrived home fatigued but, I didn’t actually go straight to bed. Instead, I washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, took the dog outside then eventually made my way to bed where I slept for most of the day.

This morning’s positive test was confirmation of what I suspected. I can honestly say, I’m dealing with a few weird symptoms I haven’t experienced before. For instance, the chest thing is real. My breathing is okay, as long as I don’t attempt to inhale deeply. At the peak of a deep inhale, my chest erupts in a dry cough. That’s new. Have to keep an eye on that over the next few days. I’m still experiencing temperature fluctuations. I thought my fever had broken this morning, only to have it come back around later in the afternoon. I’m taking Tylonol to keep it under control; doctor-mom’s orders. By the way, she exiled me to the basement for 14 days. I’ve got the place setup like the Batcave, and I plan to binge watch every Batman Animation I can get my hands on. I just finished “Batman: Hush” before sitting down to write. I digress.

The fatigue is also a real symptom as well. I’ll be fine for a few hours, feeling like my ol’ self, and suddenly I’m hit with a bout of fatigue requiring a quick nap. Even right now, I feel it coming back around. I may sleep for 30 minutes, and wake up refreshed all over again. It’s weird.

I did lose my sense of taste and smell. I can’t tell yet if it’s a temporary thing or not. What I can tell you is that I bought a Pepsi on my way home earlier, and it tastes like motor oil smells. My peanut butter and jelly sandwich, eaten earlier, had no discernable taste at all. With my taste-buds all wacked, I don’t have the urge to snack on anything. That’s probably not going to stop me from sneaking some chips in later.

So, this is day one of the COVID-19 Chronicles. I think the big takeaway for me is that I’ve gotta watch my breathing overnight. I don’t need that to get any worse. I’ll let you know how my day two shapes up tomorrow. Stay tuned…