Like a creeping beast, the virus sneaks in. First, a slight nagging headache, then, incessant lion yawns trick me into thinking my workout was too rough that morning. Sleep greets me earlier than usual and I welcome it with open arms. I’m forced awake by sharp aches that howl in my neck, legs, lower back, and strangely in my forearms and shoulders. Something isn’t right.
I limp slowly to the kitchen to make some magic happen with my first cup of coffee. I don’t smell anything brewing. I take my first sip and there is no flavor but of hot liquid. I dazzle it up with some flavored creamer, to no avail. Something isn’t right.
I make my way to the couch, lie down and check in on myself. The aches continue like a bad flu I remember from long ago. My husband walks in: “Uh oh. Are you okay?” He puts his hand on my forehead for the telling sign of COVID. He grabs the gun thermometer recently purchased for these exact moments. “Huh… you don’t have a fever. Just rest and see how you feel.”
I am slightly loving the attention from my honey. He isn’t a long-distance caretaker, meaning he will take care of you for a day or two, then you’re on your own. I fear if I ever get a serious illness one day, I may be tossed to the curb. Ha! Regardless, I revel in being taken care of and I’m asleep before he leaves the room.
COVID-19 test reveals what I’ve known. Something isn’t right.
Kids are sent to quarantine out of home. It’s just hubby and me, like back in the good ol’ days when we whipped up whatever we wanted for dinner and the house remained clean most of the time. I have to say, even though we were sick, having the house to ourselves was quite the luxury! There’s something very freeing about eating dinner in your underwear and slurping chocolate milkshakes at noon.
As the viral villain slowly invades my body, the only possible way to exist is to pound Theraflu like beer at a frat party. Sleep, wake, TV, Theraflu, sleep, wake, Netflix, Theraflu. Day in, day out. The couch is now my enemy. I’m angry and disgusted at the ridiculous detritus that floods the TV. From slandering political ads to reality TV awfulness—I am saddened by what has become of our society. I fear what my children are learning through the media. I am sickened by the messages that constantly bombard us—eat more crappy fast food, eat less, look like this, buy a new car, weirdly named drugs to fix everything. I’m in a mood when the texts start rolling in.
Hey there… Are you okay? I heard you have COVID! comes the first text as my illness leaks into the community. I don’t respond. While I’m sure it was with good intentions, they needed to confirm our house had been exposed. They’re wondering if they’ve been exposed. We are a novelty; the closest most of our people have come to COVID. It feels as if the Scarlet C has been branded into our house.
Heard you’re sick. Hope you’re okay! Is it COVID? Similar texts come in daily.
Thank you for checking in. I’m being well taken care of, I respond cryptically, with no answer to the COVID question. I ask myself why I don’t want to reveal I have it. Why am I weirdly embarrassed or ashamed? Why am I reluctant to tell others? Do I feel like I did something wrong? Did I not wash my hands enough? Did I gather with too many crowds? Is this all in my head? Maybe.
Initially, I loved the fact that I couldn’t do anything but lay on the couch, drink soup, watch TV, write and read. COVID became the perfect excuse to vegetate—until it felt endless. When the body aches subsided, the cough picked up. When the cough paused, I ate flavorless food. Loss of taste and smell was a terrible, terrible side effect for the Italian foodie in me. I longed for an escape from the relentless boredom and lethargy. But the reality was I needed rest to heal.
Day seven, my husband presented me with a 20 mg THC/CBD edible. While I couldn’t taste a thing, I chewed, sat back and hoped it would alleviate some of the ick. After all, it was legalized for medicinal purposes. And in a July Forbes Magazine article, it states, “Several cannabinoids in the cannabis plant have anti-inflammatory properties. In particular CBD…. 1” It felt a more natural way to treat my symptoms than the many ibuprofen I was ingesting.2
Twenty, 30, 45 minutes, my body began to meld into the couch and a Cheshire grin appeared on my face for the first time in a week. Oh, the bliss of an ache free body… it felt like running into the sunshine after a week of rain. No pain, no restlessness, no worries. Even the ads on tv didn’t faze me. All I wanted to do was smile, snack and sleep—three of my favorite things in life. So I rode out my COVID sentence in this fluffy state until my symptoms ceased.
I have no clue where I contracted COVID, but I do know most of us are bound to get it. If or when you do, know you’re not alone. You’ve done nothing wrong. Reach out to your tribe and get support. Now that I’ve had it, I actually feel lighter, the heaviness of fear has lifted. However, I know others have suffered greatly with hospitalization or worse. My heart goes out to them and their families. In the end, COVID taught me extreme patience, acceptance and overall appreciation for my health and well-being. Adios, you beast!