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WHEN YOU'VE KIND OF HAD A DEADLY VIRUS
My health insurance dropped off about a week before. I'd been on hold with Kaiser for approximately 2 hours and 14 minutes.
"I just need some advice. Do I need to go get tested?" was the only question I had.
On March 16th, 2020, I was lying in bed with all of the symptoms of the virus only one month after the first confirmed case in the US. The rest of the world was only starting to realize what this novel virus is capable of--we're still figuring this out. Many of the symptoms we now know are associated with COVID-19 hadn't been discovered at that point. The medical community was doing what they could, but everyone was scrambling for answers. Actually, I wasn't scrambling, I was trying not to cough up a lung or burst into flames while strategizing how the hell I was supposed to feed myself.
"I'm sorry, we can't have you talk to an advice nurse. Call us back when your insurance is reinstated."
They seemed genuinely sorry and concerned for my condition, but there was nothing they could do. I was out of energy. I was lulled in and out of a fever-induced dreamlike state while I was on hold. Air passed through my mouth in sharp and exaggerated sighs. It was pitiful.
I was ultimately advised to check the CDC website, which recommended I talk to my doctor, which I couldn't do. There was nothing for me to do other than rest, stay in the house, and try to nurse myself back to health. I was alone and out of groceries.
A kind neighbor and some friends dropped groceries off on my deck and I continued working away at my chicken soup. I dragged myself from the bed to the floor and took breaks between chopping veggies and grating garlic. Eventually I recovered.
It was an odd experience, and to this day I'm still don't know whether or not I actually had COVID-19 or some other virus. My doc agrees that it sounds like I had it, but I'm still on standby while she figures out whether or not we can do serum testing.
I feel a strong sense of accomplishment and kind of invincible now (who really knows), but I can't imagine going through that as a vulnerable person. I don't get sick often and I'd like to think I have a strong immune system, but this virus rocked my world for a week. Feeling my body fight for me was strangely empowering.
I'm writing this to share with you all and hope this calms any anxiety for otherwise healthy people. This is also important because not everyone is capable of fighting this the way others can. We need to continue to look out for each other any way we can. Check on your neighbors more than you check the news. This time can be used to bring us closer in other ways. Stay well!
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