Didn’t dodge the bullet this time


After all the hand washing and masks and shots and boosters, I have finally come face-to-face with COVID. I have met the enemy and … it was pretty much a draw.

Yes, last week I finally got COVID. I am the last one in my immediate family to catch it. Many of my friends have been through it and finally it was my turn. I’ve heard people say everything from it was the worst thing they’ve ever been through to it was nothing more than a mild cold. I was hoping for that mild cold thing. I ended up somewhere in the middle.

At first, I thought it was just a bout with allergies. A number of people have told me this has been an extra bad year for allergies and that’s certainly been the case for me. Sinus problem? Check. Sore throat. Check. Coughing? Check. Headache? Check. Same symptoms as COVID. I’ve tested myself and been tested for COVID so many times in the past couple years I’m thinking about just getting one of those cotton swobs permanently installed in my nose to save the trouble.

But after a rough night my wife suggested I test again. We went through the drill and everything seemed normal until the 20 minutes was almost up. When she said, “Well, look at this” I knew there was trouble. There it was, the faint little line that told me I didn’t dodge the bullet this time.

My doctor put me on Paxlovid and a steroid and some other drugs. Armed with the drugs, Vitamin C, a few cough drops and my wife’s magic peppermint honey tea, I settled in for the siege.

I figured drinking lots of water and other liquids would help, because it always does. Of course, I ended up getting out of bed multiple times each night to visit the restroom but I figured the trips were worth it. I wasn’t sleeping all that well, anyway, with the coughing and sinus problems.

My son is a paramedic and he told me to not forget to eat. This has never been a problem for me, but I guess some people just don’t feel like eating when they get sick. I am not one of those people and once I started taking the steroids I was pretty much ready to eat anything I looked at. The cats even started to avoid me when I looked at them.

At first, my head felt pretty much like it was going to explode because of the sinus pressure and I coughed almost continuously, but after starting on the prescriptions, those things cleared up pretty quickly. After a couple days, I was sleeping better than I had been before when I was fighting the allergies.

My doctor told me to stay out of circulation for five days and I always listen to my doctor. I was exiled to the guest bedroom but fortunately could still do some work from home. I figured if I was sitting around I might as well do something. I didn’t think my computer could catch COVID from me even when I coughed at it all day.

I opened all the windows in the house and wore my mask to cut down the chances of my wife catching it again. Fortunately, she went to work each day which meant her exposure was cut down and, even more important at least for her mental health, she didn’t have to deal with me. It sure seemed like she was working really late each day, though.

After those first awful couple days, the medicine kicked in and things were almost pleasant. The weather was beautiful, so I went outside and cut down a few dead flowers and did some light yard work. I got tired pretty quickly, so I’d just take breaks here and there. I normally do these things like a Viking beserker going into battle. I found out taking it easy can be pretty enjoyable.

I did some writing, took a nap one day which is the first time that has happened in years and generally decided not to worry about all the everyday stuff I normally worry about. You might be thinking I would recommend the experience but, no, that’s not going to happen. Anyone with any sense can do those other things without getting sick.

After my five days of quarantine, I could rejoin society. I was grateful to be feeling better. I was grateful for my wife. I was grateful for my doctor. I was grateful for my friends who were praying for me. I was grateful there was someone at work to take care of things while I was gone. I was even grateful for my cats, who aggravate some of my physical allergies but help with my emotional deficiencies.

Yes, I learned a lesson. Take it easier and don’t worry about getting all the items checked off the list? Well, maybe. More important: Don’t get COVID.

David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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