My COVID Chronicles: The Fire Within

It’s been a while since I have done a COVID update. I guess that can be attributed to a case of SSDD [Same Shit, Different Day]. Things are improving, but there are still some lingering effects that persist. I did just finish a round of three doctors in two weeks, though, so it feels like a good time for an update.

I am now 40 weeks out from the onset.

My stamina does continue to slowly increase.  I’m still not too keen on walking outside for fear of suddenly needing to stop and take a break. I did finally walk the block to a local venue, though, and then later walked home. That was a big step for me. Otherwise, I get in a lot of walking in short bursts where I work. They told me a while ago that I am welcome to come in at any time to walk laps in the big multipurpose room downstairs. I also get a lot of stairs in when I am dogsitting, especially in those houses that are split-level. Or I purposely use the bathroom on a different floor for extra stair time.

I do suffer from a new phenomenon, though, that I do not recall experiencing with such frequency and intensity pre-COVID. I will suddenly feel like someone has lit a match in the middle of my body. The fire spreads throughout until every inch is aflame. My joints feel stiff and swollen and I start walking like Frankenstein. Turmeric and ibuprofen barely take the edge off. Sadly, whiskey seems to help. But I’m not interested in becoming an alcoholic to stave off pain. Weighted blankets can also offer a smidge of relief but are not pleasant to use in the summer.

And then it can just disappear. Or maybe it gets subdued a bit and then comes back at a different level. I never know when it is coming or how long it will last. Docs are stumped but are testing me for autoimmune. So far, no leads. It could also be related to stress. But we’re still learning about these weird lingering effects, and I’m not the only long hauler who gets this.

Yes, I know about anti-inflammatory diets. So please refrain from sharing those with me.

And to all the asshat naysayers in the comments section of the news articles about long hauler symptoms who claim that they have the same aches and pains, IT IS NOT THE SAME AS THE FLU. FFS, I’m so tired of people who haven’t had COVID or don’t believe in it who try to compare it to the flu. Yes, it has some similarities, but IT FEELS DIFFERENT. I don’t understand why that is such a difficult concept.

I do still get calf pain where the DVT had been. That I definitely know happens the most when I have been doing too much. I don’t have a new clot. But it has taken me a long time to get over a lot of the anxiety of that pain.

I now regularly must visit a hematologist, who is also doing all kinds of testing on me. That initial visit, they drew SEVEN vials of blood from me. Holy crap. But numbers are all headed in the right direction, as far as I can tell. Still more testing to come, of course. And finally I can get the repeat CT scan that the hospital wanted done three months after the PE, but insurance claimed was unnecessary. So three months will turn into a year, but it will get done.

Now let that just sink in for a moment. It will be A YEAR since my mild case, and I will still be dealing with post-COVID. ONE YEAR.

So again, my middle fingers extend toward people who are being douches about the pandemic.

For the rest of you, if you have read this far, thanks again for listening. I’m sure I’ll have more at some point.

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