My COVID Chronicles: The Panic Attack

Because I believe in being open and honest …

One year ago, I celebrated what would have been my mother’s 80th birthday by getting the COVID test that ended up being positive. We all know what happened.

Today I went out and bought a Wegmans mini cake with a blue rose on it because blue was one of her favorite colors and duh, a rose.

Last night while watching The Morning Show, I had a panic attack while one of the characters showed what it is like to be living alone when the pain hits you. “It’s like my body is on fire on the inside.” The fever and the exhaustion and the disorientation. It was like reliving some of that all over again. I was told back 11 months ago that I probably have COVID PTSD.

Tomorrow morning I go for a CT scan that should have been done back in March or June, but insurance refused to cover until now. They want to make sure my lungs have healed from the PE. And honestly, we continue to rule out cancer across the board. If you’ve never had to go through tests to rule out cancer, you have no idea what it is like. And this is not my first rodeo with this.

But more than the cancer concern, I am claustrophobic. Like badly claustrophobic. Like even the commercial of all of the football players “sitting comfortably in the roomy SUV” could trigger a mini panic attack. I’m going in cold turkey. It’s my third one ever. The one I had a year ago, they gave me a Xanax before. Before I had my surgery 6 weeks ago, they wanted me to have an MRI [again, to help rule out cancer] and I had a panic attack with just the mention of it.

There are still people on here who say COVID is “no big deal because there is a 99% survival rate.” Well, first of all, I do believe that has dropped down to 98%. But more importantly, who cares about that when it wreaks such a toll on you physically and mentally? I am honestly a mess in a lot of ways, and I’m one of the “lucky” ones. You can already guess what I have to say to those naysayers. It’s a two-word phrase whose words begin with the 6th and 25th letters of the alphabet. And honestly, say something like that to my face, and I may just forget about being a peace-loving Montessorian and lay you out.

Some people may see all of this as a weakness. Fine. Go ahead and think that and then go away. I don’t need you in my life. The truth of the matter is, I’m one of the strongest people I know. But even the strongest people are going to break down and have problems. It’s cliche, but it’s also part of what helps to make you so strong.

So yeah, I’m in a weak and vulnerable place right now, but continue to fight my way up and out of this all. It’s just a damned bumpy roller coaster to do so.

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