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I Guess I Managed to Avoid Getting COVID-19 Long Enough…
While including last Friday in this post otherwise would be irrelevant, I will start by saying that I did find that I had a little bit to spit out when I woke up that day. Still, while it was unusual, I didn’t pay much attention to that, and there were no other symptoms that day, or at least none that I noticed. And putting a slice of pizza dad had brought in the microwave on its own while I heated the rest of my lunch on the stove and still eating it even though it ended up burned and hard enough for me to worry about my teeth when I struggled to bite into it and then also making and eating a particularly spicy salad at night also made me not pay much attention to the sore throat I had the following day, since it seemed normal under those circumstances.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, so I’ll just include all of Saturday here, starting with the fact that I was woken up by Liza throwing up, and since dad hadn’t yet left I asked whether he’ll go to Supeco to get the number candles he wanted, since he had said that he wanted those for his and my mother’s birthdays and I found that they were cheapest there. Then, since he was going to his mother again that day and said he won’t have time, I said I’ll go and left a little before 12:10 PM, though I found the Kaufland catalog in the mailbox and spent a couple of minutes glancing through it before exiting the building.
The plan was to just grab the candles from the Supeco that’s next to the farmers’ market and then also check the market, but I didn’t find those candles there, and the employee I eventually managed to ask confirmed that they didn’t have any. So I abandoned the idea to also check the market and headed straight for the other Supeco, which is much larger and where I did find the candles. And I also grabbed a bottle of that cheap wine that dad drinks, after noticing it there and for a lower price than what he had told me he usually pays for it, plus a bag of bagels as a little reward for myself and also some cheese, noticing that the price was similar to what it used to be at this nearby store before they increased it yet again. I hadn’t taken much money, however, so I calculated that I could afford just under half a kilogram of that cheese and told that to the employee… Only for her to cut 750 grams and ask whether that was all right. But after I repeated how much I had left she cut away a part and left me with just over 450 grams, which was fine.
Well, things weren’t fine at all at the checkout, the total being 0.99 RON higher than what I had calculated, the cashier asking for more when I handed her what I knew was the correct amount, since I had also used a price checker to check that the prices of the other items were the listed ones. And she also quite condescendingly said “because that’s what it is” when I asked why. But after I said that I had calculated it exactly and again asked why, she said that she had also given me a bag, which she had indeed taken while scanning my items, placing it among them, but the previous customer was still gathering his items at that moment and I hadn’t asked for a bag, in fact hadn’t said a word until that point, so I assumed that it was perhaps for him and just moved it aside. And when I said that I didn’t want a bag she said that she didn’t understand because I had a mask on! But, again, she had added that bag to my purchases before I had said as much as a word, so there was nothing for her to misunderstand, plus that I obviously had two bags of my own. So she then had to delete the bag, which required scanning a card that she first asked the guard to find before going to help him look for it, though he was still the one who eventually found it. However, even after that bag was removed, the total remained 0.10 RON higher than what I had calculated, but I just gave her another coin… And then made up for it by just brazenly grabbing a 0.10 RON coin that was on the counter, behind some things, as I walked away. And yes, that difference was because of the bag the cheese was placed in.
After walking out, I arranged the purchases in the backpack… And I wasn’t yet out of that parking lot when I actually became aware of the fact that my throat was sore. Still, as I already mentioned, after that burned slice of pizza and the spicy salad, plus walking in the heat without drinking anything that day, it was hardly unexpected, so I pretty much shrugged it off, stopped again a little later in order to move the candles to a pocket, thinking that they could get damaged in the backpack, and got back at 2:50 PM. And since I only made tea after that and then had to wait for it to cool, it was a few hours later when I finally drank something, and I also ate an entire large bag of bagels while writing that day’s little post, which was likely to have scraped my throat even more. So I was noticing the soreness and starting to think that it could be a reason for concern, but at the same time had plenty of reasons to think that it wasn’t a sign of any real problem after all. And the same was true for the fact that at night I started feeling increasingly out of it, since I also clearly felt dehydrated and exhausted and overheated. So I made another tea and burned my throat even more when I drank it, not having time to wait for it to cool before I went to bed, but also took some medicine, something for the throat being an obvious choice but then looking through what we still had and taking something for colds as well, just in case… Even if this latter one had expired a year and a half ago.
When I happened to wake up that morning, the pain in my throat was awful, and my mouth was full of saliva, so I had to swallow and it was so hard… And I was also sweating a lot, so at one point I took my temperature and saw exactly 37°C. But since I had just gotten out of bed and had also taken that cold medicine, exactly 37°C didn’t strike me as indicating a fever, so I just got back in bed. If I’d have allowed myself to see the signs, I could have prevented, or at least tried to prevent, dad from going to my grandmother’s that day, ruining the planned birthday celebrations but sparing my grandmother, who’s 100 and with chronic sinus problems and large polyps, and my mother, who’s now 64 and has a number of other health problems, from contact with someone who was by then also most likely infected. Not that he hadn’t been coughing again lately, and the previous weekend he had been on a trip as well, so even though he insists that he had no symptoms and the cough is just a return of that chronic infection he has, and it does indeed sound like it, there is also a chance that he was again the one to bring it. And since I ran last Monday, obviously without wearing a mask then and during the evening, when the park was crowded, and he was on that trip that previous weekend, the moment when the symptoms appeared can’t be used to pick one of the two scenarios.
But, to get back to Sunday, he left before I got up… And in the afternoon I decided to take my temperature again, being surprised to see 37.4°C even though at that point I didn’t feel like I had a fever. So I looked up the symptoms of the variants that are now dominant and saw that the first and main one is having a sore throat and one that’s now being added to the list even though so far it wasn’t associated with COVID-19 is night sweats, so exactly what I experienced. And dad got back rather early, while I was still “processing” that, so I told him that there might be other reasons for it as well, but it’s possible that I had a problem, so we should at least keep the distance until we’ll know for sure. Not that it wasn’t too late for that…
Of course, his reaction was to dismiss my concerns, keep saying that there are other diseases as well… He was even dismissing my concerns about my grandmother, saying that she probably has better immunity than us and that if we just keep saying that no other diseases exist on this world then the fact that she’s been coughing for a month or so should lead us to say that she has it and probably gave it to us instead of the other way around. Of course, that’s impossible when she doesn’t leave the house, but that’s how dad is. So he pretty much ignored everything, even reminding me that my mother wanted to come here on Wednesday, and got ready for the next day, since he had an episodic role in a TV series… Which made me think that he’ll get tested once he got there, so I told him to at least send me a message with the result, then took some more pills at night, making sure that they weren’t expired anymore, since by then I was much worse. Interestingly, my throat was no longer sore, but I had a headache and that clear sensation that I had a fever, felt weak and lightheaded, and at night even started to feel something in my chest. Also, before I went to bed my left eye was swollen, which actually seems to be how my body indicates contact with this virus. My feet were also awfully swollen, but that wasn’t exactly unusual.
My original plan for Monday was to run, and while that was quite clearly not going to happen anymore, I still set the alarm to ring at 2 PM and got up when it did. There had been no message from dad, and he said that they hadn’t been tested before filming, so I first took my temperature again, seeing 37.9°C, and then used the oldest quick test we still had. It had expired in May and the control line appeared gradually and remained faint, but the result line showed up immediately and was as strong as it could be, so I asked dad to find out the procedure, since I said that the DSP should be called but he said that now the family doctor deals with these things… So he eventually asked, though at first he was asking if I really wanted to report it if the result was positive, and clearly said that he’ll still go to work that night, regardless of how it turns out. Either way, it’s possible that he first called others, but he eventually called the family doctor and she said that I should go to Babes and request the PCR test. However, assuming that it’ll be overcrowded there, I was wondering whether I could go to the Ilfov County Hospital instead, and asked dad whether he could ask her, but when he tried calling again she didn’t answer and then even rejected the call.
I still meant to at least try to go there first, however, so I went out at 4:05 PM, realized after a few steps that I hadn’t taken my ID card and came back for it, also grabbing my health card at that point, just in case, and then went to Ilfov County Hospital… Only for the guard to say that they only do tests until 3 PM, so I should come back the next day. But I wasn’t going to just give up, so after also stopping at the children’s hospital on the way, the guard from there saying that they only test children, I got to Babes after all… Only to again be turned away by the guard. The reason was different, however, since they’re doing tests until 8 PM, but getting one requires a code from the DSP, and when I said that my family doctor had just said to go there he rhetorically asked what does the family doctor know… Which is a good question, this once again proving what a bad family doctor we have. Either way, he said that I could just call or go on-line and get the code in five minutes, but with no active credit I couldn’t do that, so I said I’ll go home and get the code and then come back.
Once I got back here, I asked dad to call the number for the DSP and he did, waited for a while, eventually got through to an operator… But when it came to giving my e-mail address he put me on the phone, though I hadn’t wanted to use his phone. Not that it seemed to help, since even though the operator repeated the phone number and e-mail address back to me twice, she probably entered something else, or just didn’t do anything at all, because she said that I’ll receive the code in five minutes but 30 minutes later I still had nothing, so I decided to use the form on the site as well, and even though I assumed that it’ll take even longer in that case, a couple of minutes later I did receive a code. Of course, it’s possible that it was a coincidence and the code generated after calling just happened to come then, but it seems unlikely, though I can’t really know, because dad told me to use his e-mail on the form, in case it’ll be sent by e-mail and come after I’ll leave again, since I definitely wanted to leave soon, in which case he could send it to me when I was already there, but no message came on either e-mail address.
I was already at the door when that code came, at 4:50 PM, so I immediately left again and got back to Babes. Then the guard told me where to go and I saw that my concerns were completely unfounded, because nobody else was waiting when I got there, even the woman who had arrived at the gate just ahead of me for some reason going back out after being told where to go and therefore getting there after I did. So I was asked for my ID card, then given a form to fill, and eventually got swabbed, without any comments about the fact that I hadn’t stated whether I was employed or retired or, if applicable, where I worked. But seeing those questions reminded me that dad should have started paying my health insurance, since I was no longer employed, and I later learned that he hadn’t done so, so I wasn’t covered right at that moment, but at least that made my parents figure out what to do and he apparently took care of it since then. On the other hand, I meant to ask what I should take that day, at least until I’ll get the result to know for sure, but that just went completely out of my mind at that point, so after the swab I just left.
Well, without a positive PCR test result, you’re not a confirmed case and therefore not required to isolate, so while it wasn’t right for me to keep wandering around that day, I was wearing a FFP2 mask and not coughing or sneezing and had taken some money and bags and dad’s Penny card with me and decided to get what I’ll need in the coming days. After all, hardly anyone seems to care anymore, considering how few wear masks and that plenty are coughing, some badly and possibly even straight towards others. So I first went to Kaufland, washed my hands and found an unannounced 50% discount for red cabbage. It did look rather bad, but after using my key to open another bag I eventually took two small ones, plus a handful of onions and some more cornmeal. Unfortunately, as I was checking those cabbages an old woman dressed in mourning also came to look through them and even made a few comments and asked me about them, and of course she didn’t have a mask, so I wonder if I put her at risk. Either way, I then also went to the Penny from Decebal, put the first purchases in a cabinet and got what I wanted. Even managed to get a piece of the cheese that had such a good discount, finding two in another area, the spot where it should have been being empty, and also finding one last box of another product, hidden behind the others that weren’t on sale, so I got two jars of that as well. And at least I had no reasons to worry about putting anyone at risk while I was there, since the guard and one of the employees stocking shelves were coughing badly and continuously, and of course had no masks.
After retrieving my things from the cabinet and stepping outside, I took quite some time to arrange the purchases, having only a few flimsy bags making it rather difficult. And I was fatigued and lightheaded, having rather struggled to get there and then struggling even more to get back, since I was also carrying several kilograms, the weight wasn’t as balanced as it should have been and I had to be careful that the bags won’t tear. So I was really slow and might have looked a little drunk, since I know that sometimes I wasn’t exactly walking straight, but I eventually made it, getting back a little before 8:40 PM.
I felt much better after eating and taking a pill, but again started coughing a little at night. Also meant to use that pulse oxymeter to check the saturation and found that it wasn’t working anymore, and trying to open it first resulted in jabbing a rusty pair of scissors into my hand. But I eventually managed to open it, with a knife, and found that the batteries had leaked, so I cleaned it a little, replaced the batteries, and then could finally use it, seeing 96-97%. Otherwise, my left eye was less swollen, and my feet were hardly swollen at all. And what’s strange is that they didn’t swell again since then, though they had been swelling at least since it got hot, and clearly since this summer’s Dream Trek. I wonder if a part of the treatment also sorted that out, in which case it’s probably the ibuprofen, since by then I had already taken something containing it.
My throat was once again terribly sore after I went to bed that morning, however, and whenever I woke up my mouth was full of saliva, so I had to swallow and was just afraid of it because it was just so painful. And at one point I also felt out of breath and checked the saturation again, initially seeing 93%. After a while it increased to 98% and then settled back to that 96-97%, and when I checked again after getting up in the afternoon I even saw 99%, but I do believe that it had indeed dropped at that point, albeit very briefly, fortunately. On the other hand, after the feeling of having something in my chest returned before I went to bed that morning, also causing me to cough occasionally, it didn’t go away by the time I got up. It lessened, but it was still there, and so was the cough… And my tongue was rather loaded and I also had crap to spit out, and there was blood in it, though I had no idea whether it came from my throat or my chest. As for the temperature, I checked again after getting up and it was 37.8°C, and I continued to feel as I do when I have a fever.
Then, in the afternoon, I got the message confirming that the result was positive, followed by the one telling me that I was in isolation until Friday, since now the period is only five days and, as before, the count starts from the day when the swab was taken. Direct contacts aren’t quarantined anymore, however, and since dad insists that he has no symptoms, he has no restrictions… And if, unless I need to spit or brush my teeth, I wear a mask whenever I leave my room, which mask is that FFP2 one unless he’s at work, and I also got back to using the small bathroom and try to limit my time in the kitchen and keep my distance from him, he never put on a mask and keeps tending to get closer when he wants to say something or if I tell him something. Still, if at first he seemed to just dismiss the risk, I think he started taking some pills as well, though he’s trying to hide it.
Either way, he tried calling the family doctor again after that confirmation, but she didn’t answer, so he called a friend of his who’s also a family doctor and he prescribed a treatment… Which treatment included an antibiotic and an antiviral, this latter one in particular making me quite apprehensive, considering the side-effects they tend to have. But he went out right away, to buy what we needed out of what had been prescribed, the fact that he wasn’t quarantined at least allowing him to do that… And I of course felt even guiltier when I saw how much he ended up spending.
The thing is that this seems to be the treatment scheme at the moment, possibly for “moderate” cases, because the family doctor eventually replied as well and gave the same prescription. That makes me wonder how much some of the manufacturers are paying to be included in it, seeing as cheaper alternatives with the exact same ingredients exist for some of the medicines, and in case of a supplement there’s something even better, and which used to be recommended before, but when dad asked the family doctor she insisted that I must take that rather costly and worse one. And he had already purchased it, but in the end I ended up replacing it with the other one after all, since we still had some and even dad agreed that it was better that way. But when it comes to the “real” medicines, I’m following the prescribed treatment, of course.
But while he was talking to the family doctor he called me over to ask what symptoms I had and if I wanted to talk to her directly, and that caused me to panic. So I obviously didn’t talk to her, but that didn’t mean that I could recover, and some time after getting back to my room I got dizzy and found myself pretty much checking out mentally. I wasn’t feeling well physically either, and was also coughing more and had a fair bit of crap to spit out and it tasted and smelled foul, but I’d say that my mental state was even worse at that point.
Moving on to the early hours of Wednesday, I grabbed a bite in the kitchen, meaning to be able to say that I at least started eating dinner at 3:05 AM, but it was actually 3:10 AM when I really started, 4:15 AM when I finished and 5:25 AM when I got in bed. My brain just felt so slow, and I sort of had the feeling of watching myself from the outside, my mental state not improving. And I wouldn’t say that it improved over the course of that day either, even though the fever went away by the time I got up, taking all the associated symptoms with it.
I still had a fair bit of crap to spit out, however, and after placing the water for the day’s first tea on the stove I went to the small bathroom to do that… Only for the water to start boiling and spill, extinguishing the flame, and the smell of gas was quite noticeable by the time I got back there, dad being away to finally sort things out with my health insurance. But all the windows are open, so after a few minutes I could light it again. And otherwise, even if it was most likely quite unwise, in the evening I timed the squats, though I obviously didn’t push, the time just being 2:37.
I’d say that yesterday my mental state finally improved as well, even if physically I didn’t really notice any change. Needing to make two teas per day and try to grab something to eat according to when I should take pills is taking a toll though, and so is needing to clean something after dad whenever I get to the kitchen. And then there’s the fact that I’m worried about my mother and grandmother, even more so after last night, when I only started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and saw an e-mail from my mother, saying that she’s not feeling well, and of course my grandmother already had problems, but they won’t do anything and just place their faith in God, as always… So I finished eating at 4:15 AM and then replied, pressing them to get tested, and now I see that my mother said that at least she’ll do a quick test, so let’s see how that goes.
As for me, today was the first day when my throat wasn’t terribly sore anymore. It’s still a little sore, but nothing like what it was, not even when I got up, so I can probably finally say that I’m on the way to getting cured. I still have some days left with the treatment, needing to take that antibiotic tomorrow as well and everything else until Monday, but I hope it’ll be fine in the end… And that I won’t be left with lingering effects, because I really need to get right back to the schedule of runs, to get ready for the marathon. But right now I’m going to take a shower, the first one since Monday…