You've Been Patient. I'm Going to Have to Ask For More Patience.
Thank you for patiently waiting for me to recover from my illness(es).
I have grand plans for my comeback. Sweeping articles. Inspirational prompts. Interesting photojournalism. I have many articles mapped out in my brain. They're there. Pushing at the walls of my mind, waiting to be put down in words.
I know you've waited months. I know you have missed me. (Well, I hope you've missed me. I've missed you!) I know I've missed renewing my sponsorships and earning my sponsors' tips.
I appreciate the time you've given me.
I need to ask for a little more time. With apologies and pleas for forgiveness, I humbly ask for more patience.
Let me back up for those of you reading this who weren't necessarily reading me before.
At the beginning of November, I felt sick. I felt like I had a cold. I had a sore throat and a tickle at the back of my throat. I was very stuffed up, and had severe headaches daily.
I joked that I had "a coldvid."
Around the end of the second week - beginning of the third week of November, I developed a cough. There wasn't much to this cough. It was dry and hacking. I've had bronchitis and pneumonia a few times, and this cough was definitely not those coughs. My headaches continued to the point I couldn't concentrate.
I have pretty severe allergies to just about everything in my environment. From grasses, trees, flowers, feathers, cats, wool, horse hair, cow hair, and mold to stinging insects (not bees or red ants, though), and certain scents. Pine scent will drop me into a 4-day migraine faster than you can say Pine-Sol.
While all of these symptoms were occurring, I knew I had lost my health insurance (Medicaid) when I also lost my SSI benefits. Medicaid is the only reason I was willing to continue on SSI which restrictive financial qualifications prevented me from saving money and kept me living in poverty. Even while a worked.
I was notified of the loss of the SSI (no big deal) and the Medicaid (very big deal) at the beginning of November. I assumed I had zero health insurance. So, when all these symptoms hit, I just tried to tough it out.
I was also alerting all of my various medical professionals of my lack of insurance. My psychologist actually took the initiative to run my insurance and found it was still active until December 1. By the time I realized that was the case, I made an appointment with my doctor and hoped to get what I now believed was a severe sinus infection due to allergies. (I get these about four times a year). I was expecting a shot of antibiotics, a shot of steroids, and a prescription for antibiotics, a pat on the head, and to be sent home. As usual. Every year for the past eleven years.
I was given a nose swab.
The rapid covid test came back positive.
My husband had to be tested, and even though his test was negative, and even though the doctors said he could continue to work while wearing a mask for 14 days he had to stay home from work for one week. Why did he have to stay home? you ask.
Because Texas, I answer.
Texas is such a special state. Our governor has instituted a law that states any business, corporation, school, church, or public building is not allowed to require people to wear masks. If they do require people to wear masks, they can receive a hefty fine.
The corporation for which my husband works has decided the possibility of incurring a fine is more expensive to them than my husband taking (unpaid) leave for a week. They're right of course. My husband does not earn in one week what they MIGHT have to pay in fines.
The clinic took another swab to send to the lab and took blood as well to check for inflammation markers amongst other things.
The second swab came back negative.
I was still sick.
I received a phone call from the clinic on Friday, checking up on me and reminding me to follow all the procedures for covid patients listed on the papers in the folder they gave me.
I had a follow-up appointment on Monday to reassess. I was. by now, deep in the covid brain fog. I was also coughing pretty much non-stop. Still dry, unproductive coughing. I also had chest pains and shortness of breath, fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and all the other good stuff that accompanies covid. They did a second blood draw and a second covid test. They did chest X-rays and EKGs. I was sent home with nebulizer juice: albuterol and steroids.
I stayed sick. I kept the headache. I kept all the other symptoms. I took all of their treatments, rested, and tried to eat and hydrate. I couldn't concentrate beyond reading trashy space opera romance novels. I'm still in a haze.
A week later I called and rescheduled another appointment. My headaches were, if anything, worse. And the chest pain is so annoying.
Another round of chest X-rays, nasal swabs, and EKGs followed by sinus X-rays. She came in with the diagnosis. You have a sinus infection.
That's why I went to the clinic, to begin with.
Throughout all of these appointments, I had been making mental calculations on what expenses I could cut out in order to pay off my credit card. Each visit I kept expecting thousands of dollars to be billed to me.
Each visit to the clinic, each visit to the pharmacy they would run my insurance. Each time they told me it was still valid. I still had Medicaid.
Finally, it dawned on me the United States is in a government-declared National Health Emergency. As long as this NHE remains in effect, I will have Medicaid. Last I heard, Dr. Fauci had extended it through February 2022. Possibly it will be extended further.
As long as covid remains a National Health Emergency I will have health insurance.
Never have I actively wished for a continued health emergency. Until now. I'm sure my wish makes me a horrible person on some level, but I'm too sick and too tired to focus on the ethics of my selfish wishes right now.
I still have covid brain. I still lose words and phrases. I still forget steps to an activity I have performed nearly every day for the last several years. I go out to milk and feed and collect eggs. Sometimes I will forget the feed buckets. Sometimes I'll forget the milk pail. Sometimes I leave the empty feed buckets, forgetting to bring them back to the house. Sometimes I forget to stop to collect eggs. I still find it difficult to concentrate. Less difficult than a week ago, but I've had to, for example, stop writing this story several times, get up, go do something else for a few minutes, come back and start writing again.
I still have chest pain. I still have shortness of breath. My cough is gone for the most part, but my headaches come and go. I still get tired very easily. I still ache in my muscles, bones, joints, and nerves.
I'm on the mend, but I'm not mended. I'm getting better, but haven't gotten there yet. I am recovering, but I'm not recovered.
I am so annoyed with this body of mine. My brain has plans. BIG plans. Writing plans. Painting plans.
This article is my first step down the long and windy road of making my plans come to fruition.
To all of those whom I sponsor: I love you. I haven't forgotten you. I will continue with sponsorship payments as soon as I build up enough here to do so. I'm hoping I can write at least a little something each day to make Rusty happy. I cannot guarantee this will be the case. Thank you for your continued patience.
To all of those who sponsor me: I love you. I haven't forgotten my commitment to provide quality content.
To the PromptlyJonica writing community. I'm getting there. I promise. I have plans. Big plans. Inspiring plans. When I can remember these plans for longer than five minutes, I'll be back in the prompting saddle again.
To Club1BCH: I love you. I miss you. I'll be back as soon as possible. @Jane @PVMihalache please feel free to DM me on that blue bird app.
To everyone else: I love you. I miss you.
"I'll Be Back."
- The Terminator