They said the scratchy throat and the throat clearing that came with it was reason to stick a cue tip up one nostril and out my left eyeball.
I told them I would do it but said I doubted it would go as they expected. I was right, it came back negative.
They asked how that happen and I said I told the virus to fight me like a man and not a virus. Followed up with a reminder that I hadn’t thought to do it early enough with Dad’s pancreatic cancer or I could have beat that one down.
Hell, the old man took it to the mat with kidneys that didn’t want to work any more, a couple of other illnesses and eventually one leg.
So I couldn’t do any less than that.
Still I called the doc and asked him if he had any thoughts and he encouraged me to hit the local urgent care just to be thorough.
I drove through a nasty thunderstorm on the way there and started laughing because there was a moment when I couldn’t see anything other the shapes of large F150s that were driving far too fast.
Told no one in particular that the ghost of that antisemite Henry Ford was out to get me.
“Screw you Hank, I got cursed and know I can’t die that easily. My fate doesn’t lie on a rainy road, especially when this crap will break in a moment.”
And then it did.
Two More Swabs
Couldn’t get into the local Urgent Care which is why I made my why to Southlake through the storm because they do walk-ins.
Got there at 3 and was initially told that I would have to wait until 7 but got lucky because someone cancelled and I was moved up to 5.
Throat was a minor irritation and though I had some bother I used my work phone and had one of the most productive streaks of recent memory.
But when I stopped working to get checked out I realized things had taken a turn. I knew that I had developed a fever and that the jackhammer wasn’t outside but inside my own head.
Sure enough the commercial thermometer they pulled out a brisket to take my temperature passed 100 and the swabs in my nose and throat made me wonder if I would be good at sword swallowing.
“Mr. Wilner, your tonsils look awful. Do you think you have strep throat?”
“Maybe, suppose the test will tell me.”
“They look like they are very uncomfortable. Do they bother you?”
“Not really, unless I am suffering some GI distress there is not much that slows me down for long.”
I don’t think she had any interest in that kind of stuff but if we engage in the kind of intimacy in which you can see whether there is anything stuck in the nether regions of my esophagus all bets are off.
“Ok Mr. Wilner we’re going to take about 15 minutes or so to see the results of your test.”
“That cloud looks like a horse, the one next to it looks like a spot on the short of Lake Erie and the other one looks like a frog.”
She looked quizzically at me but never caught on that her remark about a test led me to make the ridiculous cracks about the clouds. Guess she doesn’t know about psych tests.
But she politely asked me if I had a place I liked best at Lake Erie.
“I am more of a Lake Michigan fan but if I have to choose a body of water the ocean is my game. But I know someone who wanted to show me around Lake Erie.”
“Maybe you’ll get to do it, but first we have to find out what is going on with you.”
I almost pulled out a Groucho Marx quote about having met with four of the finest doctors but I think it would have been wasted.
And I was beginning to fade.
“Mr. Wilner, your tests came out negative. Sometimes that happens but we wouldn’t be surprised if you tested positive for Covid soon. So we want you to quarantine in one room of your house for five days. We want you to wear a mask and stay away from other people.”
Got me thinking about the sound someone dragging a metal cup against the prison bars but then Stir Crazy came to mind.
By the time I got back home I was dragging and I suspect there was some concern from the family at my appearance and how exhausted I looked.
For a while I lay there grunting and groaning a bit and then I took two Ibuprofen, pounded a Powerade and found my source of energy.
Granted for a moment it was something you could anger and I was ready to go to war with anyone and anything.
Got plenty of reasons to do it but nothing of enough import to actually go down the path so I redistributed it and made use of the adrenaline.
Keeping my fingers crossed this is just a minor hiccup and nothing more. You know the kind of thing that is irritating at the time but turns into a good story down the road.
Speaking of down the road my mom is still here but I don’t think I am going to get to see her again this trip. I’ll stay away because her health is more important than mine.
Fortunately everything happened after the important stuff so there is that.
In the interim I’ll try not to lose my mind being locked up. Might even do more writing to keep from going totally meshugeh.
I could have passed on this experience but sometimes things happen and you just roll with it. Already told someone where they could go if they didn’t learn what boundaries are applicable to them.
Ain’t life a hoot.