Skip to content

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. It’s always been a good day for me.

Recently, I had a wonderful, if brief trip from Maine to North Carolina and back. I decided to drive, only because I heard about some fairly scary virus that was happening overseas. I didn’t want to fly, and I had an agenda of family visits en route.

Now, my default, for those who don’t know me well, is that of an obsessively neurotic hypochondriac. And that’s on a good day. Raised in a loving family, I “inherited” this trait from my Mom, who got it from her parents. Yet her concerns, passed along, made sense to me when I took Microbiology in Nursing school. I learned about those invisible, nasty germs. All was validated.

I took off from the Portland area in mid-February, made a one-night stop in a horrid Hampton Inn in Sturbridge, softened by a drive the next day to GoBerry Yogurt in Massachusetts. Then onward to my niece’s place in NYC, an overnight in a hotel in a vast countryside in Pennsylvania where I got to see my (Ted’s) great grandson, a real treat. Onward to North Carolina via a stay in Virginia, where I spent a couple of weeks in NC with my daughter Cassie and her husband Paul. It was a great trip, I did lots of work on my writing, went to a bunch of yoga classes, talked to my grand dog, and eventually packed up for the trip home in early March, visiting other relatives along the way.

A week and a half later, I felt a sniffle coming on. I figured it was a spring cold, plus allergies. But by now, the news was popping with apocalyptic Breaking News of corona virus, now in our land. Oh, boy. Not good.

After a few days of minor symptoms, something changed. I developed a slight fever. And was starting to feel anxious about it. I called my doctor and went in. Today.

I’m 66. I was nervous. Maybe not so much even for me, but for my loved ones who were now including basically the whole world. What the hell? Is this the end?

I was given careful instructions by the nurse I talked to on the phone. I was to drive up to Floor #4 in the parking garage, then call a special number she gave me, and someone would come out. It took me three tries to find the right spot. I’ve never been too good at parking garage navigation. Then I called, and a nurse garbed in head-to-toe shields and mask and what essentially was a cross between hazmat and an Operating Room outfit came out. She gave me a mask, then brought me down a secret hallway for my visit. I felt like I was on the set of “Get Smart.”

The nurse and then the doctor took lots of information, examined me, noted my fast heart rate (yeah, because I was scared to death) and they both completely understood how I felt. I wished they didn’t have to be around so many germy people, like me. Unsung heroes, man. Their technique was impressive. The nurse reassured me every step of the way how everything in the room was sanitized. Everything. Lungs clear, heart basically good, a swollen gland.

Then the doctor sent me to the next town, where I would drive up to a special area that was set up for drive-through testing in one of their other facilities. Again they all wore hazmat-y suits, and a very nice nurse proceeded to stick a long swab up my nose, then another one “which will go into your nose and down into your pharynx” (oy vey, that does not feel good at all) and finally the old gag swab to the back of the throat. I was given a second set of instructions and told to go home (do not pass go, do not collect $200 or the unavailable toilet paper or hand sanitizer in stores…but of course, these are staples in my apartment, along with the chocolate, coffee, and other necessities of life.)

The flu test, which I knew would take only an hour for results, turned out to be negative.

The corona virus test will take approximately 2-4 days for results. I am to call if my status changes at all.

So here I am. Alone. Reasonably comfortable. Understanding fully that I cannot make face-to-face contact with the rest of the world. That part is good, because I do not look pretty when I am sick. I’m feeling incredibly grateful for my medical team, who really get this stuff right. In fact, I’m feeling so grateful that I may cry, which would start up the whole mucous thing (I hate that word – mucous, not thing.) Worried about where this whole thing is going. Being reminded, once again, what is important. When my older daughter found out I was sick, she offered to come get me when she picks up my grandson from Brandeis in a few days.

“Do you want to come stay with us for a while?” she asked.

I probably won’t do that. But such sweet words.

“Do you need anything?” asked another friend.

“I left a package at your door,” texted a neighbor.

So you see – Friday the 13th is not such a bad day after all. As long as there’s love.

Stay well, friends!

Published inUncategorized

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *