So, I am finally doing it. After a few months of avoiding it, I’m going to write something about COVID. If you know me, you know that I have been avoiding this topic. I typically try to avoid it whenever I can, in conversation, in my daily writing life, anywhere it might come up. “How?” and “Why?” you might ask.
That’s just how I roll, people. Part of the stuff that makes me what I am, rainbow glitter and cupcake batter aside…is my neurosis. Hate to say it, but I’m admitting it right here and now. And I know, it’s such a ten dollar word to describe what’s wrong with me, not to mention probably one that hasn’t been used since the 50’s, but it’s the one I’m going with today.
I’m too neurotic for this COVID shit. It’s just too much for my brain to handle.
In the beginning of all of this, I was an absolute wreck. I couldn’t watch the news. Hell, I couldn’t listen to someone else watching the news. I couldn’t have a conversation with someone who just watched the news and wanted to talk to me about it.
Which brings me to another aspect of my neurosis.
Do you trust other people? I mean seriously, if you watch the news, I don’t see how you can. You see how other people are handling this situation when trying to rectify it…
You see how the people who are supposed to protect us do the opposite…
and at least where I am in the world, people blatantly disregarding regulations meant not only for the safety of others but for their own safety…
Like the next gal (guy), I can make light of certain situations. I even encourage my readers to use humor as a way to deal with difficult subject matter, but it seems, in all honesty, I tend to draw the line at life or death situations.
It’s no accident that I have an overactive imagination where I can catastophize (sic) every moment of every day. I can easily spiral into an OCD level of cognitive dissonance where I imagine every worst case scenario possible.
Oh yeah, the OCD, a nifty little bugger who rests on your shoulder and forces you to watch and keep track of how often a person touches something with their bare hands. He’s extra fun these days.
And during COVID, my OCD and neurosis like to hold hands and taunt me with their PDA and oversharing. You know, like that annoying couple on Facebook. You know the one!
And again, I think that’s part of what makes me-me. I think it even goes back as far as childhood.
My mother was pretty neurotic. If you don’t believe me I could give you examples. She used to love to tell stories too. But they were the warning kind. It was clear she did her own level of catastrophizing(sic).
My three favorite stories:
- The story about the careless child who left his shoelaces untied and rode on the escalator, got his shoelace stuck, and had his entire foot taken off.
- The story about the careless child who hung his arm out of the window while the car was moving and had his arm taken off by a pesky road sign.
- The story about the careless child who laughed while he was eating and choked to death because he didn’t properly cut up his grapes and hot dogs.
The moral of all of these stories: that all of these catastrophes were altogether preventable (avoidable). I like to use preventable, because it’s a word a lot of the doctors used when they diagnosed me with late stage Lyme disease. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
A lot of people handle disease and pain differently than I do. In fact, plenty of them assume that most things can be treated with over the counter medication, and or the sheer willing of it to not exist.
That pain in your left arm, that’s not a heart attack it’s just every day aches and pains. That pain in your ankle, that’s not your bones and joints deteriorating, you must have bumped it on something. That rash on your back, leg, and face, it’ll go away on it’s own and it’s not the sign of some horrific disease that is killing you slowly.
And 9/10 times this person is usually correct. But I find that I tend to be that 1/10 times, and it’s annoying. Oh, yes. That one time I was right and everyone else was wrong will haunt me forever.
When I started feeling symptoms, I knew exactly what was wrong. The problem is no one believed me. They kept talking me out of it. Oh, it’s can’t be that, it’s B, and if it’s not B, it’s C, and if it’s not B or C, it’s definitely D. Thing is while B was the common cold and C was a fungal rash, D was Lupus, and E was Cancer. So that wasn’t much help. Why could it not be A? Also how is Lyme disease worse than Cancer? Who knows.
“Well isn’t the solution just going to the doctor?” You would think so, except doctors, and pharmacists, and so forth avoided the L-word (not that one) like plague (heh) for some reason. Which is odd, because if you are a medical professional you know that the longer you wait to diagnose and treat Lyme disease, the worse it gets. It starts to eat away at your brain, so it’s best to get on top of that sucker, ASAP.
And yet, if you are a medial professional, you might also know why some doctors were too shy to (mis)diagnose me. I had the added luck of contracting Lyme disease at a time when people were suing doctors left and right for malpractice and misdiagnosis of Lyme disease. And I learned the hard way that if you wanted to be diagnosed and treated for it, you had to make an appointment and not say what for, then come in tell them you have Lyme disease and that you want to be tested for it. Then you sit and stare at them until they do it.
Well, that’s what I had to do anyway. And long story, short? I had had it for just enough time for the toxins in my body to almost kill me but not long enough that it started to affect me neurologically.
Although…jury might be out on that one, amirite?
“Wait,” you might be thinking, “I thought this was supposed to be about COVID 19?”. Alright, you, settle down.
So let’s rundown the list of people I don’t have a lot of trust for: Medical professionals, other people who don’t understand the nuance of disease, and who is left?
Don’t get me started.
Without going on a political tirade (today) I will simply say that bottom-line: I haven’t been dealing well with the uncertainty. If there was a poster child for social distancing, I would be she. I have probably left the house 4 times since March, meaning going further than my backyard. Which is a place I don’t even like being man, there are bugs in my backyard, ya know?