Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler.
So this afternoon I go to see an actual doctor at an actual doctor’s office. He will look into my actual eyes, the ones that once were a sparkling and dazzling green (if I do say so meownself) but now are shadowed by dark circles with bags underneath them. I’ll probably have my actual blood pressure taken and he might put an actual stethoscope on my actual chest to listen to my actual heart.
Suck it, Zoom.
For the past three months I have wanted to talk to an actual someone in the medical profession face-to-face about Longhaul COVID. I want someone who has gone through medical school — maybe even a good medical school — and actually practiced medicine, someone with a Dr. before or an M.D. after his or her name to see me and say, “Sir, we’ve got this. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re going to figure it out together.”
Alas, I think my expectations might be set a bit too high.
Listen. I get it. The medical community is as flummoxed by COVID as everyone else. It’s this new thing that they’re just beginning to understand. And Longhaul COVID? Well, I admire the doctors who honestly say, “We just don’t know what’s causing this.” What I don’t admire are the doctors who have told me, “There’s nothing else we can do.”
Really? Because it’s your freaking job to figure out what to do.
This guy, while a TV doctor and quite a TV prick, would have figured out something to do.
If he can get to that bottom of that, well, he can probably help me.
Because I’m desperate. I am sick and tired (har har har) of the exhaustion that keeps me from getting through a day without long periods of rest. I am done with this horrible taste in my mouth. I am ready to ram my head into a wall the next time the brain fog sets in. I’d rather not run out of breath when I get to the top of the stairs. I’m scared to death when my heart starts doing what it was doing last night that it’s just gonna, ya know, quit. And, well, the joint pain in my left index finger is annoying random and a minor irritant, all things considered.
So no, I don’t want to even hear you think that there’s nothing you can do for me. Try something. Go ahead. Use me as a guinea pig. It’s me and Jennifer Lawrence…
So yes, I “get” that the doctor today, who is, after all, not an infectious disease expert but “only” a general practitioner, is not going to say, “I can cure your Longhaulerness!” And I’m wise enough not to drink the bleach if he says he can.
I just hope he doesn’t remind me of this guy.
I’ve done the blood tests. I’ve done the lung scans. I’ve done the echocardiogram. I’m sure there are other tests we can do, but truly, I’m quite sure the major things that many are suffering with that can cause huge life-long problems are not what is in the cards for me. For that, I’m am at the same time grateful (for my situation) and sad (for my fellow Longhaulers who have it much worse).
That said, I am suffering, and this is hard. Really hard. I’m missing out on life. I’m struggling to keep my life on track, my job on track, my family on track.
So doc… maybe, just maybe, we can come up with an actual plan today? Maybe?