Happy Covidaversary To Me — Nov. 15, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Year of Hell 😷Where’s Ben? 💔Profiting From Pollution 🏭 Happy Covidaversary to me. On this day one year ago, I had a Q-tip shoved up my nose to confirm what I already knew. Wifey Poo’s sister had been diagnosed with it. Wifey Poo’s mother had been diagnosed with it. WifeyContinue reading “Happy Covidaversary To Me — Nov. 15, 2021”

Inside the Fight to Be Positive About All This

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Lindsey is perhaps the most positive person I’e ever met. I worked with her for about six or seven years last decade, and I watched as she smiled her way into a management position. Every single thing was met with an overly enthusiastic smile, andContinue reading “Inside the Fight to Be Positive About All This”

Ozone and Ultraviolet Rays? What the Hell?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. There are times in a person’s life in which he finds himself wondering how he got where he is. I remember feeling that way as I sat in my dorm room before freshman year started at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, more than 1,000Continue reading “Ozone and Ultraviolet Rays? What the Hell?”

To Those Who Refuse to Be Vaccinated, Jump Off a Bridge

Hi, my name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I finally have had enough. I have sat in my workspace and listened to a coworker talk incessantly about why she wouldn’t be vaccinated against COVID despite being in the demographic of people who die most frequently from it. It was always the same twistedContinue reading “To Those Who Refuse to Be Vaccinated, Jump Off a Bridge”

Why You Shouldn’t Say ‘This Too Shall Pass’

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. To tell someone suffering from a chronic illness such as Longhaul COVID that “This too shall pass” is to invite a punch to the throat. The origins of this phrase are sketchy. Those of the Christian persuasion often like to trot it out in anContinue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Say ‘This Too Shall Pass’”

A Look Inside the Uncertainty of a Longhauler’s Fight

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Saturday was a really, really good day that capped off a really, really good week. Ever since I changed my diet after visiting a functional medicine doctor, I had been feeling so much better than I have since November, when the COVID Fairy visited ourContinue reading “A Look Inside the Uncertainty of a Longhauler’s Fight”

Longhaulers Are Killing Themselves; Here’s Why — And What You Can Do To Help

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. When the coronavirus epidemic shut down the country in March 2020, Kent Taylor refused to accept his base salary as chief executive officer of Texas Roadhouse restaurants and instead poured that money back into his frontline restaurant workers to help them stay financially afloat. AContinue reading “Longhaulers Are Killing Themselves; Here’s Why — And What You Can Do To Help”

From Mike Tyson to Choo-Choos, a Lesson in Brain Training

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. It was a quarter ’til why-do-they-start-school-so-early on a Monday morning, and I was about to kick Mike Tyson’s ass. Of course, if history was any indication, what really was about to happen was the separation of my head from my shoulders. That’s what had happenedContinue reading “From Mike Tyson to Choo-Choos, a Lesson in Brain Training”

Redefining the Talk About What’s In Our Heads

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I have never and likely will never meet Jeremy Devine. Nor will most of you. Yet that doesn’t stop me from thinking it wouldn’t be an entirely bad thing were he to stumble into a honey-laden pit and become the object of intense interest forContinue reading “Redefining the Talk About What’s In Our Heads”

COVID Teaches Me I’m … Good at Math?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. There are several truths in my family, among them: When my wife says we’re leaving someplace in 10 minutes, go ahead and get comfortable because she means an hour. At least. My youngest son is biologically unable to close the front door without force heContinue reading “COVID Teaches Me I’m … Good at Math?”

Why You Might Want to Give Functional Medicine a Shot

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. It’s an odd thing to one minute be talking about your childhood and the next be telling the same person how many bowel movements you have in the average day. Of course, the field of functional medicine — and its practitioners — are, by many,Continue reading “Why You Might Want to Give Functional Medicine a Shot”

Getting Back to ‘The Stack’

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I read a book this weekend. Well, more accurately, I read 12 pages of a book. This is neither a monumental accomplishment in the history of the world, nor a monumental accomplishment in the history of me. It is monumental for Me-Right-Now. Prior to becomingContinue reading “Getting Back to ‘The Stack’”

Into This Crazy Life, We Bring an African Child

Dieudonne became a part of our household amidst chaos, grief and weariness. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t a good time for us to welcome a 4-year-old with medical issues who didn’t speak a word of English. Of course, waiting for a “good time” to tackle that challenge is much like saying, “We’ll have kids when we’reContinue reading “Into This Crazy Life, We Bring an African Child”

(My) Top 10 Ways to Cope With Longhaul COVID

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I’m quite convinced that most adults have at least one of “those stories.” You know what I’m talking about… the stories that gets rehashed ad nauseum every time the family gathers, no matter how old you are. Of course, never do these stories showcase yourContinue reading “(My) Top 10 Ways to Cope With Longhaul COVID”

Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 5!

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I can do stuff. Some of it, I can do easily all the time. Some of it, I can do easily some of the time. Some of it, I can even do with excellence. Just about every Longhauler has days, hours or minutes when they’reContinue reading “Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 5!”

When Your World Withers Away

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Looking back, it’s clear when this little trend started. It was back in January, which, not surprisingly, is when it first hit me that no one knew what the fuck they were talking about with my Longhaul symptoms. It’s also when my father-in-law died. AndContinue reading “When Your World Withers Away”

The Bizzaro World of Magic Mouthwash

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Over in another part of this site, you can meet my California relative, Q.F. Conseco. His branch of the family tree is by far the most interesting to sprout in at least the past 500 years — and as the family genealogist, I should know.Continue reading “The Bizzaro World of Magic Mouthwash”

Here’s What Real Longhaulers Are Saying; Are You Listening?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Many people honestly struggle to see the world through anything other than their own filters. People believe the world is a certain way because their world is a certain way. If you want Reason No. 1 for why things suck, there ya have it. TheContinue reading “Here’s What Real Longhaulers Are Saying; Are You Listening?”

The Prednisone Experiment and the Scientific Method

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. It is a fact that I would be a 46-year-old high school junior if not for Amanda Bortz. To put it mildly, me and chemistry did not get along, a byproduct of my inability to grasp math once letters said, “We’d like to play, too!”Continue reading “The Prednisone Experiment and the Scientific Method”

A One-Word Definition for COVID: Isolation

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Come with me on a journey through time… Way back in the early days of the plague, back when the number of people in the country who had it was in the hundreds and the number of people who had died from it was inContinue reading “A One-Word Definition for COVID: Isolation”

How Does This Ride End?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. My son talks a big game. The entire two-hour drive from our then-home in extremely rural Missouri to Six Flags near St. Louis, Joey bravely stated how much he was looking forward to going on American Thunder. From the back seat of my sensible sedan,Continue reading “How Does This Ride End?”

The War Against Insomnia — And Longhaul COVID

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. So let’s put this all out there. All of us. Collectively. As Longhaulers. Let’s just list it all. Everything. All the symptoms. Oh, I’ve seen this list: And then I’ve read of about a dozen or two or ten more from fellow Longhaulers. I’ll addContinue reading “The War Against Insomnia — And Longhaul COVID”

Six Little Pills Offer One Last Shot

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Six tiny white pills are piled here on the desk next to me this morning, and I’m going to take them. These pills and their brethren in the safety-capped orange bottle next to them represent what very well might be my last hope to fixContinue reading “Six Little Pills Offer One Last Shot”

Hunting Gnome-Took-A-Dump-In-Your-Mouth-itis

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. It was jarring to be back in a doctor’s office waiting room today, to hand over my insurance card and driver’s license to be copied, to fill out the paperwork answering questions that were just going to be asked again by a nurse and thenContinue reading “Hunting Gnome-Took-A-Dump-In-Your-Mouth-itis”

The Difference Between Good? and Good.

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. This morning on my 41-minute drive to work, I was a different person. Two people, actually. Bad versions of those two people, to be exact. The year was 1992, and something big was happening for 18-year-old me. High school had just become part of myContinue reading “The Difference Between Good? and Good.”

Dr. House Isn’t Walking Through That Door

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I was late to the game for the TV show “House,” but I caught up quickly. I love the concept of the flawed hero, and Dr. Gregory House is definitely one of those. Absolutely brilliant, he is recognized and grudgingly accepted as The Man whenContinue reading “Dr. House Isn’t Walking Through That Door”

If You’ve Got a ‘Best,’ You’re a Lucky Longhauler

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. “Your insurance doesn’t cover it, so it’ll be $90 if you want it,” said the kind young woman who would be present as a tooth was ripped from my jaw for the first time since I was a tween, back before “tween” was even aContinue reading “If You’ve Got a ‘Best,’ You’re a Lucky Longhauler”

Please Don’t Shrug Your Shoulders; Just Drill My Tooth

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I have never wanted so badly to have a cavity. Or an impacted wisdom tooth (whatever that is). Or need a root canal. No sane person ever wants these things. Longhaul COVID has a way of chipping away at a person’s sanity. As I recentlyContinue reading “Please Don’t Shrug Your Shoulders; Just Drill My Tooth”

Five Things Longhaulers Hate To Hear: Number 4!

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. It takes a lot to get me outwardly, visibly angry. This is not to say that I don’t have a temper or that things don’t piss me off. They do. I’m just fantastic at turning those emotions inward to avoid unnecessary confrontations and to notContinue reading “Five Things Longhaulers Hate To Hear: Number 4!”

Top 3 Tips for Running a Longhauler Clinic

Hi. My name is John, and I am a COVID Longhauler. By the time the doctor came into the closet-like exam room in a non-descript medical building that is part of an enormous hospital complex, I was done. Fried. Finished. He stood in the doorway for a moment as I sat in a chair withContinue reading “Top 3 Tips for Running a Longhauler Clinic”

Five Things Longhaulers Hate To Hear: Number 3!

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. Her name is Sarah and she lives across an ocean and the only reason I know her at all is because, despite a thousand differences, she now is a lot like me. Or I am a lot like her. Whatever. We are both Longhaulers. SarahContinue reading “Five Things Longhaulers Hate To Hear: Number 3!”

What ‘Longhaul-COVID-Tired’ is really like

Hi. My name is John, and I have Longhaul COVID. It’s 4:15 p.m., and I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be resting. My body is screaming at me to rest. But right now? Screw you, body. I’m writing this. One of my Longhaul COVID symptoms is insomnia, so I was awake this morning atContinue reading “What ‘Longhaul-COVID-Tired’ is really like”

The Really Nice Woman Who Tried to Kill Me

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I am blessed to have a really good feel for people. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I just know someone’s nature instinctively. Rarely … very rarely … am I ever off in my initial impression of someone. I don’t even haveContinue reading “The Really Nice Woman Who Tried to Kill Me”

Beastie Boy Lyrics? Yup. Did I pee? Hmm

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, a white middle class kid in a mostly white school district. And I loved the emerging 1980s East Coast rap scene. Run DMC? Yes please. Beastie Boys? Uh, yes! In this, I was not unlikeContinue reading “Beastie Boy Lyrics? Yup. Did I pee? Hmm”

Why exactly am I getting this vaccine?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. I hate you, CNN. I hate you for many reasons, of course. You pioneered the 24-hour news cycle, which is what kicked off the degradation of journalism because, with all those hours to fill, you turned to people who could squawk the loudest for theContinue reading “Why exactly am I getting this vaccine?”

What should my expectations be of doctors?

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 circlesContinue reading “What should my expectations be of doctors?”

Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 2

Hi. My name is John. And I’m a COVID Longhauler. If you missed the first part of this series, well, that’s fine with me, but you might want to read it for a little background. I’ve even made this a hyperlink so you don’t have to do any searching around, because, hey, I’m just thatContinue reading “Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 2”

The Invasion of the Mouth Sores

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler. My earliest symptom of COVID was this horrible, disgusting, metallic taste in my mouth. Before the exhaustion, before the brain fog, before the positive test, there was this invasion that made me feel like I had some sort of liquid, nasty, blech squishing from myContinue reading “The Invasion of the Mouth Sores”

Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 1!

Hi, my name is John, and I’m a Longhauler. Today we’re going to start the list of “Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear.” So here’s the deal: People mean well. They do. I’ve been through some pretty bad stuff in my life, and I know that, when confronted with a difficult situation, good people stayContinue reading “Five Things Longhaulers Hate to Hear: Number 1!”