I had COVID. It sucked.

Last month, the doombug finally hit my home. I guess we got careless and, after two years of dodging it, we thought it couldn’t happen to us. After all, we’re both vaxxed, and we’re both in reasonably good health. We were gonna be fine, right?

Wrong. (duh)

It started off as a sore throat. I thought nothing of it. Summer colds, right? (I always get summer colds.) Or maybe it was allergies (I get those, too).

Then, the husband started feeling worse than I did.

I knew something was wrong when he asked me to give him a rapid lateral flow test. Andrei is the kinda guy who’ll grit his teeth through a migraine without so much as looking at an aspirin. When the second red line popped up next to the T, I thought: oh, shit.

[ Content warning — The rest of this post talks about COVID symptoms. It gets graphic. If you don’t want to know, stop reading now. ]

I tested negative for the next three days, even as my own symptoms started getting worse. My body slowed. My thoughts got sluggish. Worse, everything that was happening was something I’d seen before; my symptoms were running about three days behind Andrei’s.

On the day I tested positive, my fever spiked from a mild 37.4 to almost 39 within a few hours. Then, the body aches started. Muscles I didn’t even know existed were suddenly twitching and cramping. Solid meals became an aspiration. I sweated my way through my entire stack of tshirts in less than 24 hours. I wish I were kidding.

It’s scary how quickly my condition went from “I’ve had flus that were worse than this” to “I wonder if I should call 911.” My blood oxygen never went below 95%, but it still felt like I was breathing in water. I got tired sitting in a chair, so I spent three days in bed, contemplating my life insurance policy.

Sure, I’m a hypochondriac and have been known to overthink every little ache, but it’s not a stretch for me to say that I haven’t been this sick in a long, long time. And here’s the kicker: this was still, allegedly, “mild”. I didn’t need to get hospitalized,

My taste and smell went as I was already on the mend. My coffee tasted fine, and then, it just… didn’t. All I had was this awful, bitter tang at the back of my throat that persisted over the next week. Other than that, all food tasted like cardboard. By far the weirdest thing about this, though, was brushing my teeth without tasting the toothpaste. That felt wrong.

It’s been a week since I tested negative. I’m better now, but some sequelae remain. The brain fog hasn’t really gone away. Sometimes, I get out of my chair and promptly forget what I was going to do. Eating solid food is still a challenge, even though my taste is back. If I have to do a simple task — chuck the garbage, say — I have to go lie down afterwards.

I’ll get better, eventually. It’s good to know that there aren’t any underlying conditions waiting to pop up and kill me the next time I catch the doombug (at this rate, I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, because humanity is just fucking stupid sometimes). My heart weeps for everyone I know who didn’t get better, though. I’ve lost family to this thing.

I don’t have any words of wisdom to end this with except “fuck COVID”. Because, really — what else is there to say?