Too many of my blog posts include the phrase, "I'm old enough to remember," but I'm old enough to remember Jodie Foster as a child actress in a movie called Freaky Friday. I'd like to say I saw it merely watched for the first time last month on Disney Plus but alas it was a few years earlier. I say it's my "Freaky Friday" as I write with a bouquet of body dysfunctions I'm encountering this Friday that are like many other of my recent days.
"Freaky Friday" includes my Dwayne Carswell day of fevers--I use Denver Bronco player jersey numbers to help me keep track of the number of days I've had a fever. Dwayne was number 89 as a Denver Bronco. I've had a fever for 89 days. A beast of a tight end related to a beast of a virus--and its long haul effects. I'm sure they don't like my fever streak named after them, but I lose count otherwise.
The cornucopia of today's symptoms also includes the "wallet pulled out of the campfire and stuffed into my chest" sensation which is no garden-variety of indigestion. The burning smoke coming off the cowhide does everything but wisp smoke out of my nostrils. My feet are warm, I'm exhausted, but I still have a Dr. or two that won't say it's COVID-related. You don't need to go further than the 90,000 strong on Survivor Corps or the widely circulated, The Atlantic magazine article entitled, "Long Haulers are Re-Defining COVID-19."
"These findings, though limited, are galling. They suggest that in the United States alone, which has more than 5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, there are probably hundreds of thousands of long-haulers."
I've had doctors question the authenticity of my claims of sustained fever, but my wife can attest that by mid-afternoon, I can heat up a room (insert "Ty is hot" jokes) with the slow embers burning inside me that create the fever and heat up the room. I had one Dr. recently prescribe high-dose ibuprofen..."um, excuse, me but how will that take care of the wallet thing or the freakish neuro issues that take me from witching hour to wilding hour in the middle of the night where my legs do donkey kicks?"
So in other words, I'm still in very much the same place I was as described on NBC Nightly News as a suffering long-hauler. Better yet, I have a new term called "Limbo Long Hauler." But, there are some small steps forward.
Last week at National Jewish Health (one of 40+ Dr. appointments,) I wanted to hug NP Rosen. I felt like I finally found someone who gets what's going on. There are a couple more hoops with NJH to jump through. Another cardio exercise (now there's an oxymoron cuz I can't exercise) test with a scope--good thing that's coming through the attic, not the cellar (insert, Fletch, "gonna use the whole fist there doc?" humor.) Step two (or forty seven depending on how you're counting) is meeting with a hematologist to rule out any other blood-related cancers.
I (like many others) find the coinkydink of having features for now SEVEN months (I got sick on Jan 15th) that affects several systems in the body at the same time as a pandemic that affects several systems in the body as NOT a coinkydink. The progress on this is at an iceberg pace.
Parents and good friends of Liam called me last night. I don't normally answer the phone after five as my body is shot and talking exacerbates things. I'd just talked to my daughter who (bless her heart) calls to cheer up dad. Joan was on speaker phone with Dad Fabian and Liam. They had been to the beach in his new badass wheelchair.
On the phone, we reflected on how tough it was to run up the ramp with his current wheelchair in our first triathlon, but made for great video. The new chair will work wonders in transition. Fortunately, their cell connection dropped before I could talk to Liam.
I hid the fact that I was going to break down at any moment. I hate that I can't run, but really hate that I can't race with Liam. Nevertheless, it was great to hear from them.
I will keep you all posted, but my wife continues to amaze with her support, I've been able to continue working, and I have a medical plan in place. As therapy, I've poured my extra energy into art which has been great therapy as I completed the five month painting project of my grandparents (presented in the above video to my mom for her 84th birthday) and working on a comic book illustration collaboration with a musician and one of my brothers.
The final conundrum is due to my exposure on Tom Costello's story on the Eli Lilly trials, I have a chance to get into a trial. Challenge being (per the Atlantic article) there were no swabs when I got sick and four negative antibody tests really mean nothing other than I don't qualify or can't get a Dr. to sign me up. I'm hopeful, NJH will help. I'll keep you posted as I was hoping not to encounter (UPDATED from Michael Dean Perry to) Neil Smith (google that one) day or too many more Freaky Fridays.