It started the week before Thanksgiving, I felt like the flu had hit me like a ton of bricks. I refused to cancel Thanksgiving, I was determined to will myself well. Then Christmas, then New Years, keep going until the end of March. I was so exhausted. I was finally able to get a doctor’s appointment.
In my car, under a tent.
The doctor told me I had the virus, he asked if I wanted to go get tested, he said “…we have 8 tests in the county, I don’t know if they are sending more. I can send you to take one, the treatment is the same – quarantine. Do you want to go take one?” No. No thank you. He warned me to stay away from the hospital at all costs, unless I was “turning blue“. He gave me a note with instructions and one that said I could return to work once I had gone 72 hours without a fever. Ironically enough, I couldn’t make it 3 days without a fever for months.
I remember vaguely listening to Robert bitching about me, you barely had a slight cold, he said. A slight cold. A slight cold that left me scared, that urged me to write a letter to my granddaughter telling her how much I loved her, because I didn’t think I was going to live to see her grow up. It took all of my strength to take a shower one morning, and then I had to lay on the end of the bed for an hour before I had to energy to get dressed. A slight cold. He called me a hypochondriac, among other things. I never bothered telling him how badly I felt or how scared I was, I was too tired to be mocked any more than what I already was.
In April, when I was just starting to feel better, he started a conversation about how I used to get dressed up when we were dating. How I did my hair and makeup and dressed up (aka putting on tight jeans and not wearing yoga pants). He asked me if I was a liar. Was it all an act? Is this homeless looking woman who I really am?? I told him I have been so tired, and laughed and said it’s okay if this is who you are, just admit it was an act. I felt defeated. I always felt defeated.