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Published June 29, 2021

Summer Crud II: Things turned for the worse quickly

By John Toth / The Bulletin

Where did I leave off last week? Oh, yes. I was enjoying nature in my backyard and getting to feel much better. So I canceled my teleMed appointment. Things were looking up.

Until the next morning.

My body rebelled against me like it has not in decades. Throat, fever, aches, stuffier head. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I didn’t want to move, and I didn’t want to stay in bed because it hurt too much not to get out of bed.

I’ve had the Covid vaccine shot. I know that even if you get Covid after the shot takes effect, the symptoms won’t be as bad, and you’ll just ride it out.

What could it be? This thing is going straight into my lungs. Mother Nature didn’t look all that inviting that morning. The squirrels weren’t fed and complained. Sorry guys, but I need to take care of this. Go do what squirrels do to get food when someone isn’t putting nuts on the fence post or in the tree for you.
They didn’t like that and continued to complain.

I cast aside all my reservations about the video doctor and made an appointment. I sure didn’t feel like getting in the car and driving to the doctor's office.

I needed antibiotics to make sure that this virus, whatever type it was, would not camp out in my lungs and stay there for weeks while I was trying to do things like breathing and speaking without coughing.

I set up my cell phone for the appointment and waited.

“Do you mind if we start early, Mr. Toth?” The doctor chimed in politely.

“Sure, the earlier the better,” I said.”

“You don’t sound good,” he continued as he asked for symptoms.

I felt worse than I sounded. I’m not used to being sick. I told him the whole story, except for the canceled appointment the day before when I thought I was getting better.

“Have you had the vaccine,” he asked.

Yes, indeed. If I were healthy, I would have told him about the second shot on Feb. 17, in the middle of the deep freeze, when only a few stores were open, and the Brazoria County Health Department in Angleton. I had no power, no heat, no water and broken pipes, but I got my second shot at that nice, warm clinic.

But there was no time for that. I'm sure I wasn’t the only person he had to see today, so I decided not to tell him this story, even though I think he would have enjoyed it. I probably could not have finished it anyway without coughing my head off.

“I’m going to call in a Z-Pak for you. That should knock it out. If not, call us back, and we’ll go from there, but it should do it,” said the doctor on my phone screen.

That’s Azithromycin. It would make sure that I wouldn’t develop an infection because of drainage into my chest. I hoped it would work, because I have used up all my sick days at work (which were zero).

A long time ago I called in sick, and nobody answered the phone. So I picked it up and told myself to get to work.

The video visit took about 15 minutes, maybe less. About 20 minutes later, I got a message on my phone that my prescription was ready to be picked up.

All my remaining doubts about video doctor visits melted away. I was sold - still sick with the mother of Covid, or the cousin of Covid, or whatever other virus this was, but I was sold.

I sat down on the back porch again. My head still felt like a bowling ball; my throat was still on fire, joints still aching. The squirrels looked through the fence post, probably thinking that I was slacking.

“We don’t like foraging in the yard for food, so feed us, or we'll eat your chimney,” they probably said, in a nice way.

They were fed again - by my wife, who had to follow specific instructions where to place the walnuts on the tree and fence. It had to be done just right.

(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send me a note at john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)