Tuesday, March 31, 2020

IWSG: The Quirks of Quarantine


It's time for another edition of the  Insecure Writer's Support GroupBe sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh  and the rest of the talented bloggers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

                              The Quirks of Quarantine

Being under self-quarantine certainly gives a person plenty of time to think, especially during TV commercials. Unfortunately, many of my insights are soon forgotten in the time it takes  to find a pen, wipe it down, and sterilize my desk, counter-top, wall, or husband's back all before realizing I ran out of paper. Of course, my laptop is more efficient, but where's the fun in that?

Sadly, I've gotten used to being in isolation. I wouldn't necessarily call it my new normal, because it's more like my old abnormal. But while others are having trouble abiding with all of the necessary safety precautions, my husband has been enjoying social distancing from me a little too much. 

Though we share a small apartment, Hubby recently sent me an e-card for my birthday. Not only did it save him a trip to the store, it saved him the trouble of being in the same room with me.

Whether walking around the apartment building or venturing outside, I feel like I'm trapped in a Spaghetti Western. If I do happen upon another lone drifter in our deserted hallways, or ghost town sidewalks, it's as if we're about to face-off in a duel or gunfight. We each step back about six feet waiting for one to pass the other. Fortunately, no guns have been drawn, but I've taken to carrying toilet paper rolls as a peace offering.

Though my neighbors used to greet me with a kind word and a smile, everyone is so terrified of catching COVID-19, that they've even begun to avoid eye contact at all costs. Thus far, I haven't heard any evidence of contracting the virus through eye rolls, side-eye, or uncontrollable blinking, but this works to my advantage.

I no longer have to wear make-up, suck in my stomach, or wash my hair on a regular basis. I've considered brushing my teeth as an optional activity, but even that gets old after a few days.

The quarantine has forced me to get reacquainted with my kitchen, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm cooking more and eating more, which makes me a prime candidate for gaining the "quarantine 15." 

So I try to walk laps around our tiny apartment in between meals, snacks, desserts and thoughts about any of the above. I'm sure our neighbor below us is thrilled when I'm gracefully trotting around before midnight in a last minute attempt to reach my daily step goal. 

Sadly, I'll probably have to attend PTQD (Post Traumatic Quarantine Disorder) meetings when the stay-at-home order is lifted.

Though I miss my boys terribly, I'm proud of how seriously they're taking COVID-19, and how hard they've been working to help others. Our older son learned to create face masks on his 3-D printer, and offered to give them to us, and his doctor friends since hospitals are in such short supply. Unfortunately, the face masks are not considered hospital grade at this time, but may be helpful to others at risk.

Our younger son has also been providing a useful service by Skyping with clients of all ages to lift their spirits, as well as their gluteus maximus through strength training.

I also miss my brother who in addition to picking up prescriptions and groceries for his neighbors, is frequently offering to run errands for us. But my husband has taken to avoiding crowds by shopping during the early senior hours. Though I tease Hubby a lot, there's no one else I'd rather be quarantined with, and I'm truly grateful for him.

Yesterday, was a good day, as my husband finally tracked down some much needed sanitizing wipes and paper towels. The paper towels might also come in handy to keep the peace in our hallways.

Stay safe and healthy, my friends.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG: A Pain In The As...king


It's time for another edition of the  Insecure Writer's Support GroupBe sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh  and the rest of the talented bloggers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

                                            A Pain In The As...king

BOLO Alert: My husband has a cough and cold. But it's not an ordinary cough and cold, because my husband has it. What makes it even more horrific is that his endless suffering is just weeks before his knee replacement surgery.

The other night I found Hubby napping in front of the blaring TV, so I turned down the volume. He awoke shortly, changed chairs and turned the volume way up to generously share his program with the majority of neighbors on our floor and the floor below. 

When the phone rang, I had to quarantine myself in our bedroom with the door closed in order to hear the other voice on the line. This  took away from my laundry time, as I would have to enter a dangerous hearing zone that would make even the calmest dogs go absolutely mad. 

After the call ended, I decided to take my life into my own hands by re-entering the mutant hearing zone to find my husband was once again sound asleep. When I told him how the blaring TV was affecting my hearing he replied, "I can't worry about that right now, as I have to focus on my upcoming knee replacement surgery."

The other day, I went to the doctor to be treated for a sore throat, cold and slight cough. Fortunately, I knew right away that it wasn't the Coronavirus, as I was fever-free, but I didn't want to take a chance on being sick for my husband's upcoming surgery.

The nurse was having difficulty swabbing the back of my throat during the strep test, so I offered to grab hold of my tongue while she went in with the swab.

After after several failed attempts, I finally held my tongue down long enough for her to get a culture. When I apologized for being such a difficult patient, the nurse said it wasn't my fault that the lab ran out of tongue depressors. 

Needless to say, I went home with neither prescription nor pride in tact. 

The next day, my husband's cough soared from a one to a two on a scale of 10, so he saw the same NP (nurse practitioner) in our doctors' office. Before he left, I reminded him to tell her that we were both at a children's birthday party where many of the guests later came down with either colds or the flu.  

Then he walked out muttering (in between exaggerated coughs), "Julie, thanks for giving me this generous gift before my surgery."

Apparently, Hubby accomplished a lot more during his office visit. He explained that the NP swabbed him for the flu, and if the results were positive, she would call in a prescription for him and a preventative dosage for me with approval from my kidney transplant doctors. 

I couldn't believe that I wasn't tested for the flu, but my husband was not surprised. According to the NP, I did not have flu-like symptoms. I only had a sore throat, runny nose and slight cough, while Hubby had a terrible cough, runny nose and felt (here's the operative word)...ACHY.

A few expletives later, I offered to pick up some soup, and other favorite items at the deli, along with his pending prescription, but Hubby wanted to go instead. I argued that he was far too sickly to venture out again, but he insisted.

Then the NP called and said he didn't have the flu, but she'd still give him a prescription to make him more comfortable. Now I was really angry. Shouldn't I be at my full strength to take care of her favorite patient after his surgery? 

After throwing back a cool glass of chocolate milk, I calmly offered once again to make a deli and drugstore run, so this poor suffering man could crawl under the covers to begin the healing process. 

Finally, my husband told me the real reason why he needed to run those errands. Apparently, he had a taste for the deli's special tuna salad, but their tomatoes left a lot to be desired. Rather than settle for a less than perfect sandwich, he preferred making an additional stop at an upscale grocery store to personally select an exquisitely firm tomato. Of course, I couldn't be trusted with this important task.

In the end, the NP also prescribed something for me, but it's not strong enough to numb my new pain.