It all began with a scratchy throat and a light cough so I did what lots of people do these days: I panicked.
I knew I had it. In fact I felt funny all day, a tiredness I usually feel when I miss an afternoon nap. If I remembered correctly, being tired was one of the symptoms, too. And come to think of it, I thought I smelled funny, like at deer camp when showers are as common as manners. And a funny smell was a symptom, too. I think.
So I went home and straight to the couch where I expected to stay for the next week. I assumed I would hit that pillow and sleep right through dinner, a sure sign that the angel of death is peering inside the house through the front window.
But a funny thing happened. I didn’t nod off. In fact, I was wide awake. Still, I was certain I had it, even though I’m vaxxed and boosted. So I took the home test and followed the strange instructions, counting the number of drops and twists of the swab in my nostril. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.
There has to be two lines on the test for it to be positive, and I swore one was very faint. Maybe I did something wrong. But no. Negative. My wife, tired of being annoyed, left the room and went about her business. It was almost disappointing. Not that I want the virus, but it would at least verify my symptoms.
Sometimes we need verification because verification proves that something is definitely wrong, that a foreign substance has truly infiltrated my body causing me to feel sick. This was a problem while growing up.
When I was a kid, I often got sick or so I thought. I mean something bothered me to the point where I wasn’t feeling all that great. And it had nothing to do with the fact that I had a huge history test facing me that day.
But I didn’t have a fever, according to Dr. Mother, who confirmed my body temperature by holding the back of her hand against my forehead. So when they couldn’t diagnose my problem, then it only meant one recourse: visit the Lithuanian doctor.
I know nothing about medicine, but I assume that when a child feels funny, you don’t treat him with an injection of morphine. Now, I’m not saying that’s what he did. But every time we visited him, he did the exact same thing. He looked me over and gave me a shot in the arm and sent us on our way. I immediately got this real funny feeling, probably similar to what the hippies in the ’60s used to feel, and I went down hard.
My dad would lay me on the couch, and hours later I’d wake up with an insatiable craving to create tie-dye T-shirts and listen to the Jefferson Airplane. Amazingly, whatever symptoms I had were long gone.
Unfortunately, no injection would get rid of these annoying symptoms from allergies. But cocktail hour seems to help.
Ray Kisonas is the regional editor of The Monroe News and The Daily Telegram. He can be reached at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Ray Kisonas: These days, even with light symptoms, it can only mean