Crying Out in the Dark

If you took a Venn diagram of flu, cold, and covid symptoms, what I had would fit in all three but not exclusively in any of them. Looking over the common symptoms of the Omicron variant, it is pretty clear that is the version we had. While I don’t have a test to prove it definitively, we have some pretty solid contact tracing that proves our own diagnosis.

What has taken me mostly by surprise is how much this disease just refuses to let go. I’ve had the flu and cold before. With both, I’m usually back on the mend within a couple days. Covid, even this “milder” version, is very different. From Tuesday through Friday evening, there was just a steady decent. Even as I type this, I’m still fighting back nasal congestion and drainage and feel I’m likely two days away (at a minimum) from being back to normal.

However, from a mental perspective, last night was when I was at my lowest point. Keep in mind this disease had worn on me for several days already and it appeared I was making no progress. Yesterday evening, I spoke to my stepmom via text about how I was doing, and the conversation was as expected: she expressed her concern and gave general advice on how I need to take care of myself.

As the evening went on, I lost general interest in doing… anything. Even the routine laying on the couch and playing a mindless Xbox game seemed too mindless to me. I went to lay in bed and for the first time since her death a year ago, I had an unshakable urge to talk to my mother. I ultimately just laid there and spoke to God as I fell asleep.

Sometime during the night, with all the drainage and congestion it started to become a chore to breathe. Not that I was having trouble breathing; only that it was becoming a chore to breathe. If you have never been in that state, it is impossible to explain the experience to you. But if you have, then there is nothing further I need to say.

I was half asleep when our gas furnace kicked on and the usual initial sulfur-like smell exited from the vent. When it hit my nose, a great fear rose from within me. My spirit cried out, “Daddy!” and I wasn’t looking for my earthly father. I forced myself awake, cleared out my lungs, and said, “I have got to get through this.”

I got up for a few minutes to let the drainage work properly and reset my pillows. I then slept the rest of the night without issue.

This morning, I was able to get up and shake the collected sleep out of my system. I then curled up into the arms of my wife, who is a few days ahead of me on the recovery. I reminded myself that the whole “two become one” thing means we are in this together and also made a vow to try to stay on my feet all day.

This disease has been one crazy experience so far. I am grateful I was two-shot vaccinated and it hasn’t been any worse. But the experience of my soul crying out to God in a moment of absolute weakness shows that I need to do more crying out in moments of absolute strength.