It’s apropos that almost a month has passed since my first covid chronicles post. Nothing captures my recovery from this freaking virus more than lost time. I’m so unfocused that I don’t even jerk awake, wondering what I’ve forgotten — I just, y’know, forget stuff. Sometimes I forget that I’ve forgotten something and boy oh boy, talk about going down a rabbit hole.

For someone who’s always been hypervigilant it’s disorienting to say the least. And yes, I know hypervigilance is a whole other issue but that’s a topic for another post.

Unfortunately for me, I was one of those folks who ended up moving into an ER for the day. Did I go there for a covid test? No, of course not, although that’s where I ended up receiving the unfortunate news. I went for crushing chest pain combined with the whole feeling-like-death cocktail that comes with covid-19. I’d had a close contact and was pretty sure I’d test positive but still, I wasn’t on board with ignoring chest pain because…well, chest pain.

Cue the last thing I ever wanted to spring on my seventeen year old: “Hey, T, I need a ride to the emergency room.” Good times.

Which leads us to my nine hour stint at the hospital.

Yes, nine hours.

First, I have to point out I didn’t see a single ambulance roll in which meant every one of us in that waiting area was basically non-emergent. Except maybe for that guy around hour five who was screaming at his mom on the nurse station phone but privacy, y’all, so we’ll leave that one be. Every once in a while a nurse would come around to check on people and I overheard her tell the nearby elderly woman she’d seen people wait up to six hours.

That turned out to be accurate.

Second, the really sucky part was that once I tested positive nobody was allowed to come in to be with me. Which meant BrightSide spent the afternoon and evening in the hospital parking lot. Oh, and did I mention it was his birthday? Yep, I’m a real good time Sally, I sure am.

I get why the hospital wants to eliminate the risk of transmission but someone as sick as I was really couldn’t fully participate in my own healthcare decisions let alone remember everything to do after I was discharged. Seems like a loophole that needs closing.

Anyway, yes, I was there for a long time but they were doing their best and took good care of me. Here’s something I found on TikTok about what to pack for the ER. I did okay this time but sure wish I’d had this guidance on hand when I needed it. Seriously, give it a look and screenshot the list. I did.