7 Mar., 2021


The 11th of February has come and gone, and I am not wearing the sleep tracker.

I didn’t go to the appointment.

The appointment was for 6pm, and the morning of the 11th, after what was really a pretty good night’s sleep for me—just one significant wake-up, and I got back to sleep, got up for good around 4:30am, pretty typical, and had slept a total of about 6.5 hours—I had a bit of a scratchy throat, a stuffy nose, and felt slightly warm.

I took my temperature, and it was 99.4°F, which is higher than a “normal” of 98.6°F, but not high enough to keep me from working in most places, where the standard is somewhere between 99.6°F and 100.4°F (or 38°C, for workplaces that use this standard). But for me, 99.4°F was high. My temperature usually runs low, except during my period (I’ve no idea why), and so “normal” for me is more like 97.8°F, so anything upwards of 99°F is “sit up and take notice.”

The clinic wouldn’t be open until 9am, so that gave me a few hours to see if things cleared up—it could always be an allergy, and the warmth of having just awakened.

But by 9am, I was clearing my throat a lot, and feeling like I was progressing toward a cough. I was supposed to pick up my son at 2:30pm, so at 9am, I scheduled a rapid COVID test, and called the clinic and cancelled the appointment.

I took dextromethorphan, phenylephrine, and acetaminophen, and felt perfectly fine within half an hour. I used to get just horrible colds that bordered on the flu, lingered for more than a week, and sometimes turned into bronchitis, and got them several times a year, but at 34 (20 years ago), I had my tonsils and adenoids out, and I have not had a bad viral “cold” since. I have had a handful of nasty sinus infections, but the times I have felt a cold coming on—the scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and soforth, it’s never gotten much worse, and always passed in 24 hours. Recovering from the tonsillectomy was difficult, but I’d do it again in a flash.

At any rate, what I had that morning was not COVID-19. The rapid test was negative. I never even felt sicker when the OTC meds wore off.

But I still think I did the right thing. I canceled in time for them to schedule someone else. Had I waited until I had the test done, I might have ended up canceling at the last minute. Or, I could have had a bacterial sinus infection, and I didn’t want to pass that on either.

In attempts to reschedule, the scheduler asked me how long the doctor wanted me to wear the sleep tracker: one week, or two? And she asked a couple of other questions I did not know answers to, so she suggested I contact the doctor, and get back to her.

I am still trying to get in touch with the doctor, whom I have called and emailed a half dozen times. I am not feeling a lot of confidence in her right now.

This coming Thursday is a month. A month of trying to get ahold of her. If I have not had contact by then, I’m going to call my PCP (who made the referral in the first place), and ask him to run interference.

On a happier note, I am scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine today: J&J version. It’s a drive-through clinic at the Brickyard. Should be interesting. I doubt we’ll be on the actual track, but we may go through the bays where the Indycars are worked on. 3:20 this afternoon. Baruch HaShem.

Published by Chava Freya

Insomnia is a brain-based disorder I’ve had since I was at least 16 years old. Anti-anxiety medicine doesn’t help, except when there’s external anxiety exacerbating the problem. Sleep hygiene is irrelevant, because it’s not the problem, although I have submitted to it five different times, including having sleep specialists actually come to my home and advise me on rearranging furniture, buying special pillows, forbidding TVs in the bedroom, telling me the bed was for nothing but sleep, sex and reading, and when that didn’t work, then nothing but sleep. Period. That was the biggest failure of all.

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