@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
If I’m Going To Get Sick From Anyone…
It was the eve of Christmas Eve when I arrived at my sisters where I received my usual greeting of two little excited kids yelling my name and running to me for hugs. I do not take these entrances for granted. I know they will not be small like this forever, that some day when I enter the house, they’ll barely shrug a hello with headphones on. It is inevitable.
What also seems inevitable is omicron. Or some sort of flu bug. My niece, Charlotte, curled on my lap smiled at me so sweet. Almost too sweet. Something was off. She wasn’t talking. Charlotte is always talking. I mean, always. She feels warm and it turns out she has a low grade fever. She sniffles and cuddles but is most pleasant despite this. We’re able to get our hands on a HomeKit from one of our cousins (thank you). She tests negative, and come Christmas day, she seems fine besides some congestion.
This kids had a stupendous Christmas, and watching that was all I really wanted for Christmas. Having been exposed to something, I couldn’t go see anyone else. So I’d go home to quarantine and the following day I had a low grade fever and a mild cough.
Weeks ago, I ordered a bunch of HomeKits which I’ve been giving to friends and family since they’re hard to find. I have one left. I’d wait to the following day to test myself. The fever comes and goes and my throat starts to hurt. With the increasing congestion, my ears feel like they are on fire. This is a common symptom for when I get bad sinus infections or strep. I get these wicked double ear infections.
That night my fever spikes to 102.5 and I’m shivering. I miss my mom. I imagine being her patient, back in the house we grew up in, on the couch in the living room where she’d attend your every need. When you started shivering from a fever, she’d put a comforter in the dryer and then wrap you in it’s soft warmth. There’d be a glass of cold water and a cup of tea. Ritz crackers. Pain killers. Vicks. Cough drops. The whole bit. It’s no wonder I long for this as I’m in and out of fever dreams.
I cannot curse the face that got me sick because this is the face:
I fucking love that face.
In the morning I test negative. But the information about omicron is all over the map. I suppose it doesn’t really matter that much anyway. Either way, I’m going to rest until I’m better and remain isolated in my apartment for days after for the world’s sake and my own. Then once I’m better I’ll kiss the very face that infected me.
My fever spikes again that night. And the dreams that come feel more like visions than dreams. They’re so real. I see my near future with my career. I see a vacation. I see my boyfriend. Someone to hold me when I’m shaking like this.
The following day, I’m feeling like I’m on the other side. I’m on the mend. There’s no longer a razor blade in my throat, steam coming from my ear drum nor is there pressure on my face that feels like I’m twenty meters beneath the oceans surface. Fatigue still grips me, and honestly, I can’t wait to go on a run. I know that infuriates people. That when I’m sick I fantasize about running again. I miss it. I just want to run around. Feel strong. Breath so freely. When can I run? How soon can I run again?
Next comes the boring part. The part where you feel better but still have to stay home. However, me thinks I could use the few quiet days to start planning 2022. Do I dare feel optimistic about a year, following all we’ve been through? Do I dare allow fever visions inspire growth?