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A Frankie Tale

Do I Have Corona-Virus? The Quarantine Series PT I: #aFrankieTale about my experience with COVID-19

If you haven't heard the recent news stories and coverage on Corona-Virus, it is safe to say you are very much so LIVING UNDER A ROCK and you should probably change your name to Patrick! (**If you're not familiar with Spongebob Squarepants, then figure out the joke for yourself!) But to translate my message in plain english, here you go: You are....ill-informed, careless, irresponsible, and frankly YOU ARE A DIRECT PART OF THE PROBLEM! BUT DON'T WORRY....

***This is Corona-Virus under a microscope...shit really looks like a planet! EWW!

.....I was you just a few weeks ago. Though I had heard all about the Corona-Virus, and in-fact experienced some of the up-close and personal treatments (we'll get into that) surrounding this illness/ disease/ whatever the CDC wants to classify it as, I wasn't too worried about it myself. As a well-informed citizen (or at least I'd like to think I am), I constantly keep up with major headlines- SPECIFICALLY surrounding illnesses, because I myself have a weak-ish immune system.

I am certainly one of those 'STAY THE FU*K AWAY FROM ME" types if you ever tell me that you are sick. No hugs (and I am a BIG hugger), no kisses (and I am Dominican & Italian; so cheek-to-cheek kissing is the normal thing to do), no love AT ALL! You're lucky and highly privileged if you even get an elbow. I treat you as if you were an alien [From Planet Corona]. (Okay too soon for jokes, but come on, it totally goes with my planet reference in the GIF above.) Not only is this behavior warranted by the fact that my immune system is fickle, but I also suffer from seasonal allergies, which always make matters worse; especially during the colder winter months...even in Hot-Ass South Florida. Day to day, I am treated like an alien if I cough too hard or sneeze too loudly. To be honest, it's quite embarrassing, because people generally treat you like you're gross and NEVER, EVER, EVER, buy into the excuse of "I'm not sick, I just have allergies!" So trust me....

....I get it TOO!

It is Day 4 of my Corona-Virus quarantine, and man am I thankful to be alive and productive during these times of public concern and global hysteria. Through this epidemic, all I can think of is how terribly terrified I would be if I were STILL SICK, as I was in recent months. For what felt like TWO WHOLE MONTHS, I was simply out of all sorts of energy and strength. I had collapsed of bodily exhaustion and felt as though my days were coming to an end. And though that may sound mellow-dramatic, it's truly how I felt as I had cold-sweats and body shakes taking over my body. I was a total vegetable. I had no will, no power, no drive, and certainly no ability to do absolutely ANYTHING!

True story: From December 27th- February 3rd I was SEVERELY sick with HIGH 100 Degree FEVERS. That's literally 5 whole weeks of dealing with trouble breathing, tight chest, sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, congestion, high fever, watery eyes, migraines, sinus pressure, phlegm, phlegm, and MORE phlegm...and OMG I feel like the warning label voiceover medication commercials.... I took every medication known to man. Over the counter medicine, allergy relief medicine, vitamin C overdosage, I TRIED IT ALL! Point is NOTHING WORKED! I was so sick, I cancelled LIVE SHOWS, had to call-out of work for 2 Weeks in a row, and even went to the ER.....TWICE!

Here was my 1st Hospital visit in a nutshell....

My first ER visit occurred during the crack of dawn at around 12:00 midnight in early January. My visit was migraine driven, as I had collapsed at home from an intense migraine and 30+ minutes nosebleed. I couldn't open my eyes and the left side of my temple felt as though I'd been knocked out with a hammer. My parents rushed to pick me up and took me in to the nearest Emergency room, helping me walk as I literally kept my eyes SHUT from the pain to my head- INTERNALLY, I never actually HIT my head. This pain was a direct cause of my migraine and the nosebleed followed, but I am not sure why- it was very unwarranted ans severe. When asked to rate my pain from a scale 1 to 10, I grunted in utter pain, "1000 Miss!"

Although I was extremely sick at this time, the collapse caused by my intense migraine and severe nosebleed, unfortunately took precedent over my cough and cold-like symptoms, which I attributed to my seasonal allergies. I was put on an IV and given medications to soothe the extensive migraine. After falling asleep for about 2 hours, I was in and out of the hospital in a matter of hours and feeling better as I was discharged home, but still with no explanation as to why I had developed this intense pain so close to my brain. But I was still sick. I still couldn't breathe. What will happen if I do not recuperate from all these symptoms?

Here was my 2nd Hospital visit in a nutshell....

  • It is now Mid-late January and I am back at the Hospital due to the severity of my cold and flu symptoms. I am STILL SICK, it's been a month! NOW I AM WORRIED!

  • I drove myself to my neighborhood Emergency room (same exact hospital as above) and walked in at about 8:15 am. ***There were 4 other patients in the waiting area.

  • Upon arrival, I had to fill out a 50-Question survey regarding my travels and illness exposure. ***This took about half an hour to complete.

  • Once I completed my survey (Approx. 8:45am), I was taken in for vitals and a medical history interview at 11:54am. ***That's 4 whole hours [AND SOME CHANGE] of waiting simply to process my paperwork and talk to someone on why I am here.

  • I was told to wait to be seen by a Physician for about 15-20 mins. But that wasn't reality. Try 2 more hours!

  • I was FINALLY called in to the ER at 2:18pm, but wasn't seen till almost 3pm. So I was essentially back at waiting for an additional 40+ minutes.

  • A Doctor arrives and I feel like I've seen the glory, I am asked another series of questions regarding my symptoms and potential exposures. As I provide my novel-series of symptoms and stress the dire need for breathing treatment as shortness of breath, chest congestion, and phlegm were the leading causes of my illness; I suddenly see the Dr. begin to move with a sense of urgency. Her face, full of concern and worry.

  • About 5-10 minutes passed and I am taken in for a urine sample, MRI, and some sort of nasal exam. NOW let's get into this nasal sampling test...

...That sh!t hurts!

They stick this 5-6 inch (don't quote me on this measurement, I don't [actually] know how long it is, but use your judgment with this photo below) bendy-metal like swab FARRRRRRR up your nose...


Thankfully, I had a very gentle and docile nurse, who took her time in sticking the swab up my nose. I was cringing; grasping my seat firmly, as I tightened my eyelids in excruciating pain, and leaned further away, as the swab went deeper into my nose. AHHH! And that's just one nostril.

Immediately after swab ejection, my eyes begin to water and I request a brief break to catch my breath, before the second nostril swabbing takes place. Now here we go again....I hold my breath, grapple the seat (oh yeah, we are BEYOND a firm grip), squint tightly and tell the the nurse, "Okay, go." ........Ouuuuchhhh! Done.

***This is me with needles, tubes, swabs, and any other medical instruments that inflict pain.

Now this was just MY EXPERIENCE, BEFORE Corona-Virus became a wide-spread pandemic. As aforementioned, this Hospital visit took place in mid-late January, before Corona-Virus cases were even reported in Broward County- but that did not stop hospitals from acting fast. Once my very common symptoms- which are by the way the exact symptoms of CORONA, were presented to the staff- medical attention was provided to me right away. I was given a series of meds, plenty of water, and even got some shut eye. (Perhaps those were caused by the hospital meds...hmmmm??)

We're at about 4:15pm now. After all my results came in, I am discharged and released home with good news of being Corona-FREE; but bad news about having an upper respiratory infection. BUT THAT WAS IT! THAT WAS ALL I HAD! I couldn't believe how minor the medical professionals made my condition out to be, with all I'd been feeling over the past several weeks...MONTH.....and after just having been in the Emergency room 2 weeks ago! (Remember above I referenced going to the "ER.....twice!")

I just know, that although I was indeed sick and not well, there was simply no room nor time to waste and they were quickly jetting me out of the door with prescription in hand, medical instructions, and a work note. Just like that, I am sent back into society still as sick as ever.

I'm telling you....I'd been sick for WEEKS! I thought of every possible illness: flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, intense allergy reaction (which in fact DID play a major role in my sickness), literally everything EXCEPT COVID-19.

It didn't hit me till NOW, that could've been ME. I was in the hospital, TWICE! Meaning I was EXPOSED TWICE!

I conclude with this folks, take this seriously! Though I do believe there are underlying political ploys surrounding this pandemic like others we've experienced, I can only tell you to stay informed, stay safe, and lookout for PART II of this #aFrankieTale Corona-Virus Quarantine Series, as I dive into Pandemics and Politics.

Don't forget to WASH YOUR HANDS!

That's all for this icky #aFrankieTale...

....thanks for taking a peek inside my head,

or in this case....nostrils!



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