We're a little crazy, about science!

Health in a pandemic

I don’t want to be another link in the chain. I’m selfish, I don’t want to get COVID, I don’t want to deal with the after effects (if I live to tell the story), and I certainly don’t want to get others sick. My travel is limited to places I absolutely need to go. Unfortunately, that means I’m stuck doing research in a hospital setting, but I mask, wash my hands, and do everything I can to keep safe.

Of course now I have something going on with me that isn’t fun. I’m still not sure what it is, but this is the second time it’s happened in not that long (this post was the first time). So the once-in-a-lifetime flare up of some sort where I feel like death, my hands develop weird blister feeling sores, and I can barely focus on anything is now twice-in-a-lifetime.

All that to say simply, I think this will be a new and fun (/sarcasm) reoccurring thing for me. I’ll run down my symptoms again, not particularly looking for a online diagnosis, but more to keep track of what’s going on with me for when I can see a doctor.

Obviously this is stress related, * gestures wildly at 2020 * and there’s not a lot I can do about that. The sores on my hand start as raised thickened skin, definitely not fluid filled and they feel like I’ve burned myself. It’s got little bright red dots on the inside of the affected area and right now it seems localized to the first portion of my middle finger on both hands, although for some reason the left is worse. Eventually it will form a scale that will peel off and that should be the full cycle as far as that goes (assuming it’s consistent with the last time this happened).

I’m also feeling exhausted like I could sleep for days. I find myself falling asleep no matter how much sleep or caffeine I’ve had. It feels like work to lift my arm, heck it feels like work to breathe and I’m having trouble focusing on anything, not just because I can’t keep myself awake either. I hurt all over and my hands feel swollen almost, like super swollen even though they don’t particularly look swollen.

I’ve been keeping photos, but they aren’t that good. The skin is obviously a different color and while you can see it in the photo it isn’t as clear although you can make out the edges of the affected skin for the most part so that’s something I guess.

I don’t want to be another link in the chain, but at the same time I really should see someone about this. Since I get my healthcare at the VA… if you could call it healthcare, it’s more like a slow moving slaughterhouse, I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to go in.

First, the average age of people going to the VA is super high, like 60’s or so, so very susceptible. Then there’s the fact that we have a high instance of people who are too ignorant to wear a mask (even though most of them are the ones who really should be). Then there is the fact that there is almost zero social distancing and it probably isn’t even possible because the VA is packed tighter than a crushed can of sardines. That’s what they mean when they say thank you for your service, just a friendly FYI.

Long story short, I need to see someone about this… eventually I guess. It would be nice to be able to do that in a safe environment without fear of getting sick or dying because of COVID-19. Sure, the chances of me dying from it are low enough, but do I really want to risk that or the possibility of life-long health issues from the infection? Fuck no.

Now I’m stuck between waiting and seeing what happens to me, or risking it and seeing what happens to me. Neither option sounds particularly appealing. That said, right now I’m leaning more towards waiting it out and seeing what happens. Whatever I’ve got going on doesn’t seem to be getting worse, it’s just happening pretty frequently now (if you can call twice in.. what a month or so frequent). I’ll figure something out though, in the meantime everything is just awful and I am hoping it will pass quickly.


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