Covid HYPERchondria

Comedian Gail Forrest thought she was tough, but Covid has her psyche in overdrive. If only she could get Dr. Fauci's phone number...

My brain is spinning into butter from fear of everything: kitchen counters, gas pumps, door knobs, elevators, other humans and, the deadliest of all, my own hands. Did I wash them? If I can’t remember, I immediately wash them again. I am certain I no longer have fingerprints. I have hand sanitizer in every room as well as bottles of it stuffed into the glove compartment of my car and yet I still question if I use it enough. I almost washed my hair with Purell before I snapped back into consciousness. I don’t know if the twenty second rule applies to hand sanitizer like soap. Does it require “Happy Birthday” or something shorter like “Row, row, row your boat”? Has Dr. Fauci mentioned this? Does anyone have his phone number? I need his phone number! Doc, I think I have a fever — or do I? I checked ten minutes ago yet double checked with a different thermometer for verification. You can’t be too sure. Uh oh, is that a small rash on my stomach? Have rashes been mentioned as a symptom of Covid? Or just lack of showering?

Did I just cough? I think I did, but it’s possible it’s the giant calcium pill stuck in my throat

My morning coffee is preceded by hot water and lemon because I heard from one of my friends it repels the virus. She has no scientific data to substantiate this claim but I believe her. I now believe everyone regardless of their lack of a science or medical background. I follow the lemon water with Emergen-C Immune Plus, Centrum Silver, calcium with vitamin D3, and Ecological Formulas Tri-Salts and feel safe from a lot of ailments, but not really Covid. Did I just cough? I think I did, but it’s possible it’s the giant calcium pill stuck in my throat. I have learned to count my coughs and put them into categories: choking, clearing my throat, and allergies. So far none have been out of the ordinary but I am very vigilant.   

I am convinced I suffer from Covid Hyperchondria. I think this a whole new psychological disorder. It definitely has all the ingredients. I’m betting it will be a candidate for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders someday.  It seems unavoidable given 24/7 “breaking virus news” plus a year of isolation with endless time to think about how I feel minute to minute. And if the regular old Covid virus isn’t enough to make my head explode, how about the new mutation out of the UK that has reached our shores…pay back for the Revolutionary War? And now South African viruses are here or not here or still in Africa…where are they? Help! Dr. Fauci, what is your phone number? 

Covid and isolation have put my psyche into overdrive

I am acutely aware of every bodily ache, pain, rash, sneeze or oddly red toe, and spend hours googling my latest complaint. I literally was up at midnight researching “heart attacks in women” until I decoded my symptoms as a panic attack. I took a Xanax and went to sleep. My heart attack was gone by morning. Covid and isolation have put my psyche into overdrive. It has raised the bar of bodily complaints to heights inconceivable to me a year ago.

I thought I was tough. After all, as a child I made it through a textbook case of Chicken Pox, Measles, German Measles, Mumps and endless bloody knees because my roller skates unclipped from my shoes and I splattered on the sidewalk. I can provide witnesses to my walking and going out to dinner on a broken ankle after a horse dumped me at a jump. Years later, the same fall happened again – other ankle. Smarter this time, I carefully got up and drove myself to the ER. I also had a C-section and was back in the saddle within the month. I broke my foot playing tennis and still managed to finish the set. I was bomb proof. 

I have a sore throat and immediately call three girlfriends for a diagnosis

Where is that person? Mostly on the phone with friends comparing and contrasting symptoms. I have a sore throat and immediately call three girlfriends for a diagnosis.  Usually one of the three has one also. We reinforce and scare the shit out of each other on a daily basis. I call them all again later, frantic that I got too close to someone in the wine aisle at Trader Joe’s. Was I six feet away from the person or two? I don’t know and math confuses me. Did I hear someone sneeze over in produce? I was headed there next but hightailed it to the checkout line instead. I ran back to my car to check my temperature.

It’s been a year of me, me, me and more me. I am sick of me-time but so far the money spent on hand sanitizer has been worth it. I didn’t learn Italian, how to play the piano, or make a nice sourdough bread; honestly, I never planned to. I do have a rash on the top of each hand that I am hoping goes away when I can throw out the Purell. Some things you never want to see or use again.

 Tony, call me!       



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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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