I’m typing this at the end of my experience through COVID.
Yes, that’s correct, I contracted COVID someway and somehow. I don’t want to engage in policy matters or the public opinions splitting everyone in two about what should or should not be done about it all. I’m not even going to discuss if I think vaccines work, don’t work, should be required or not. From a personal perspective, none of that interests me. I am vaccinated (Please do not assume one way or the other that I support or refute vaccine mandates), for full disclosure. I am offering my factual basis, because I am going to discuss something else about health altogether. But, a couple of weekends ago, I developed a little bit of a cold and had a cough. Nothing too serious, but it seemed more timely considering the season and time of year.
By last Wednesday morning, I was feeling a little tired and mentioned to my boss that my wife had lost her sense of taste (my wife was feeling absolutely miserable at this point), so I was offered a rapid antigen test at work. I tested positive for antigens – a possibility of a COVID infection was present. So, I was sent home as a precautionary measure for work and asked to go take a PCR test. So, I went to take the test and submitted a sample. By Wednesday evening, I was running a fever and feeling absolutely exhausted. I would not receive the test results back until Friday, but by Thursday morning, I had accepted I had contracted COVID, since my wife had no sense of taste or smell, and I was obviously exposed to her. I never lost my sense of taste or smell, but felt absolutely miserable into Thursday. My breathing felt a little labored, but not horrible like I had read about. The exhaustion is what hit me the hardest – literally getting up and walking around the house made me feel tired and winded in a way that is hard to explain. All I wanted to do was sleep and I was slightly feverish with congestion and a cough. Consulting, virtually, with a doctor, I had been experiencing flu symptoms but the doctor felt it might be COVID due to my exposure to my wife. Then Friday came, and sure enough – COVID.
Interestingly enough, however, is the fact that the weekend was good and it seemed like symptoms began to dissipate and go away. Today, I’m feeling good, with a slight cough and not feeling exhausted anymore. It felt like rest was the successful treatment plan for me. Thankfully, my wife and I are recovering well enough and she has actually returned to her job – I go back on Monday. However, knowing that there are so many people that haven’t fared as well, and in large part, due to their own personal health, I found myself wondering about my own health.
I’ve mentioned before that my health is not the best and I want to return to good health, but I have been dealing with something very personal lately, that I was reluctant to share, but when I began this blog, I wanted to divulge everything – physical, mental, financial, sexual, alcoholism etc. – about myself, as a means of doing some personal recovery of myself. And the reality is, I’ve begun to experience erectile dysfunction (I’m not expecting a slew of SPAM comments encouraging me to buy stupid pills).
Because I’m a type 1 diabetic, I have always feared this day would come – the inability to get or maintain an erection. Diabetics probably experience this much more than the average person. It’s embarrassing to say the least. And although, I have often questioned my own masculinity, there is nothing that will make you question it more than during mid-hump the erection just disappears. In the past couple of years, I have had decreased libido and felt it was primarily due to my mental state, but lately – easily within the past few months – it feels (actually, it doesn’t feel much) like it’s happening much more often. Of course, I’d rather be a solution oriented person and have consulted with my endocrinologist in the past and have received prescriptions for boner-pills (which do work), but now the insurance coverage I have does not cover the cost of these pills. So, now I have to find alternative methods to fix the problem.
I have felt horrible for my wife about this, and she has certainly felt like I have lost interest in sex with her. And, for anyone that has followed my blog, there have been episodes during our relationship, where our relationship was so strained that my lack of desire was right there in front of us both – not to mention, she has had her own loss of desire with respect to our relationship. We have discussed alternative methods for her to be able to get-off, so to speak. Even so much as the possibility of her taking on a lover on the side. I think, for us both, having a sexual component to our relationship has always been important. And I have always felt that my health was going to eventually be an issue. She isn’t fond of the idea of having to outsource sex, because she feels it would ruin the marriage. It might, and I am not one to push her to do something she doesn’t want to do. Instead, she has expressed a desire to try some adult toys and has expressed a desire to keep trying with me. There are some sexual activities she has always been reluctant to try – and she readily admits that she feels like a prude trying some things. For me, her happiness has always been important to me and I am willing to try anything for her sake. I am also trying to figure out a way to make myself healthy – eat better, lose weight and try and find a way to be active.
I’ve expressed to her that often times, I struggle with my own masculinity (I always feel internally feminine, for those new to my blog). There are thing that always give me a feeling of masculine power, such as, weightlifting and martial arts, but I never feel like I have the time for those things anymore. I find that my inability to master my finances is something else that strikes my confidence – although, I wouldn’t equate that to masculinity. Of course, the idea of a major raging boner is somewhat the symbolic beacon of fire for masculinity and maybe that’s the essence of what I’m worried about. Maybe all of my poor decisions with respect to my health have zeroed in on this idea that I cannot be masculine without a boner.
And it’s ironic that my dichotomous* internal view of masculinity and femininity, boils down to whether or not I can hoist the phallic flag of my penis.
(*This will continue to be my hang-up, I’m sure. I will revisit this topic, as I have before)