Summer 2020. A raft of alarming symptoms that came on over the course of weeks, days, hours, minutes, and sometimes heartbeats…
Symptom #1. Horrible night sweats. Severe enough to wake me several times each night. So severe that I had to change my bed sheets and pajamas. Sometimes so severe that I needed to find somewhere else dry to sleep.
Symptom #2. Multiple blind spots in both eyes.
Symptom #3. Persistent and progressively worse acid reflux, sometimes so severe that it would wake me up.
Symptom #4. Complete loss of appetite.
Symptom #5. Unpleasant taste in my mouth. Like dirty metal. No matter what I ate. Things that should have me drooling lost all appeal, so much so (and also because of the severe acid reflux) I hardly ate at all.
Symptom #6. General Malaise. Full body discomfort. Feeling sick all over. Got progressively worse.
Symptom #7. Sudden loss of sex drive and reduction in pleasure.
Symptom #8. Grossly enlarged lymph nodes in my groin that seemed to explode in size overnight–so enormous (tennis ball size) that I literally could not bend down to put socks or shoes on. Also accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes in my armpits and neck.
Symptom #9. While out for my usual brisk evening walk, my legs felt like they seized up and just stopped moving. Am I having stroke? I doubled over in severe pain. Lower left back, pelvic area, and leg. F&ck. Unable to move until I rested for a few minutes. After several tentative starts and stops to recover, I made it home only to discover my left leg to be shockingly swollen. Felt as hard as wood. One neuron firing away from driving myself to the emergency room. Raised my leg and massaged it instead. It helped enough for me to get some sleep, but I knew this could not be ignored.