It is a normal human reaction, those who can still think clearly, to stop something when it is destroying their lives. I guess, in a way, this COVID-19 thing had a positive effect on my chronic smoker boyfriend because he had to stop smoking. Oh no, he did not contract the virus. Bless him, no. Knock on wood. He did develop another disease which was serious as well. And for that, he had to stop smoking.
Coughing was normal for Kian but I knew, his cough was worse than usual. Our city was already in lockdown two months ago when he had it bad. He was coughing incessantly and it sounded like something wanted to come out but I see he was struggling. I have been telling him to stop smoking for years now and he was like “My dad lived ‘til 90 and he smoked cigar every single day.” Stupid analogy. Look at him now. He has tuberculosis.
Convincing him to go to the hospital was difficult, at first. When he spit out blood, I was there and that gave me the reason to contact emergency services. The ambulance came to our door and brought us to the nearest community hospital. It just so happened that the hospital we were brought in had a wing for people with COVID-19. And so, knowing Kian, who was a bit anxious about the Coronavirus, I pushed him a little bit.
“Love, at the other side of the hospital, that is where COVID-19 patients and people under monitoring are brought in.” I said calmly. He was eyeing me sarcastically. Yeah, we know each other’s looks and stares. I pushed it a bit more. “Good thing, we’re on this side. Because you just spit out blood. Too much Marlboro’s love. The past three years, it was, huh?” I said and he stared at me blankly. “Uhm, sir. Can you please test my boyfriend for COVID-19? Do we have that available here now? We will pay.” I said. He was spiked after I said that, “Ok, I don’t have the virus.” I raised my eyebrows at him. “Love, how do you know? You have some symptoms, fever, cough, chills.” My face softened as I touched his hand. “Please, love, for me. Let’s do it together.”
When I said “together,” he relaxed and managed a weak, “Okay.”
We were brought to a pulmonologist, luckily, one was on the floor. And he did his interview with Kian and the test too. It was a skin test to see if he had TB. Of course, Kian tested positive and the good thing is that I was negative. Tuberculosis couldn’t stand a chance on my perfectly good health. My immune system was working, praise God. He was told to rest, and drink meds for 6 months straight. Kian was also told to stop smoking. Yes!!! What a blessing in disguise.
As for the COVID-19 test, we did that too. After 72 hours of waiting, we were informed that it was negative. That was a huge sigh of relief for us considering we have been to a hospital where there were COVID-19 patients. Kian was quiet for a few days after that and spent his time reading. His cough was still bad and at times, he would wake up at night coughing so hard. Poor baby. We even had to practice safety precautions for me so that I won’t get infected.
A few weeks after, his cough was getting better and he was past the cold turkey season. It was really bad – he was irritable and moody. At times, his anxiety would pop up and I would stay up all night with him. But I love him so much, he is my person. He is the one for me and I will do anything to ease his pains – physical or emotional. I was preparing food when he snuck up behind me.
“What would I do without you?” He said.
I smiled and replied, “You would probably be dead by now.”
He hugged me real tight.