Covid Isn't Over


Hi, friends. I hope you're all well. I'm back to making comics, but first, a lengthy blurb.

So it's already been a pretty eventful year around here. I haven't stopped moving for one moment, but I feel as though I haven't moved forward either. It's strange, as well as frustrating.

My partner became very ill this past March. He suddenly felt an intense pain in his back one day, and by 3am the next morning, it was so bad that we called an ambulance. After hours of waiting (I wasn't allowed to be in the ER because of Covid), he was sent home with Tylenol. We initially assumed it was a pinched nerve or a slipped disc, but his pain wasn't easing at all. His GP created a huge obstacle for us because he refused to send Geoff for tests, saying he didn't need them. Again, another dismissal with Tylenol. It was a long and arduous battle with doctors and clinics and visits to the hospital and many argumentative phone calls, while his condition worsened. We finally got a doctor at the hospital to admit him and run several tests, some of which were invasive and terrifying. And to make matters worse, I wasn't permitted to sit with him or visit him in person for the entire week, because there was a Covid outbreak on his hospital floor.

It took 5 weeks of worry and confusion, 2 MRIs, one CT scan, a week in the hospital, countless blood tests and a painful bone biopsy before we finally got a diagnosis. A rare but fully treatable spinal infection. He was sent home and immediately put on strong antibiotics and painkillers. He gradually improved over the course of another 7 weeks, and is now back on his feet, visiting his office twice a week, and going for careful walks. I am so incredibly grateful he's better. But I'll never forget that his infection could have gone septic, and the worst would have happened if we hadn't managed to get someone's attention in time. I'm still angry with the state of our health care system, but thankful for those who did help us, and got Geoff on the right path.

We went through a shitstorm of emotions during that time. I've never been so terrified in my life. I didn't sleep for weeks, and to this day, I still can't really sleep. While he was in hospital and we didn't know what was wrong yet, I sat at home alone, fearing the worst. When I slept, I'd wake up in a panic from nightmares. I tried to stay positive for his sake, as well as his worried parents, but truly, my mental state was being held together by an imaginary strip of duct tape that wasn't very sticky anymore because it was covered in cat hair. I couldn't be in the room with him when he needed me the most, and it was devastating. I'm so glad we live in the day and age of Facetime and messaging, so we could at least keep in touch with each other. And thank goodness for our support system of family and friends. We both love you all so, so very much.

Nothing prepares you for this. Nothing prepares you for being the sole caregiver to your life partner and feeling totally lost. I'm definitely never going to be the same again, whoever I was before all of this. But I have my partner back. My favourite person. He winces when he has to sneeze or stand up after sitting too long, but he's eating pizza and playing video games like a beast. We're both not fully recovered, but we're well on our way.

This comic was inspired by some of the experiences we had while navigating the health care system. I'll make this part brief since I've already written you an essay:

- Lots of people yelling at nurses and emergency responders.

- A man actually ripping off his mask in the ER, swearing at everyone and coughing everywhere.

- Really, really sick people waiting hours and hours for help, some of whom lay in stretchers lining the narrow hallways.

- Clinics and labs just LOSING Geoff's test results, and having to have tests repeated.

- Exhausted nurses doing the ABSOLUTE MOST for everyone as much as possible, while keeping patients calm. If anyone made this entire process manageable, it was the work of those nurses. I was able to phone them at any hour of the night and ask if Geoff was ok, and they were more than happy to talk to me. It is disgusting that our government is doing nothing about the fact that our hospitals are so desperate for more financial support.

- Seriously though, no wonder health care workers are quitting en masse.

- The presence of Covid just making everything SO much worse.

So I hope you liked the comic. I hope you know I wasn't trying to make any of you feel bad about going to restaurants, or weddings, or gender reveal parties, etc. I hope you're all healing from your various pandemic trauma, and are enjoying the summer in a safe and careful way. I'm not doing any of that gathering stuff yet, but I am getting back to work on projects I've been dying to sink my teeth into for quite some time. And maybe, just maybe, I can start feeling some semblance of optimism again.

My shop is open again, and there will be new products coming very soon. 

Also, iPad art is hard. New tech, who dis? My tendonitis has tendonitis now.

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