WHEN THIS whole pandemic thing started, my husband began walking around with a thermometer in his pocket, enabling him to check his temperature whenever he was feeling “covish.” I found this behavior neurotic, but since I’ve (rightfully) earned the title of “Most Neurotic” in our marriage I conceded that Mitch was just being cautious. I’ve gotten used to his random announcements of “98.6” and “97.8”— in these troubled times, what makes him happy makes me happy.
But now things are worse, since he got something called a Pulse Oximeter— not to be confused with a Flux Capacitor — thanks to the suggestion of our dear friend Teresa, a nurse practitioner whom I love madly but wish she had kept her mouth shut. That little thing they stick on your finger at the doctor’s office measures how much oxygen you are getting, or something like that. (“Measure your SpO2 and pulse right in the privacy of your own home!”)
Now Mitch does it all the time, and by that I mean all the time, despite the instructions advising not to repeat a reading within two hours. The number on the screen should flash between 95 and 100 in a healthy person. Yesterday Mitch got a 94 which immediately dropped precipitously to a 93. By 91 he was ready to call an ambulance. This morning, thank God, he was happy with a solid 98. But he checked it again, and it started to slip downward, causing him some amount of consternation. Now I’m thinking of calling an ambulance for myself, just to get out of here.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.