Did you even know this was a thing?

I didn’t.  And I have it. 

I have always had a “potty mouth” but never one that actually tastes like it.

Until now.

As I have posted, I have the little “c” (Covid-19).  My third day of having symptoms and I was really, really sick.  Not put me in a hospital sick, but starting to wonder.  I couldn’t breathe, because my entire respiratory system seemed to be packed solid with snot.  And because I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t sleep.

Put a pencil under my chin and call me shit on a stick. That’s how I felt.

And of course, my HMO’s website was all fucked up.  I couldn’t even log on. 

Eventually, I was able to get a message to my doctor (who told me she was filling in for 5 other doctors who were out – getting a little crazy out there again, folks) and she decided to prescribe me the Pfizer anti-viral combo-drug called Paxlovid (it’s really 2 drugs in the form of 3 tablets you take twice a day for five days). 

She said she’d send the prescription down to the pharmacy and I should have someone pick it up.


I got nobody to go pick up the prescription.  My “someone” also has Covid.  She’s insisting it must be picked up, so I said, I’ll put on my N95 and go get it and try to be very careful and she says okay.  So okay.

I stand in a long line in the pharmacy, masked up and trying to keep my distance from everyone.  I finally get to a window and I tell the tech I’m picking up a prescription. He runs my Kaiser card and sees what has been prescribed and his eyes get really, really big.  He says, with not a little trepidation, “You are picking this up for someone else, right?”  Now dipsy-doodle just ran my Kaiser card and knows (or should know, but you know, Kaiser) that the name on the card and the name on the prescription are the same.  I 0reply, slowly, “No. It’s my prescription, and yes, I have it. So you need to be really careful around me.”  (I deserve mega points for keeping calm, because as I said, I’m really sick and really, really don’t want to be there, but I NEED my drugs). 

That’s when he tells me that it should have been sent in for curbside pick-up.  I tell him, nobody, including my doctor told me anything like that, and this is the first I’m hearing that that is even an option.  So, what now?  He tells me to go back to my car, and wait, and I’ll get a phone call asking for a description of my car.  I say, “Okay.”  (I swear on my cat’s life, I did not get angry at all – that’s how lousy I was feeling.) 

Got to the car.  Decided to pull up to the curb outside the pharmacy (taking curbside pick-up literally).  The app I have on my phone told me my prescription is ready for me.  And I waited. And finally, I got a call asking for a description of my car, and that I needed to talk with the pharmacist.  Fine.  Anything.  Just give me the drugs.  I’m put through to the pharmacist, who goes over everything – well, not quite every little thing – as you will see shortly.

A guy brings me the little brown bag and looks appropriately terrified as he tries to hand off the bag without coming any closer than he has to.  I was impressed by just how far he got his arms to stretch. I get my drugs (thank you Jesus), go home and take them.

The difference is marked and amazing.  I can breathe again.  The fever has gone down.  All my joints and muscles stop aching (except for the usual aches and pains from being a fat OLD lady).  Holy crap!  This stuff is miraculous. 

After dinner though, I start to notice a weird taste in my mouth.  Bitter, really, really bitter and a bit metallic.  I had been eating some salt and pepper chips and I think maybe they just tasted funky because of the little “c”.  I drink some water and the taste goes away.  For a bit.  Then it’s back.  WTF is going on here?  I just keep sipping on flavored water.

I have the best night’s sleep!  I awake feeling so much better. 

But the taste in my mouth is still there.  I keep telling myself I’ll Google to see if this is a known Paxlovid side effect, but keep getting distracted (squirrel!). 

Finally, I have a moment and I actually think to Google and sure as shit.  It’s a known side effect for about 6% of the people who take Paxlovid.  There are a number of possible causes – one of which is that one of the two drugs gets absorbed by salivary glands – so basically you have the constant taste of a unswallowed dissolving pill in your mouth.  And no, the pharmacist did not mention this possibility.

You know what?  I don’t care.

I can breathe again. 

A case of Paxlovid mouth I can live with.  Breathing is something I cannot live without.


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