Sunday, May 16, 2021

Reflections from the other side of COVID

3 out of the 4 of us are officially considered over COVID and free to move about the country at this point. 

Unfortunately, Dusk joined the COVID party with symptoms and a positive diagnosis about a week after us, so he's still in the thick of it. Thankfully, he seems to be managing ok from a respiratory perspective, just generally really fatigued and winded. Like me, he gets it in spurts. But we're ever so grateful he's doing as well as he is, and was even perky enough to celebrate his birthday last night.
Not the birthday any of us envision for him, but we're so grateful to have him recovering and able to remain at home!

Bodie and Sierra seem past their symptoms at this point, other than an errant cough (Bodie) or muscle ache (Sierra). But overall, doing really well. I'm struggling a bit more than they are, still battling with my friends the cold sweats, windedness and fatigue. I gather those new friends may hang around for awhile, but they do seem to be getting better each day, so I hope they won't stick around for too long.

So, now that 3 out of the 4 of us are on the other side, I do have a few thoughts about COVID I'd like to sure.

First, COVID is real. It's not a hoax. It's not a made up political lie just to get us all under government control and vaccinated. And it's not "just a cold." We got very lucky that our symptoms were mild compared to many. But our symptoms were definitely significant and very very weird. 

We tend not to catch too much around here, and I am typically not down for more than a day when I do get sick. But this thing knocked the kids and I on our butts for almost a week straight. As in, I'm pretty sure we binge watched Netflix. Like, all of Netflix. We really didn't have energy to do much else. I didn't cook for probably a week, because none of us really felt like eating. I haven't had mono before, but I'd say the symptoms are similar to what I understand mono to feel like, just over a much abbreviated time period, obviously.

Second, the symptoms are weird and it seems to hit everyone differently. For us....

BODIE had 2 days of unrelenting, rolling on the floor, nothing could touch them, headaches. He does get migraines, so perhaps he was more prone to them (although he did say these headaches were far worse than his migraines)? My understanding is that headaches are much more common in kids in the early stages of COVID, and the speculation is that it is an effect of the virus crossing the blood brain barrier (isn't that a fun visual?). The headaches were then followed by 2 days of his sense of smell and taste being severely affected. He never lost it entirely, but everything "tasted and smelled like vomit," so getting him to eat or drink anything was near impossible. When he did eat, he would almost immediately throw up. By the 2nd day, he was throwing up despite not putting anything into his stomach. He woke up that day with huge dark circles under his eyes, a heart rate in the 160s and extremely lethargic. He was begging us to take him to the hospital so he could get fluids through an iv. It was the most frightened I was the entire time. We touched base with his team and got a Zofran prescription called in. Later that day, he started to turn the corner, eating and drinking a little. The next day, my best friends dropped off a huge selection of his favorite foods (Mexican, Panda Express and pizza!) and that turned the corner for him, thankfully! We got fluids and food back in him and he was feeling better. His sense of smell was off for a few more days, but seems ok now. Throughout the entire 10 days, he had periodic coughing (kept at bay with his inhaler, for the most part), some nasal congestion and a little shortness of breath. He never had a fever.

SIERRA had a couple of days of a fever in the 101 range right at the beginning, severe muscle aches and a horrible sore throat. Once that broke, she felt better, but had on and off muscle aches, congestion, sore throat and shortness of breath. She also lost her sense of smell, but it's back now thankfully.

AMY. I never had a fever, but had muscle aches for the first day or so. I did lose my sense of smell (it's back, but not completely - I have to try really hard to smell things), had some pretty bad nasal congestion and coughing on and off. My biggest issue was (and continues to be) shortness of breath, fatigue and random cold sweats. I would be sitting on the couch and think "I'm going to clean up the living room! We've been sitting on the couch for 2 days straight and our living room looks like a frat house. This is ridiculous!" So I'd stand up, pick something up off the floor and throw it in the trash. And I'd be panting like I had just run a mile - and I'd be super sweaty. Essentially, my body would say "Nah, I think we're just gonna right back down and watch some more Netflix." So I did. The windedness and sweating seems less frequent now, but it's still there from time to time. And comes on unexpedtedly, which is always fun. And the fatigue is getting better, but definitely still there - and catches me by surprise every time. Apparently, I'm not Superwoman after all.

DUSK's symptoms haven't resolved completely yet, but seem to be similar to mine, although less fatigued.

Battling COVID with two medically fragile family members isn't for the faint of heart, no pun intended. It was scary, in large part due to the weirdness of this virus, whose symptoms ebb and flow. It's sort of a whole new day every day with COVID, a Russian Roulette board where you might wake up with an entirely new symptom, no symptoms at all, or need to be hospitalized. The worry of not knowing which one you'll end up with ups the ante considerably.

On the whole, I consider us to be incredibly lucky our symptoms weren't worse. We have been told we should have at least 3 months natural immunity now, maybe more. We don't know our next steps yet, only that we're holding off on any vaccinations for a bit. Apparently, side effects from the vaccines are considerably higher if you either have covid or have recently recovered from it, so we're holding off for now. I know my doctor wants antibody tests done first on me before we make decisions on me, and we will rely on the medical advice of Dusk and Bodie's teams for them as well. But in the meantime, we can apparently run around and hug everyone for the next 3 months without fear of risking them or us! 

We're so grateful for the friends who came alongside us while we had COVID (well, not literally - but who dropped food off, who ran errands, who sent us surprises and meals) - you lifted our spirits in ways we cannot fully express. Please just know how grateful we are.

And THANK YOU for praying for us. We know that is why our family has handled, and continues to handle, this pandemic so well. Please continue to pray that Dusk's symptoms remain manageable, so he can join us in hugging the world soon!
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3 comments:

  1. Good to hear you are recovering

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  2. Good to hear you are recovering

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  3. Thank you for this very enlightening report. I appreciate the time you took to write it. The pandemic is not over! I hope Dusk is feeling better now.

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