The first symptoms I noticed in my body from COVID19 were shame, guilt and anxiety. It takes a lot of gumption and risky behavior to start passionately kissing someone you’ve just met during pandemic.
Still, I forgive myself for the human desires to play and be touched. This experience of social distancing looks very different for someone who has a live-in partner than it does for someone who has been intentionally single for 7 months following a messy breakup. Quarantine highlights for each of us that which we most long for, that which we’re afraid of and that which we took for granted.
For my friends trapped inside with their husbands and children- all working and schooling from home all day everyday- the value of and need for privacy, silence, solitude and peace have been highlighted. For me as a single woman who felt like she had all the time in the world to mingle, date and partner with someone- it’s been highlighted that time’s a tickin, nothing is as it seems and the future is uncertain. I miss my friends, not hair cuts. I miss hugs, not shopping.
Jim and I had nothing in common except our wit and taste in movies. Still- he was a fit, good looking single guy who asked me out for coffee, had excellent hygiene standards and was, like myself, a fan of Louis Pasteur. We quickly realized that the chemistry wasn’t quite there, and although it was fun to make out on a bench, this first meeting was the last one we would share.
I thought nothing of it when he told me the next day a teacher at his son’s summer camp may have Coronavirus. A few days later, when he confirmed that the teacher tested positive, my concerns grew, especially when he described himself having “a scratchy throat”. I reassured myself that the grass pollen could easily make his throat scratchy.
If you haven’t been tested for COVID19, you may think that it’s an in and out procedure. You can even look online and lots of minute clinics and urgent care centers tout “no appointment- short wait time”. The reality of getting tested for COVID19 is that once you test, the results return in 3-5 business days.
When Jim texted me saying he had tested positive, the shame and panic were intense. My ex husband made doubly sure that I was ashamed of myself for dating during pandemic and exposing our children to my sickness. Easy for him to say, quarantined with his wife all cozy.
I made a mistake. “Loving yourself means only paying for that mistake once” says Toltec wisdom.
My girls have been tested and we will know in a few days what the result is.
10 days after my exposure, with no symptoms beforehand, I can officially say that I am sick. Here’s my account of what each day feels like. I’ll edit and add a new day every day, unless I am too tired and sick to read and write. I have no idea what to expect. That’s tough. Maybe this will help serve as a guide to any other 40 year old, O positive blood type, non immunodeficient, healthy men and women who test positive.
Day one: Am I getting sick? I’m not sure. I feel a little off kilter. Bedtime brought panic attacks- CBD oil helped me sleep a straight 9 hours.
Day two: Yes, I’m sick. I’m fatigued and lacking my usual pizazz even though I’ve just woken from a full 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I have a slight headache from my occipital ridge that dissipates when I massage it. A low grade fever started around 4pm. I’m happy and calm. I feel “invaded”, my speech is slower than usual. I still have a full appetite.
Day three: I slept great last night and had vivid dreams. I woke up today feeling pretty much the same as yesterday (not worse). My fever broke sometime during the night, this morning I have a normal temp. No congestion, free and clear nasal passages, full lung capacity. My muscles are sore this morning as if I worked out yesterday- which I did not. By this afternoon I was feeling really good. Then suddenly- in the middle of relaxing and watching a musical with my girls, I experienced a wave of panic that kept me from breathing, made my face and jaw have prickly heat and my hands went numb and tingly. I had to lay on the floor and turn the tv way down, breathing and recomposing myself. Now I’ve returned to normal- a slight headache in the back of my head, breathing fully, tired and terrified of the next wave of panic. After a nap and a shower I felt much better. I experienced a brief spell of cold chills in the evening and by the time I went to bed I was feeling really good.
Day four: The headache that’s been gripping me for days has subsided greatly. My energy is returning, I have no fever, never had any trouble breathing and was never congested. My throat never hurt, my sense of smell didn’t go away, my tongue stayed pink. Is this it? Am I getting better and better each day because my body fought it off quickly or is it about to ramp up any day?
Violet has a low grade fever for the 2nd day in a row. Penny exhibits no symptoms- we are still awaiting results from their swab tests. My plan is to keep staying hydrated, keep resting, keep meditating, keep watching easy tv and movies, keep reading, keep napping, keep getting 20 min of direct sunlight, keep taking my vitamins and cbd oil.
Day five: I still have a dull gripping sensation across the back of my head- it’s more of a fullness than a pain- it pulsates and creates that feeling of “invasion”. I didn’t sleep under the full moon- Wild dreams. I woke up tired, but with more energy than yesterday. Still no cough, not sore throat, no congestion, no trouble breathing. I increased my CBD intake and have had no anxiety or panic. I’m realizing this probably isn’t day 5, it’s more like day 9. I have text messages that I sent my mom last Saturday saying “I’m so tired! I can’t seem to catch up on sleep and am zapped of energy today!” I wasn’t on the lookout for symptoms then- maybe I should have been? Anyway I continue to feel better not worse. Fingers crossed ❤️
Day Six (or day 10 depending on when this actually began)- I awoke refreshed after sleeping well. My body is less sore, the headache is very mild- just a presence of pulsation across the mid line of my head (it migrated up from the base of the head). My energy is not back to full strength, I have to rest after doing things like laundry, loading the dishwasher or scooping litter. Feels like a mild cold minus the congestion (none whatsoever, no sore throat, no loss of smell, breathing is not impaired). Fatigue and mild headache are better each day.
(Last night I talked on the phone to a friend I gave this virus to. He and I and Violet and the original person that gave it to me don’t have any of the “classic” symptoms except headache and fatigue. We have however all experienced panic attacks, strange muscle spasms and even ear ache that lasted one day. It’s as though a group of maladies that don’t seemingly belong together are a part of this infection.)
Day Seven (or day 11??) The headache has migrated to the top of my head and the front of my head- a pulsating sensation, I can hear my heart beat. I got up earlier than I have been since symptoms onset and did a headstand with my morning practice for the first time in a week- my balance was good. I’m a little “off”, a little better than yesterday, no congestion, no breathing issues, no coughing. Violet, age 15 has a very sore throat along with her fatigue and low fever (99-100). Every day I’ve been inhaling steam infused with clove/eucalyptus essential oil. I’ve been drinking water with 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. I’ve been laying out in the direct sun for 20 minutes. I’ve also been taking a dropper full of colodial silver each day in addition to my superfood plant vitamin. I drink cacao/reishi/cordyceps tea every morning. These last 2 days since I’m feeling so much better I’ve allowed myself to have a cup of black coffee in the afternoons. Penny is sleeping more than usual but otherwise feeling great.
Day Eight (day 12?) Last night I went to bed early and had no fever but serious chills for a couple of hours. For a person who stays perpetually hot, it is a strange sensation to be shivering under blankets in summer in NC. I woke feeling great, back to my normal warm self, headache completely gone. I’m hoping to slowly resume exercise today and will take a couple of naps in between studying for exams. The girls test results are still not back. Violet is feeling better, Penny has a fever of 99 and is starting to feel “not like myself”. I’m grateful that our symptoms have been staggered enough for me to care for my babies now that my energy is returning. I’d say I’m 70% back to health, my energy is at 70%. The next step is to get us tested again so we can have a negative test result before visiting family and friends and returning to work and school.
The kid’s tests came back today finally: Negative. However, since my test was positive the Dr says that obviously the children have COVID19 if they’re showing symptoms. Negative tests are inaccurate 40% of the time. They had only been exposed to me for 3 days when their tests were taken. I already had 8-9 days exposure when I tested. It all seems moot now. We’re on the mend. When all three of us are clear of symptoms we’ll go get antibody tests as suggested by the doc.
Day Eight part 2: I don’t feel good. The headache came back and I feel more run down.
Day Nine (day 13) Feeling great this morning. I’m not very good at being sick. I have final exams next week, a paper and project due, the lawn needs to be mowed, the house needs to be cleaned, I’m on day 12 in a row of single parenting when normally I have a break after 7 days. The minute I felt better I started buzzing around doing stuff and it really set me back yesterday. Today, I will surrender to doing nothing while my body keeps fighting the good fight. The girls are still asleep. Violet improves daily. Penny’s low fever maintains right at 99/99.5.
Day Ten (day 14) Feeling great again- except I HAVE PINK EYE in both eyes!!! Penny also has pink eye in both eyes. I had follow up telemedicine appt with my doctor yesterday who gave me the green light to return to society ones I’m asymptomatic for 3 days. We’ll tackle this pink eye and be done with it finally….is the hope.
After a second telemedicine appt with both Penny’s doc and mine, we learned the pink eye is viral not bacterial. It occurs in 1-3% of cases. Should go away on its own. Wearing sunglasses inside because light hurts. Ready for this shit to leave my body for good.
What I’ve learned is that this virus isn’t going to affect you in predictable ways. And also though compared to the Flu, it’s been a walk in the park, what an incredibly strange and fearful experience that has day by day kept me on my toes.
Eyes clear, Feeling fantastic. Both children are fever free, they’re on the mend but better every day.
My unsolicited advice: stay hydrated. Keep your heart healthy with diet and exercise. Keep your sugar and sodium intake as low as you can. Meditate daily to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. Keep your body prepared to fight off invading pathogens by eating well, sleeping well. Love is the antidote to fear- if you are scared of getting sick or scared that you are sick or someone you love is sick- feel that fear and acknowledge its presence…then flood yourself with love and trust. Some things are out of your control- like whether or not you get sick. Some things are in your control- like how well you respond to it. Peace and Love and Strength to all. Thanks for allowing me to share my experience. Blog complete.