My post last week felt a little bit ironic. I wrote about taking care of your body while my body was not cooperating with me. We found out last Saturday morning that my husband and I were positive for Covid-19. I was trying to write but my mind was foggy and my body felt miserable.
Before this, I was honestly getting frustrated about the amount of restrictions that are still in place. How much more can this little virus steal from us?! I know that people have gotten really sick and some have even died, but I was just so ready for life to get back to normal. I want my babies in school, I want to hug people at church, I want to buy groceries without a mask on! But, now I can see why the restrictions have been so serious. This thing is not fun!
I have had a couple of people tell me that I am the only person that they know who has gotten it. I am sharing my experience with you in case it’s helpful. Hopefully this will give you some signs to look out for and encourage you to pray for those who are sick. Every body responds differently. In fact, my husband and I had completely opposite symptoms most days. Here is what happened with me:
August 13th – I was in a small room with a couple of people and was unknowingly exposed to the virus. No one had any symptoms, but none of us wore masks. What’s unfortunate is that you’re contagious before you ever experience one symptom.
August 18th – I invited some friends over for dinner. I had not been with them since all of this started in March. Near the end of the night, I realized I couldn’t take a full breath. I thought I was having anxiety or a minor panic attack. Of all of the weeks to invite them over, it had to be the one where I was contagious with Coronavirus and didn’t know it. Ugh! Two of them have elderly mothers who they are in close contact with. Exposing them was terrible and scary. From what I experienced and researched, it seems like most people’s symptoms begin 5 days after their exposure.
August 19th – I woke up with a slight tickle in my throat. I get very bad allergies, so I assumed it was just pollen messing with me.
August 20th – My husband and I didn’t get any sleep. We both woke up in the middle of the night sore and achy. We got tested as soon as the clinic opened. The test was awful! They put a 6-inch-long q-tip up both nostrils for 10 seconds to get a sample. That may not seem like very long, but slowly count to ten and imagine your brain being scraped by a dry piece of cotton through your nose. And then repeat the whole ordeal on the other side. No bueno! Evidently there are places with more humane methods of testing. If you need to be tested, look for one of those! Later that day, we both had low-grade fevers, runny noses, and coughs. It felt very similar to the flu.
August 21st – This was probably the worst day for me. I couldn’t regulate my temperature. I would go from freezing cold to burning up. I got so hot that I ate dinner with a fan on the table to have air blowing on my face! My nerves were also extremely sensitive. It even hurt to have my legs touching the sheets in my bed. My back was very achy and sore.
August 22nd – Our tests came back positive. We lost our sense of smell and taste. It’s weird to take a shower and not smell your shampoo. You can feel food in your mouth, but can’t taste it at all. I couldn’t even taste water. I broke out in itchy hives all over my stomach and back. Our four-year-old daughter woke up with a stuffy nose and cough.
August 23rd and 24th – In the mornings and evenings I felt pretty blah, but my energy returned in the middle of the day. I even got a couple of workouts in and deep cleaned my house.
August 25th – I couldn’t get a full, deep breath without coughing.
August 26th – My throat was tight and had a weird pressure. It almost felt like I was being choked or, like I had a big burp stuck in my throat all day. Sorry, I know that sounds gross but it was the best way I could think to describe it.
August 27th – My heart and lungs felt a little winded. It was similar to the feeling you get after you go on a run and are trying to get your breathing to slow down.
August 28th – I finally feel better after 9 days of symptoms. They are telling most people that they can end their quarantine after 10 days, if they are symptom free, without medication. We need to quarantine for the full two weeks because our symptoms lingered for so long.
Here’s the deal: we are young and healthy. We were VERY blessed and fortunate that we didn’t have severe symptoms. We never had a moment where we thought we would need to go to the hospital. We really just had two days that we felt totally crappy. And a whole week where we weren’t quite ourselves. Those of us who have been sick are stuck in our house until September 3rd.
My oldest daughter is completely symptom-free and healthy. Because she ISN’T sick, she can’t go to school or church until September 14th. It doesn’t sound like I wrote that correctly does it?! Her quarantine doesn’t even begin until ours is over, because she might still be contagious even though she is asymptomatic. The poor kid can’t go to school for a MONTH because she is HEALTHY. She was devastated to miss the first day of school after being home for half of the last semester and the whole summer. It really stinks.
Remember that dinner I hosted on the 18th? Every person there had to quarantine for two weeks and shut their lives completely down. One of them was supposed to start a new job the next day. Unfortunately, the friend who was sitting the closest to me was exposed to the virus. She got sick 5 days later and then she shared it with her husband and kids. Now they have to miss work and school too. I know we’re all itching for life to get back to normal, believe me I am right there with you! We just have to be very careful. Unknowingly exposing those women was the worst part of the whole experience for me.
Since we were sick first, my friend has been able to ask me all kinds of questions. I’m hoping that this post will be the same kind of resource for you, God forbid you need it. Here are the things that helped us:
- Heating pad – this was hugely helpful on the days that my back was so sore.
- The nurse who called to give us our results said that two times a day, we need to take 1,000 mg of vitamin D, 500 mg of vitamin C, and 50 mg of Zinc. Make sure to take these on a full tummy. They made me very nauseous when I didn’t eat enough.
- Sunshine – I tried to get outside everyday and let the sun touch my skin.
- Tissues, thermometer, and cough drops.
- LOTS of water. I was so thirsty and couldn’t get enough water in me.
- Exercise – Even on the worst days, I got my butt out of the bed and walked a little bit around our yard.
I’m praying that you will stay healthy and avoid this whole mess. If Covid does come around you, please stay home and rest. It spreads very quickly and just feels like allergies in the beginning. If we want schools, restaurants, and churches to be able to stay open, then we have to avoid them when we are sick (or have been around someone who has been sick). It’s not fun to be stuck inside but it is selfless and responsible to stay away. My friend hit the nail on the head the other day. She said, “Now that I’ve been through this myself, it only makes me want to be more careful so that others don’t get it.” I completely agree.
If you know someone who tests positive these things were done for us and they were complete life savers:
- Someone picked up our grocery pickup order and delivered it to our house.
- Several people brought us dinner or had it delivered. This should be mandated for ANYONE with Covid! On our worst days, we still had to work and do school with our kiddos. Trying to cook a meal was not going to happen. Please feed your sick friends! I’m and enneagram 2 (Helper) so I am usually terrible at asking for or receiving help. I felt so terrible that I just said, “Yes! Please cook for us!”
- Someone offered to pick up material from school for our kids.
- Someone brought us Sonic drinks. Oh, how I miss my Route 44 water with raspberry and lime! You should try it! 🙂
- Check on your people and ask them what you can do to help. Our symptoms changed every 2 hours which makes the hard days feel VERY long. It was nice to have friends checking on us and praying for us. You definitely need help and support when you can’t leave your home for 2 weeks.
- Please don’t shame people who are sick. They already feel bad.
The other important thing I want to say is that there is way too much fear surrounding this virus. I told the truth about my symptoms and didn’t sugar coat anything, so that the vast majority of you would know what to expect. But also so that you would know that if you’re healthy, Covid is not worthy of irrational fear or panic. We felt bad for a few hard days. It is not a fun situation by any means. But God was/is with us. The peace that He offers is for every situation. Whether we are healthy or sick.
“Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you,” (Isaiah 41:10 MSG).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid,” (John 14:27 ESV).
I’m praying you will not get sick and, if you do, that your symptoms aren’t extreme. God loves you and is protecting you. He isn’t panicked by Coronavirus. He know how to heal us and He deserves our trust.