Monday, February 15, 2021

COVID and me

 So, for those of you who weren't aware, my daughter and I contracted COVID.

From my 73 yo mother... because she and her co-workers in the small office where she works decided they were just a handful of people and all being "careful" so they didn't need to wear masks... and her boss came in sick and gave it to them all.  (Yes, I'm still quite salty about the fact.)

My mother quarantined after her boss's positive test, but got a false negative test and came out of quarantine to share the good news (and her illness.) Three days later, she had symptoms and a positive test.

I tested positive soon after.

The Wednesday before my positive test, I started getting what I thought was a sinus infection. I, and my doctor via virtual visit, was quite sure it was only a sinus infection. Sinus pain and pressure isn't a regular symptom of COVID. But then my mom's positive test sent me to get a test of my own, and lo and behold... COVID.

The first few days weren't terrible. The sinus pain and pressure, as stated. Sore throat. Congestion. Exhaustion. Terrible headaches.

But then the body aches hit. I started waking up every morning feeling like I'd been beaten. Particularly in my lower back. Dual-action Advil and a heating pad worked well enough for those... until the heat flashes hit and I started sweating like a pig... but no worries, the cold chills would be coming not long behind, followed later by another round of sweating. It went on like that for days.

Simply fixing myself a cup of hot tea and a piece of toast in the morning would wear me out and make me break out in a sweat.

Day 3 or 4, I lost my sense of taste and smell.

Those were the worst symptoms for days 5-6... but then the coughing really started to kick in. I spent days in coughing fits, to the point I ultimately damaged my throat from it. Breathing grew harder and harder by the day and sometime around day 9, I broke down crying, sure I was going to lose the ability to breathe. Thankfully, I remembered my inhaler and dug it out... and it helped me get some air into my lungs. The damned thing was expired, so I'd use two puffs for one and luckily it still had enough power to help me.

Days 9 and 10 were the worst for me. I couldn't speak... it simply took too much air that my lungs didn't have to give. I laid in my big chair and panted for air... dared not move because it took too much energy.

Then day 11 dawned and I was able to take a deep breath for the first time in days. I was still utterly exhausted, but it was a step in the right direction.

Today is day 12 and it's a little bit better than yesterday. I actually showered this morning and I can't tell you when the last day I did that was. I got one in around day 4-5, I think but the days just kind of blend together. I NEED to get out of this tomb of a house... so as soon as my daughter takes her own shower and gets dressed, we're going to take a ride. Not a long one, but enough to get TF out of here for a while. 

Just an FYI, we're allowed out of quarantine after 10 days since symptoms began and have no fever... we're past that point, so we won't be spreading disease. Plus, we only plan to ride, not stop anywhere.

Oh, and yesterday, I ate a piece of pineapple and I'm fairly sure I actually tasted it. Not 100% but there was definitely a bit of familiarity. It's been really odd, the loss of taste. I went to culinary school and I remember how much my chef instructors talked about "mouth feel" and how important that was. Certain foods had to have a certain level of satisfaction from the fat involved.You know how a creamy Mac and cheese feels really good on your tongue? Certain foods have to feel a certain way for us to truly enjoy them. I didn't realize just how important mouth feel was until I had no taste. As I ate certain foods, the feel of them in my mouth caused my brain to attempt to fill in the blanks, I think. There were moments I wasn't sure if I actually tasted something or the memory of what it tasted like was there. 

Of course, that's when I ate. I didn't really feel like eating much, and I still haven't had much food. In 12 days, I've lost 18 pounds. Silver lining? Meh, maybe.

So... hopefully in the coming days, things will start returning to somewhat normal. I'll continue to mask and avoid people, because there IS a small risk of re-infection and there's no way I'd wish to go through this again. Hopefully my sense of taste will continue to return and I'll feel stronger. My daughter's was thankfully milder than mine and she's only suffered half what I did. My mother is still in bed, but slowly recovering.

This bout of illness has, of course, delayed the new book. I hope to get back on it this week. I really wanted to release it this month, but it might have to be pushed to early March. We shall see how recovery goes.

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