If there’s one thing in life that is certain, it is typically that I will get sick during the Christmas break. Be it stress, be it luck, be it whatever you want to call it, usually something pops up for me. I’ve had colds galore, the stomach virus, the flu…you name it. It’s like my body knows that it can finally relax so it lets go and lets the germs take over. Weirdly enough, this year I wasn’t expecting that sickness to come in the form of Covid.
If you know me, you know I’ve been trying to follow the rules for the most part. I wear my mask, I wash my hands, I do try my best to avoid big crowds (even though sometimes it is inevitable) and I really try to social distance in the best way possible for my job and my life. Still, somehow, it got in.
The weirdest thing to me is the mental highs and lows that you go through with a positive Covid test. I was so lucky to have the mild symptoms that I did, even though I still cannot taste and smell (which is what triggered me to go get tested in the first place). The test is so vivid to me. I was scared, I was ashamed. I was mortified, I was nervous. Not at one time was I feeling upbeat like I know a lot of people see me as.
I felt like a failure. I felt like I had let everyone down, not only my family but the frontline workers that put themselves at risk to save others. I felt like the Grinch That Stole Christmas. All of these emotions, all of these things I found running around in my head freely because of course with a Covid diagnosis you are sent home to stay in a room isolated from contact besides through an electronic device. No hugs, no comforting, heck I was afraid to even be in the same room as my husband for the first few days even with a mask on.
I kept waiting for the mic to drop. Every night I would go to bed and think that today was the day it was going to get worse. Day 4 I remember reading an article about how shortness of breath can happen at Day 5 and lead to bigger problems. That night my chest felt heavy but nothing came of it in the morning. My sleep was also effected by the virus. I found myself falling asleep easily but then waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake for about an hour before I could fall asleep again. Luckily, I didn’t get the tiredness that everyone talks about. I napped one day. By day 7 I was walking on the treadmill a couple miles a day just to get my stamina back.
I want you to know that Covid can look really different to everyone. I consider myself very blessed. I will be honest in saying that for months on end the slightest allergy attack or the slightest headache made me think that today was the day I had Covid and nothing ever happened until it happened. If you would have told me that what I was experiencing was Covid, I would have sworn it was a cold coming on or just my allergies being wacky (because they always are). Then…I lost my taste and smell.
I went around trying to smell everything. I couldn’t smell hand sanitizer; it just burnt my nose. I tried smelling vinegar; same effect. I tried garlic, my smelly soap, pickles, perfume…and nothing. Taste was another weird sensation because I never totally lost my taste but the flavors of things (which of course is tied to your nose). I can taste sweet, salty, bitter, etc., but nothing has a flavor. I can tell Gatorade is sweet, but not that what I’m tasting is actually orange flavored. I am hopeful, however that it will return.
The one thing that no one talks about with Covid is getting to know who really cares about you…and maybe those people you thought cared and all of the sudden seemingly don’t. I guess it kind of reminds me of the leper in the bible. When some people found out I had Covid, they were concerned asking about me, asking how they could help and others…their communication ceased. I am so so grateful to those that reached out to us, made deliveries, and made it a point to check on us. You know it means the world to us and we would return the favors!
I’m not here to be political or tell you what to do. I’m here to tell you to not ignore signs that it may be something else. The last thing you want to do is spread this to someone that can’t fight it. The last thing I wanted was to be that person that everyone blamed or felt it was their fault. I cried here and there the first few days because I just felt so bad that I did this.
It’s okay to break down. It’s okay to have those moments, because they don’t have to last forever. There’s people who care about me to tell me it’s going to be alright; this isn’t your fault. It could happen to anyone. That is my biggest take away point of all…it could happen to anyone. I care about others, I try my absolute best to be a good citizen, but maybe this was God’s way of telling me “you aren’t always in control and that’s okay.”
Big shoutout to my husband, my family, his family, our friends and everyone that cared to check on us throughout this time. It means the world to us. Not everyone struggles in public, and that’s why there’s friends and people to lean on. You don’t have to do things alone and you shouldn’t have to. I pray every night for those that Covid has taken from us and I pray for the people still fighting. I can’t wait to get back to normal, but I also can’t wait til it is safe for all. I am very thankful for the way this happened to me, but that does not discount how Covid treats others and how it has ripped families apart. It’s not an easy thing, but we CAN do this. Here’s to 2021.