A glimpse into life behind the COVID curtain
It was inevitable. I am currently on the other side of the COVID curtain. Interior. It is from this new point of view that I decided to share my experiences. Maybe something here could help you if needed.
Besides being sequestered from humanity, life continued after my positive test. There’s the initial self-pity, of course. But then it occurred to me – maybe I won more than I lost. I could rest, spend quiet time and be able to work from home. No phone rings or no one stops in my office. For about a week I would be in a COVID fortress. How bad could that be?
The first two days were manageable. Not fun, but manageable. It was like an accelerated allergy attack. I managed to do some gardening.
The third day made me change my mind.
First tip: don’t let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security. Day 3 felt like a concentrated steroid allergy attack. Intermittent fever quickly decided to make an appearance in the COVID mix. He created cohesive COVID choreography. And you remember that energy I had the first day? Yeah, he hit the freeway. Gardens and cleaning, they would have to wait. COVID, the energy thief, had hit hard.
COVID is a lot like a roller coaster. Symptoms come in peaks and valleys. I was moving slowly, doing well, thinking “it’s not that bad”, when suddenly I faced a rapid decline. Cough, bouts of fever, sore throat, all usually striking at night. It was endless, this downward spiral. But in the morning, after intermittent sleep, flu meds, and a hot shower, smooth sailing returned. Briefly.
The following days continued, a smooth ride, immediately preceding the next torrent of symptoms. After a week, shortness of breath became the rule of the day. It was pronounced, even cutting short my telephone conversations. Deep breathing. Expand those lungs. If you have access to a pulsox (pulse oximeter), use it.
Even though I couldn’t catch my breath, my O2 remained good. And yet, frivolous things like walking to the bathroom or sitting too long or talking had all become major feats. I assumed this was just another part of the cavalcade of COVID symptoms. It’s like a giant “The price is right:”
OK, now you can trade your fever symptom for…what’s behind door number one…drum roll please!
Shortness of breath! Lucky you!
Be ready. The best defense is to defend yourself. Rest when you must, but do whatever you can when you find energy. I created a COVID toolkit and always have it handy: tissues, Lysol wipes, Pulsox, cough medicine, cough drops, thermometer, masks, water bottle, phone, charger. I was indeed ready for any COVID apocalypse! You never know what you might need!
Try to keep moving. At one point I wandered outside for a short walk in the backyard. How is it that the simplest of tasks can consume so much energy? But you know what they say about “Sunshine on my shoulders…” it sure made me happy. Exhilarating but exhausting.
As the number of days hit double digits, I was confused. I really expected to be better and back to work within a week. On day 10, I woke up early to test myself, fully expecting to return to work. My clothes were laid out, my work computer was neatly stored in my briefcase, I was ready to go. Fifteen minutes later, I carefully unpacked my work computer and files, grabbed my coffee, and returned to my home office attire (joggers) and workspace (sofa). Sigh. It was positive.
Three days later, I’m still here, not knowing what the next few days have in store for us. As far as prisons go, this one wasn’t that bad. I know I must be nearing the end of this COVID journey. I’m still inside the COVID curtain, but hopefully soon I can open that curtain wide and rush in.
There are many lessons learned from my ongoing COVID experience. Above all, never let your guard down. I was drawn in by a false sense of security. I will no longer be fooled. My mask will once again be part of my daily wardrobe.
Also, never underestimate the power of a hug from a loved one. Something that had always been part of my daily life was suddenly removed. Hugs are powerful things – don’t take them for granted. I can’t wait to restock my supply.
The people are very kind. I received so much help and love from all around me. Pride takes a back seat with you got COVID. Accept all offers of help. You will need it.
It reminds me what social creatures we humans really are. On an average workday, I have to interact with 30 or 40 people, easily. Suddenly becoming a solo act is difficult to say the least. There is a lot to be said for the camaraderie of good colleagues and friends.
I have to wonder how much worse it would be without vaccines or boosters. I am very grateful to be completely vaxxed.
I really hope you don’t need any of the information above, but if the need arises, I hope these random thoughts can be of help to you. Stay safe!