**Note – This was first published on my Facebook account on 1 May.
We’ve just entered the 8th week since I first came down with moderate/severe Covid-19. It’s also our 21st wedding anniversary today.
Daniel and Aiden are fine though we all have had weird post-viral tiredness, a few muscle aches and bouts of low mood. I’ve also had constant deep fatigue, headaches and lingering lung debris.
Aiden also broke out for several days with hives on one arm, which is apparently an odd symptom that can occur. There’s now a longer list of weird potential Covid related symptoms like conjunctivitis aka ‘pink eye’ and rashes on your toes, which thankfully we never got in our family.
Unlike seasonal illnesses, Covid-19 is neither linear nor predictable in how it runs its course. And it does not limit its severity to those over a certain age or ‘those with underlying health conditions’. In the UK, we are seeing more and more individuals stricken who were ‘young and healthy.’
I’ve watched the medical community here have various theories, though one common theme is genetic make-up. It makes me even more grateful to have come through to the recovery side.
I am at 80% which is an improvement. This does not include fitness levels as the only thing I can manage is about two minutes of super light stretching before I become asthmatic or short of breath. My lung debris, breathing discomfort, vocal issues and coughing are lessening a tiny (I mean TINY) bit each day unless I aggravate it with too much talking or activity. I never knew the saying ‘hacking up a lung’ could be so literal when I do this about 3+ times a day with steam therapy and breathing exercises. Fun times.
In hindsight, on an encouraging note, I had my oxygen tested with medical-grade equipment three times over the worst of the virus when I had many signs of hypoxia (choking, shortness of breath, constricted lung capacity, wheezing). It never was under 97% which is nothing short of miraculous. Really, I am not kidding, miraculous.
I’m glad we made our virus struggle public the night after the paramedics came as all the encouragements, kindness and prayers have sustained our family and continue to do so. I am living with the tension of believing for 100% recovery but not seeing it yet (and wondering when or if it will happen).
In this last month, I’ve spent way too much time on social media as my activity is limited to lots of sitting. I’ve realised that I am very sensitive to all the debates, political blaming posts, and ‘stats’ given by a few medical professionals, especially coming out of the US. I don’t want to be ‘THAT girl’ (aka annoying, edgy, emotional, know-it-all) who adds needless fuel to a fire that can’t be put out. I fell into that trap once or twice and I apologise if that was you.
On the other hand, I’m trying to exercise some ‘social media distancing’ for a while from those who act that way. Because of my international background and now my personal Covid experience and research, I have seen there are lots of different sides, arguments and inaccuracies making ‘facts’ and ‘stats’ very loose terms.
No one group of people (or country) has all the answers—it will need to be a somewhat global effort for a world-wide pandemic.
And like the UK, who added 5,000 to the death count this week because they had not originally ‘counted’ nursing homes or other places than the hospital, those ‘facts’ and ‘stats’ can change rapidly. So if you start a post with ‘CHECK OUT THESE FACTS’, I will just back away . . . slowly back away. #SocialMediaDistance
Here in England, I have begun to have friends and acquaintances talk about losing a brother, or parent, or grandparent suddenly to this virus. They can’t have a proper funeral like ‘normal’ times.
Or, since we went public as a family, I have had multiple old friends (or even ones I hardly know), message me they are scared/concerned because they came down with the virus days ago but now it seems to have gotten worse or they may have another infection.
And even if it is not required (though it may be), I will wear a mask when I can go out again, as there is no guarantee of immunity, my poor lungs couldn’t handle a small cold, and I don’t want to freak you out with the occasional hacking cough.
These are painful, confusing and odd times for almost everyone on the planet filled with an assortment of grief.
I want to have self-compassion and compassion for others.
I want to see BEYOND the latest disgruntled post or latest FACT or STAT to the personal hurt that lies beneath and choose not to be offended. And I want to see beyond in our own family when they react because we have not had our regular emotional buffers. We are spending SO MUCH TIME together as a family, and as fantastic as they are, we still have our moments of (*cue sarcasm) ‘fun family times’.
And though Daniel and I were supposed to be on a romantic coastal getaway for our 21st wedding anniversary, we now will spend it with me coughing up half my lungs (again), not eating a candlelit dinner at our favourite restaurant (sob), and watching a family movie (again) with our two teenagers and a cat in a very unromantic way.
That’s ok. It really, really is because I’m just so flippin’ grateful to be alive to celebrate 21 years with my wonderful, kind, generous husband, who has kept the house together and endlessly served me in these last two months. **For some who have asked, yes, please share if this is helpful.