Last month and into the beginning of this month, my husband and I went on vacation to Seaside, Oregon, to visit his grandparents. We also visited Bear Lake and Lava Hot Springs.
We had a really great time but a few days after we got home, the unthinkable happened — we caught COVID somehow.
Christian wasn’t feeling well on a Tuesday night after we got back and I thought he was being dramatic, because aren’t most husbands dramatic when they feel the tiniest bit of a tickle in their throats?
I told him that he was fine and to go to bed, but he assured me if he still felt sick in the morning that he was going to go get tested for COVID.
“Don’t be silly,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’m sure you’re fine.”
But he wasn’t actually feeling fine. It was my mistake for thinking he wasn’t sick (sorry hun).
“I promise you, babe, I’m sick,” he assured me.
I took a good look at him and realized that he did look kind of pale.
“Alright,” I said. “If you don’t feel well in the morning, you can go get tested.”
I actually wasn’t feeling amazing myself but I blew it off, because I thought it was the smoke that had rolled into the valley a few days before that made me feel weird. In the morning I woke up and began working on my articles for the next day’s paper, while waiting for Christian to wake up.
When he woke up, the first thing he said to me was, “I don’t feel good. I need to go get tested.”
“Alright,” I said and I handed him the car keys. He was on his way to the testing place by Popeyes in Tooele.
The test was a rapid test where you get your results in an hour or less. Chrisitan had to do that test, because he was supposed to work the next day. His work needed the results fast, so they could get him the time off. When he arrived home, we waited about a half hour and the results came back “virus detected” or something along those lines. That’s how we knew that he had the virus.
It’s so weird, because right before he opened the message on his phone to read his results, I started feeling pretty sick.
I felt confused all of a sudden and my head just didn’t feel right. It felt like it weighed a hundred pounds. So, I assumed that we actually did have the virus before the results came in and I wasn’t surprised. I decided not to get tested, because I had a lot of work to do and I already knew that I had it when his results came in.
Christian explained to me that he was feeling really confused, had a bad headache, and body and muscle aches, along with the fact that when he stood up, his heart would beat a million miles an hour.
I instructed him to rest, because he seemed to be feeling a little worse than I was.
I think the worst part for me at that time was knowing that we were going to have to be cooped up in the house for 14 days — I later found out it was only 10 if you aren’t showing symptoms by the 10th day.
During most of 2020, I was cooped up at home, but this was different. Last year, I was willingly cooped up at home, because I am immunocompromised and I didn’t want to catch the virus. But this time, I was being forced to stay home and I felt like I was going crazy immediately.
By the second morning, I felt even more crazy. My taste and smell were completely gone. I tried the hottest hot sauce in our fridge and I couldn’t taste it, and I sprayed perfume all over my arm and couldn’t smell even a whiff of it.
I was also way more confused than the day before. I would walk into a room and forget why I went in there and I couldn’t remember how to write articles, when I had written hundreds or thousands of them before. I don’t know how the newspaper turned out that day, because I was too embarrassed to read it and too confused to remember to do so.
Because my taste and smell were gone, I began freaking out thinking that I wasn’t breathing, because I couldn’t smell the air I was inhaling, if that makes sense. I am very thankful that we had an oxygen monitor that you put on your finger. Each time I was freaking out, I put it on my finger and it said 98% or 100%, so I knew I was going to be fine.
During our quarantine, I worked a lot and most of all I cleaned when I was done working. I was feeling well enough by the third or fourth day to do it, so I scrubbed the house from top to bottom. It felt nice to have a clean house at least and I felt like I was kind of scrubbing away the icky virus.
Finally, the health department called and let Christian know the quarantine period was over and we were free to leave the house the next day, as long as we weren’t experiencing symptoms, which we weren’t at this point.
We went to the gas station to get drinks and candy and it was a wonderful experience. You really take going out and doing things for granted when you’re healthy.
My taste and smell finally came back. The confusion and headache didn’t last long. The only symptom I have now from the virus is when I go to certain places, I smell this really burnt smell. It’s weird and it’s only in certain places, like the gas station. I am hoping that the smell will go away soon, because it’s terrible.
My advice for anyone who has COVID is to stay home. Even if you go crazy, do not be around anyone else who doesn’t have the virus.
If you have to go outside or for a walk, make sure you aren’t around anyone else, even remotely close to anyone. Order a finger oxygen reader to make sure you have enough oxygen. If your O2 falls below 90%, call your doctor. It’s also important to take your temperature and make sure that’s not too high. For us, our temperatures hovered right around 100 to 101, so we knew we were okay. I would also encourage you to call those you’ve been around in the past several days to let them know that you tested positive, so they aren’t surprised if/when they get sick.
I used to be really scared of getting COVID at the beginning of the pandemic, but I realized that fearing is a waste of time. Being cautious is extremely beneficial but don’t get caught up in the fear aspect of it. Do what you need to do to remain virus free and to help those around you remain virus free but don’t be afraid and allow the fear of getting COVID to overwhelm you.