Hi everyone! Here I am on day 12 from the start of my covid symptoms. I got dressed today and even put a little make-up on. I realize I'm still suffering a little brain fog after I tried putting on a second bra this morning, but hey, I got dressed! Oh and if you see me at the polls this week, be assured I am not contagious anymore!
But, in all seriousness I am one of the lucky ones in the way my body is handling it. As a health coach, I believe it is my duty to talk openly about my experience with Covid. I'm just one of millions of people that have contracted the disease, so my story isn't uncommon, however, there are a few very important things I want you all to know. I was going to wait until I was completely through it, but with the numbers escalating, I wanted to get some helpful information out!
We have all been playing a game of dodge ball with the Corona Virus. Some of us may have increased or decreased chances of infection by our behaviors, but we cannot shame anyone who comes down with this insidious disease. We mustn't hide it or feel guilty about it either. Most of us are doing the best we can to be safe and keep others safe. It just takes one brush with this virus, lurking in unsuspected spaces to contract it.
Do you know where you got it?
We have no idea how we were exposed to the virus. I will say, we have taken the virus and its risks seriously and follow the recommendations. We did not stop living our life, but I feel we have been smart with most of our decisions. We traveled to Naples, Florida with another couple on Delta, where they keep the middle seat open. We wore our masks in public areas, we dined outside and did not socialize in large groups during this time, but all four of us contracted the disease within 36 hours of each other on day 5-7 of our vacation.
What were your symptoms? My first symptoms were minor sniffles and dry cough. I thought I was experiencing seasonal allergies. After a couple of days I started to feel fatigued and yucky with serious brain fog. I felt as though I had taken a heavy dose of NyQuil in the morning. I have been unable to focus on tasks that required any bit of concentration (It's even a bit challenging writing this blog.) and I was so tired and anxious that my patience and fuse were short when trying to engage in the simplest of phone conversations. As the week went on, I discovered I had no sense of smell and food was very bland.
The symptoms come and go and take turns on any given day. Just when you think you are out of the woods, you might find yourself crawling back in bed, exhausted— down with a severe headache or hit with a wave of nausea, body aches, cough or fever and maybe all of the above (I didn't get the fever or body aches, but the rest of the group did).
In addition to the physical symptoms I had emotional reactions such as fear, anxiety and guilt. I kept replaying the scenario in my head. Did I get this first and give it to my friends while I stayed at their place? I struggled with the fact I exposed my pregnant daughter and her two- year-old son who had visited us from Orlando. Not only was I worried about them, but the situation also caused them to quarantine away from daddy/husband for an extended period of time.
I'm mortified we unknowingly flew home on an airplane with Covid! I had to sort through some major negative narratives in my mind, the worst of which is the utter disbelief that my healthy, fit friend is still fighting for his life in ICU on oxygen. Why him? All while his poor wife is struggling with debilitating Covid symptoms herself.
It took some serious self talk to let as much of it go as I could and take care of myself before my negative thoughts and stress affected my body's ability to fight the disease. Most people don't realize the emotional effects that encompass this illness. They can be as paralyzing as the disease itself. The stress of multiple family members fighting such a dangerous illness simultaneously is unimaginable for most, yet so very common with Covid.
What to do (in my opinion)!
First, get tested sooner than later to prevent spread. Better yet, find the few locations that offer rapid testing. Get up early so you can get a spot and drive the distance if it's available and you are up to it. It's worth it for the ones you love!
Secondly, consider ordering a pulse oximeter to measure your oxygen saturation level. I believe every household should have one. It can save a life! Get it now, so you have a baseline or need it when symptoms develop. We ordered one on Amazon for about $20. You see, when you have Covid, oxygen levels can go down quickly which is why it is so life threatening. Average levels for healthy people without specific conditions are 95-100. It's important to seek medical care if it drops below 90 unless you have specific lung conditions etc.
For example, If your oxygen level is normally 99 and you notice your oxygen levels are at 95, you know it is going down and important to keep an eye on it. All you do is put your finger in the gadget and you will know both your heart rate and oxygen levels in seconds. It's nice to have something measurable when you are second guessing your symptoms. Physical symptoms from out-of-range oxygen levels include shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, headache, rapid heart beat, and a bluish discoloration of your nail beds, skin, and mucus membranes.
Don't be afraid to get medical attention
Don't hesitate to get medical attention if you are having unusual or concerning symptoms or oxygen levels. Complications such as pneumonia can occur and you may need a dose of steroid treatment and/or an inhaler which could prevent further complications and hospitalizations. There is so much hope, as we are learning of new and effective treatments. It's helpful to follow new developments and information on reputable expert sites.
My husband and I are grateful to have had a fairly moderate case of Corona Virus so far, but our eyes have been opened to how serious the disease can be, how quickly things can turn, and how fast loved ones can be lost no matter their age or fitness level. It has been a true wake-up call. As I write this last paragraph, I received a text that my girlfriend was finally able to talk to her husband on the phone for the first time since he was admitted to intensive care days ago. Things are looking up....finally! None of us are completely out of the woods, but feel as though we are turning the corner with immense gratitude!
The most important thing we have as individuals and as a country is our health. It is my hope that we, as a nation, can come together and realize Covid is real, education is key, unity is essential!
If you have any other questions or need any support, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am working diligently on helping others to understand how to boost immunity and reduce health risks through individual coaching or online programs. You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace, love and good health!
Health Coach & Personal Trainer
Striving to help people feel better, stronger, healthier...