That time I caught Covid

Monday

It started on Monday afternoon. I received a message from my kid’s primary school – ‘someone in your kid’s class has tested positive for corona virus, your child must self isolate’.

“Great”, I thought, “Yet more days off school”. It was starting to feel like the kids were off school more than they were in. Every cough or sniffle causing self isolation and testing. And while I understood the importance of it, it didn’t stop it from being frustrating. This time was different though, my kid was self isolating because someone had been near him who actually had covid.

Tuesday

In the morning I phoned the school to let them know that I’d be keeping both my primary school aged kids off. Even though the guidance states that only the child exposed need self isolate, my youngest two kids go to the same school, so if one of my kids was exposed at school, chances are both my kids were.

My eldest child though, goes to a secondary school and tends to keep to himself even when at home. I insisted he do a rapid response test anyway, just in case. It was negative, so off to school he went.

Not long after he’d gone, my 8 yo, the one who had been exposed, started coughing and complaining of feeling unwell.

An hour later I get a phone call from my eldest’s school, someone in his class had tested positive to covid, they were sending all the kids home.

All of a sudden I had two kids that had been exposed from two separate places. Chances of my family having covid just increased. My eldest came home and self isolated in his room, happy that he gets to spend the next week just playing on his computer.

I ordered us all covid tests.

The school send over work for the kids to do, My PDA isn’t happy, nor is my ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). I barely have enough energy these days to do the minimum housework, I don’t really have anything to spare on trying to educate the kids. I half-heartedly tried to get my 5 yo to read his reading book, but the kid has very little attention span and speaks so quietly, I quickly gave up. I gave him Teach Your Monster To Read on the ipad and promised to try harder tomorrow.

Wednesday

My 8 yo is definitely unwell, he is coughing and snotty with a slight temperature. It could just be a cold, I hoped it was.

The covid tests arrived, I decided we would do them tomorrow and send them off early in the morning. No one else had any symptoms, maybe we would get lucky.

More work was sent over by the school, I managed to get the kids to do a little bit of it. There’s so much housework to do too.

Thursday

We did the tests in the morning, my 8 yo was very snotty and resistant to having the tests. I don’t blame him, he’s had to have multiple tests done over the past year. One time he was held down by nurses and forced to have one, that kind of thing causes trauma, medical necessity doesn’t stop it from being awful. These tests aren’t child friendly at all, but somehow we got it done. I was slightly worried about how long my eldest took to get out of bed in the morning, worried he was feeling ill, turns out he was just making good of the excuse not to have to wake up early. Teenagers!

The tests were sent off.

My 8 yo wasn’t coughing as much now, he seemed a little better. But now my 5 yo was starting to feel unwell, he was getting a temperature and whining a lot, a sure sign he’s not feeling himself. I was coughing a bit but because of my disabilities this isn’t unusual, any amount of exertion makes me cough. I started having a runny nose in the afternoon. Maybe I was just coming down with a cold.

I gave up with the school work, none of us had the energy. It’s so warm and muggy, and I’m finding it hard enough to concentrate on the mass of paperwork I suddenly realised needed doing.

Friday morning

I’ve not had a good night. My nose won’t stop running and my whole body is aching. It feels like I have a cold, except it’s not like any cold I’ve had before. The snot coming out my nose is clear and very runny, and strangely only coming from one nostril. I’m sneezing and coughing, but I don’t have an itchy throat like I usually do with a cold, thankfully, instead my mouth has a thick coating that tastes strange. It’s hard to describe, but this is no average cold.

My 5 yo has had a high temperature all night, waking him up every hour or so. After the forth time of having to drag my half-asleep, aching body out of bed because he’s crying again, I decide to put him in my own bed. This seems to settle him a bit better and we manage to get a bit more sleep. Around 5am he must have needed the toilet but was too ill to get up and I wake to find him weeing on my bed. That’s me up for the day and shoving my bedding into the washing machine whilst struggling to breathe properly.

It’s cooler downstairs and I think that helps my kid, after a while he asks for breakfast and I push him to drink, he needs to keep his liquids up. I have a coffee to try to keep me awake, it doesn’t help. I snooze a bit while my 5 yo watches tv. Eventually my 8 yo gets up, still coughing and snotty but seeming a bit better. I let the teen sleep, it’s not like we are going anywhere anytime soon.

I have no energy to make lunch, and there’s not much in anyway, so I order us some sandwiches to be delivered. The teen gets up just before lunchtime, feeling fine as usual. I’ve been drifting in and out of sleep most of the morning, though it’s hard to rest as my whole body aches so much. I have a weird headache at the front of my head, it’s different to my usual headaches, I take some ibuprofen which helps a little.

Friday afternoon

The first of the covid results come in, faster than I expected. The teen has tested negative, no surprise, but my 8 yo has tested positive. I inform the school while mulling over what this means. If he’s tested positive then chances are my 5 yo and I both will test positive too, but the results are taking forever to come through. Meanwhile my coughing increases and I’m becoming quite breathless.

I tell my 14 yo he has to stay away from the rest of us. Maybe if he’s lucky and careful he can avoid catching it altogether.

I’m glad I’ve had both of my covid vaccines, I’d hate to think how much worse I’d be feeling right now if I hadn’t.

I order a food delivery for tomorrow, clicking the button that says we are self isolating.

A couple hours after the first test results had come we finally get the rest, and they’re positive. It’s official, I have covid. I’m glad I decided to keep my 5 yo off school, who knows how many people he may have infected if I’d sent him in.

I’m so worn out and sore, it feels like I’ve been beaten up. My nose won’t stop running, I must have gone through a mountain of tissues. I watch Netflix to get me through the day. The kids just lounge around watching tv or playing computer games. The school work is forgotten, but that’s okay because you don’t have to do it if you have covid.

We order takeaway for dinner. Despite telling them in the delivery note that we are self isolating and having numerous signs up near the front door, the delivery person still insists on handing the food over directly. Some people just don’t take this virus seriously.

Saturday

I managed to get a bit more sleep last night. I kept waking a lot because I was overheating or needed to turn over. The muscle aches mean it hurts to lay on one side for too long, but because I’m so ill my body won’t just turn over by itself while I’m sleeping, oh no, it insists on waking me up to move.

My 5 yo keeps waking up again with a temperature, I try to give him some medicine but he refuses it so I try to cool him down with liquids. I put him in my bed again and eventually he falls asleep.

I ended up getting out of bed around half 7, a lot later than the previous night. Any extra sleep is extra time for my body to heal. Thankfully my kid didn’t wet my bed again. The other two kids were still fast asleep when me and the 5 yo trudged downstairs. I made a coffee which I struggled to drink. My mouth is coated in some kind of strange tasting grime, it’s unpleasent. I tried drinking squash instead as the coffee wasn’t clearing my mouth, I had to spit funny tasting saliva into the sink a few times. I have a dry cough which is setting off my tinnitus, fun times!

I try to get the 5 yo to drink something, he seems to be a bit better this morning, not as hot to the touch. I try to nap while he watches tv. Eventually the 8 yo gets up, he comes down for breakfast which he doesn’t eat, then heads upstairs with the ipad.

I can’t stop coughing, I wouldn’t mind but nothing seems to be coming up, it’s just a dry cough. It’s hard to breathe as well, which isn’t a new thing for me but this is worse because I know how bad it can get. The snot coming out my nose has changed from transparent to a pale green colour and has thickened slightly. I’m getting lumps of the stuff dripping into my mouth. It’s lovely (obviously sarcasm). My temperature keeps fluctuating between freezing cold and hot flushes, it’s so quick that one minute I’m shivering under my dressing gown and the next I’m pouring with sweat and having to strip.

The kids are starting to feel better, my 5 yo’s temperature has really come down and my 8 yo is acting like he was never ill, he just has a lingering cough. Of course with them being better their demands have increased, I’ve had several hours of my 5 yo calling for me over the slightest thing every 5 minutes “mama, what does this say?”, “mama I want a different game”, “mama I’m stuck”, “mama I want circles!”. Constant demands are hard to cope with at the best of times, even worse when you’re struggling to breathe and can barely raise your arms.

I didn’t realise just how much the government bug you when you’ve tested positive for covid, emails and texts telling me to put the test results on track and trace, emails and texts every time for each of us informing me that someone near me has tested positive and to get ourselves tested (we know, we already did), constant reminders to self isolate and not go outside for anything and stay away from people and get tested, lengthy phone calls for each positive test results wanting to know everywhere we have been and who we have had contact with and where we think we caught the virus. I must have repeated myself at least 20 times already. It’s a PDA nightmare, but if it helps…

The teen wanted dinner, I kind of do too despite not feeling hungry and feeling a little sick. He decided on ordering chinese takeaway since there’s no way I’m in any shape to cook. The thought of chicken and sweetcorn soup called to me so I’ve ordered that, fingers crossed the soup of illness will help me feel better.

My fingers are starting to get pins and needles, it will be the lack of oxygen being pumped around my body. I always get this when I’m struggling to breathe or my blood circulation has been cut off or if I’m hyperventalating. The constant coughing and breathing difficulties I’m having right now will be causing it.

I’ve been downing ibuprofen because this headache keeps coming back. It’s different to mu usual headaches, sharper pain at the front of my head and a strange light headed feeling with it. It’s hard to describe. Everything about they symptoms of this virus are what you’d expect with a cold or common illness yet they’re slightly different, strange, just enough that you know it’s not a common illness.

I decided to google tingling in the fingers when typing because this is a previous thing I’ve experienced, and guess what, that can be a sign of carpel tunnel. It explains so much, why my ability to grip objects has slowly gotten worse over the years and why it hurts my hands so much to hold and use objects. I’ve only been going to the doctors about this issue for the past 6 years, so why did no one think to check whether it was carpel tunnel. Honestly! I have to do everything myself.

The chinese food is taking forever to arrive, meanwhile my throat is getting quite sore.

Eventually the food arrives and the soup is a balm to my throat, it definitely makes me feel better. I eat as much as I can and then rest before it’s time to put the kids to bed. The kids are starting to get boistrous again so they must be feeling loads better. I try to read them a bedtime story despite being very breathless and weak. They don’t seem to understand how ill I am as they keep calling for me even after I’ve put them to bed and told them to go to sleep several times. Eventually they do fall silent.

I decide to go to bed early as I’m feeling so ill, my whole body is hurting and I just want to lie down and sleep. I make sure to take plenty of tissues and a drink to bed with me as I suspect I’ll need them.

Saturday night

I really struggle to sleep, I can’t get comfy, the bed hurts my body and I’m so hot. My mind just won’t settle either and I find myself awake at 3 am popping ibuprofen to cope with the headache and body pain. My throat is burning and it’s making me cough which seems to make it more sore. No amount of drink helps.

Here’s a copy of the post I posted on facebook at 3:30 am after giving up trying to sleep:

I can’t sleep

I have a temperature and my whole body hurts.

When I touch any part of my body it’s so hot and sore, an aching feeling. I’m shaking cos of it.

My body is exhausted and worn out but my brain just won’t switch off. It’s causing a migraine. I need sleep but when I lie down it’s so uncomfortable and my mind just keeps thinking about sh*t.

My throat is sore too.

I’ve taken more ibuprofen and had something to drink, even though I also feel nauseous.

People please be safe out there, this virus is no joke. This is horrible.

Sunday

I somehow managed to fall asleep, only waking up a few times to change position, I dreamt about smooth white surfaces and cats.

My temperature is back to what it has been, I’m still quite warm but I’m no longer shaking and hot. The muscle aches have gone too which is great, however now I can feel slight pain in my arm meaning that it still hasn’t healed from Monday.

My nose has mostly stopped running, although it is quite blocked and I’m still coughing up phlem. My throat is very sore now, not helped by needing to breathe through my mouth most of the time. My mouth is covered in a weird tasting mucus which a coffee and some squash is barely shifting. It’s making food and drinks taste funny. I feel a bit nauseous still but I force myself to eat some porridge, I don’t manage to eat much as my apatite seems to have disappeared.

I decide to have a pyjama day as I barely have the energy to go to the toilet never mind get dressed. This might seem like a normal reaction to most but I seriously struggle with not getting dressed on a morning, I haven’t had a pyjama day in years, even when I’ve tried to have one in the past my PDA has pushed me to get dressed. You can tell how worn out I am then. This virus has really taken everything out of me, I have so little energy.

I’ve lost my sense of smell. I’m not sure when it happened but I noticed when I was making the kids some lunch, I usually do a sniff check on the chicken before I make sandwiches but I couldn’t smell anything, I gave a piece to the cat who turned her nose up at it. I was suspicious, so I tried smelling other things, including vinegar, and couldn’t smell any of them. I threw the chicken out, not wanting to risk it.

At the same time as noticing my sense of smell has gone I started getting pain radiating along my left cheek bone from my nose, I’m not sure if there’s any connection but it’s a most disturbing feeling. Speaking of disturbing feelings, I also had a slight burning feeling on the skin of my right hand near the knuckle, it was very strange but thankfully didn’t last long.

I’ve had very little energy most of the day and my appetite hasn’t returned, I felt quite hungry around lunchtime but was completely unable to face any food, which is totally unlike me. I rested for most of the day, alternating between napping and playing games on my phone, by the afternoon I felt a little better and was able to wash the dishes that had been piling up. Washing the dishes unfortunetly caused my body to start sweating profusely so I’ve had to go back to resting for a bit. I guess the good thing about not being able to smell anything is that I’m unaware of how bad I must smell by now.

I felt better after a bit of a rest and managed to make dinner, pizza, chips and garlic bread. It sucks that I can’t smell the garlic bread but I could still taste it, though not as much as normally. They say smell affects our eating experience and that definitely seems true for me.

I gave the kids a much needed bath before sending them off to bed. I was able to read them a story much easier tonight, the breathlessness seems to have eased. A had a bath myself and headed off to bed early, hoping to have an easier night.

Monday

It was so warm during the night that it was hard to get to sleep. My 5 yo kept waking up due to the heat, he’s like me, doesn’t do well when it’s too warm. Eventually we both got to sleep but I kept waking up drenched in sweat and with a headache. My brain simply will not switch off while I’m sleeping causing me to dream a lot and wake up with a headache. My body can’t seem to get into the deep sleep needed to rest properly.

I woke up with a start to my phone alarm going off at 8, it’s the latest I’ve slept in for ages. Unfortuntely being startled awake like that affects my body and I spend the next couple of hours in a daze, shaky and weak. First thing I do is take some ibuprofen for the horrible headache I have. My supply is running low, considering I’ve had a headache every day since Wednesday, that’s a problem. I make myself a coffee and try to gather enough energy to make the kids breakfast. They’re complaining about not being allowed to go outside, I feel them but we still have to self isolate for another week.

I manage to get dressed, going slow because I was overheating, and manage to eat a banana despite still not having any appetite. I’m sat near an open window hoping the cool breeze will cool me down enough. My voice is rather quiet, horse, probably because I’ve had a sore throat for days now along with the dry coughing.

The kids are being extra noisy, running around and playing with the loudest toys. Normally when they have this much energy to burn I’d take them somewhere like a park or a trampelene place so they can get it all out, sigh, only 5 more days to go.

I started to feel a lot better after lunch, so I decided to do some much needed tidying up. I even hoovered up. Yay, tidy house!

It wasn’t the best idea after all, I ended up breathless and exhausted for the rest of the day, I had to order takeaway for dinner because I had no energy to move. Thankfully there was a place that sold decent healthyish food. I even got myself some cake.

I must be careful not to overdo it though until I’m fully recovered.

Tuesday

I’m definitely feeling better now, though some might disagree. I woke up with a headache again despite getting much better sleep than previous nights. My appetite is still poor so I have to force myself to eat a cereal bar for breakfast as I simply cannot stomach anything else. My sense of taste seems to be diminishing now too, at lunch time I have some toast which is tasteless. A lemon bar cake that usually tastes strongly of lemon is barely recognisable.

I push myself to get dressed and get the kids dressed early as I have an online TAF meeting (team around the family, a support meeting for disabled kids). The kids are feeling a bit under the weather again, the 5 yo has a slight temperature and the 8 yo says he’s not feeling too good. I’m hoping it’s just a cold. I try not to cough my way through the, thankfully short, meeting. Afterwards I try to rest and drink something, a peppermint tea helps though it’s more like drinking hot water. My throat is luckily mostly better now too.

I don’t have much energy anyway so I’m trying not to do too much, I’m not sure what my limits are right now so I don’t want to overdo it and set my recovery back. My nose has finally cleared up so there’s that. All this resting has it’s problems though, the pressure in my head is intense, it feels like my head is being squashed. It’s not a pleasant feeling, you’d think I’d be used to it after dealing with it for years but it’s not a feeling I think I’ll ever get used to.

I feel aimless. There’s so much I want and need to do but I just don’t feel well enough yet. Resting is hard, you feel guilty for doing nothing even though you know it’s what your body needs to recover.

Wednesday

I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in over a week, and it wasn’t even that great lol My headache this morning wasn’t too bad, I felt like I might finally be getting somewhere.

I manage to do some housework, mostly a load of washing and a load of dishes. This makes me very breathless and it takes me the next 3 hours to get my breathing back under control. My hands shake from use. It’s obvious my body is still recovering.

Thursday

It’s now been a full week since my symptoms started, it feels like it’s been a lot longer though. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to recover from this virus, whether I’ll develop long covid or not, whether this illness will have made my CFS/ME worse or not, I guess only time will tell. But I hope I do fully recover, I can’t really emphasise just how bad it’s been and how much I’m still struggling every day to just do the basic things. There’s a long list of chores and other jobs that need doing yet I’m stuck only being able to do a tiny amount of the everyday tasks that most people don’t even think about doing. Even the slightest things cause my symptoms to get worse, things like reading the kids a bedtime story are full on chores that leave me dizzy and breathless for ages afterwards.

Saturday

I get a call around lunchtime from the NHS, today is the last day of isolation, we can officially leave the house tomorrow. They ask about my symptoms and thank me for staying at home. It’s weird.

I’m starting to get a bit of energy back but to be honest I’d be quite happy just staying at home for the rest of the year. I was exhausted before getting covid, even more so now. Outside just seems so tiring.

My 14 yo hasn’t had any symptoms at all, lucky! I’m glad as he’s at the age where covid might be really bad for him, but he’s not old enough to get vaccinated.

Sunday

Freedom day! We can finally leave the house. I take the kids to the park, just because we can. There’s one other family there who keep their distance. I watch as the kids play, feeling tired from the walk to the park and trying to rest for the walk back. The kids are full of energy and asking when school starts again. They’ve only got a week before it’s the summer holidays.

These past two weeks have been difficult and worrying, at one point I genuinely thought I might have to go into hospital if my breathing got any worse. I’m glad the kids had it mild, although my 5 yo did worry me with the temperature he had. It’s scary how ill you can get despite having had the vaccines, I’m wary about leaving the house now because I know how easy it is to catch it and how hard it is on the body. I’m hoping I get better over the coming weeks and I don’t end up with long-covid, I don’t need that on top of my disabilities.

I guess we just have to do the best we can to protect ourselves and hope we don’t become ill.

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One thought on “That time I caught Covid”

  1. Thanks for your blog, I hope you recover to your former self. It must have been awful.
    My Boys are Men, so if I catch it being fully vaccinated I will be caring for just myself.
    So hope I don’t as I have a Autoimmune condition and Asthma.
    Wishing you and your family well and a full speedy recovery x

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