One year ago, I was exhausted. Thursdays are my Fridays, so I’m always tired. All of my jobs were shutting down again because of the uptick in COVID cases, which meant I had a lot of extra work to do, so that was also exhausting.
One year ago, my allergies and sinuses were ramping up like they always do. I was a little extra sniffly, but that always happens when I am extra tired.
One year ago, I had no idea this was not what it appeared to be and that I was about to embark on the journey of my life.
I remember the next evening, Friday, friends wanted me to pop over for a beer and a fire pit. I declined, just wanting to rest. [Hindsight made me super happy that I had made that decision.]
The next day, Saturday, I remember feeling somewhat achy. Again, not abnormal for me at all. Wrapping up in my Sherpa weighted blanket was comforting.
[Yes, that link to the blanket is my Amazon affiliate link. I adore this blanket, so I am recommending it to everyone. I’ll earn a few pennies at no additional cost to you if you happen to make a purchase.]
Sunday, I decided I needed the comfort of my favorite Chinese food, particularly their egg drop soup. I placed my order and prepped to drive up there. Transactions were handled through a sliding window, akin to those you see at ice cream places in the summer. Masks were required to approach. I still spritzed on a little lavender, though, because I hadn’t showered. On my way, I realized I couldn’t smell the lavender. Weird.
I picked up my food and couldn’t smell it on the drive home. I started getting uneasy. I could still somewhat taste it, so maybe I was just super congested with sinus problems?
Opened up the bottle of lemon Lysol and shoved my nose in. Nada. My stomach fell.
I checked my temp. It was elevated, but no fever. For me, that was a high 98. I’m usually 97.3. However, I called off work the next day, just in case.
(Yes, I said we were shutting down. I still had to go in to pick up mail, check messages, etc., at least twice a week or whatever.)
Early Monday morning, I got a message from a friend asking me if I had seen the article about the breakout at the bar and grill I’d been at the week before while washing my bedding next door. Someone had come in, symptomatic, several times, one of which was while I was there. (Ironically, I was sitting on my own in a booth with actual walls because I was avoiding all of the people running around at the laundromat with no masks on.)
So I spent that day, what would have been my mother’s 80th birthday and I wanted to acknowledge in a good way, waiting at Urgent Care in my cold car to take a COVID test. We all know what the results came back as.
If you have followed my journey at all, you know what ended up happening. If not, here’s a quick recap.
My sense of smell was back two days later. I only had a fever for about three days total, and not consecutive days. I never had any problems breathing. I was just damned tired all the time.
Fast forward about a week or so after returning to work. I had a muscle cramp that just would not let up. It was clearly not from playing with my friend’s very active Gordon setter over the weekend as I had thought. I knew what that meant. I called the COVID nurse hotline, went to the ER, was diagnosed with a DVT and a PE. (“You’re lucking you came in when you did.”)
My cardiovascular system was hit hard. I have been on blood thinners ever since and am medically controlling my blood pressure. I have to work with a hematologist. I actually have a CT scan next week for him and then a follow-up visit. I feel like I am constantly being poked and prodded and having to visit doctors. I can’t even tell you how much money I have cost my insurance company, let alone how the co-pays are piling up faster than I can pay them. I feel like I don’t know where the end is. It is exhausting and frustrating.
This even caused me to have minor surgery about five weeks ago for an unrelated issue that ended up getting sucked into the COVID vortex. But that is a story for another day.
I guess the good news is I finally got myself a primary care physician because of this. I had been determined to find a DO instead of an MD and the hospital was able to help me do that. My care team, for the most part, has been phenomenal. My blood pressure is back to normal on the meds, so hopefully I can wean off those sooner rather than later. My blood work consistently is coming back well within the normal range. I am more mobile and have more stamina. I just had three doctors appointments three days in a row with three different providers. At least they’re all happy with my progress. Granted, two were actually more related to that surgery, but it’s all connected. But as they all pointed out to me, I still have a long way to go. That is promising and disheartening all at once.
So that is where I stand one year out from onset. Right now I am just waiting to get my booster shot. And due to a massive uptick in cases again, we are going back to earlier precautions and being even more vigilant. I do not want to do this again.
How are you holding up through this? If you have been sick, how are you now? I’ll update again soon.