My corona virus experience, part 3
On Sunday my family and I all tested positive for COVID-19 following PCR tests the previous day. This is part 3 of my blog of my corona virus experience.
I was expecting to sleep better last night as I hadn’t felt the need to take myself off for a nap during the day, how wrong was I?
The coughing started as soon as my head hit the pillow. I’d taken a decongestant already, so out came the vapo chest rub and I sucked on a cough sweet – not ideal when I’d already brushed my teeth.
I tried lying flat, cough cough cough. I tried a pillow to prop me up a little, cough cough cough. After a short time I decided to get as comfortable as possible and let nature take its course.
Sleep I did, and remarkably I feel a lot better when I wake up. My chest feels better and I don’t start coughing immediately.
Now that I’ve been standing for a few minutes, my chest is starting to feel heavy, the coughing starts so it’s time to take a decongestant along with some paracetamol. My fizzy Vitamin C drink is the first drink of the day!
As the morning progresses I have waves of light headedness and sweating. Thankfully today the nausea is better, but food tastes really bland and I’m still not enjoying a cuppa!
On the plus side the children continue to cope really well despite everything. The weather is dry so they’re managing to get time outside in our garden to play and run off some steam. They’re happy to sit and concentrate for short periods so we’ve been reading together but all the while their body temperature is up compared to their ‘normal’ range. I’ve been managing their night-time body temperature by sending them to bed in underwear. It’s advice that I’ve been given previously by healthcare professionals and they seem to be comfortable at night, sleeping through til morning.
By the evening I’m ready to relax with my husband, but the thought of another glass of water fills me with dread, so he’s treated me to a glass of alcohol free beer and I’ve reciprocated by getting out some tortilla chips, zingy salsa and some olives. I can taste something at last!
Bedtime calls and I’m armed with decongestant, vapo rub. Hoping for a better nights sleep.
Another night of cough cough cough before I could get to sleep. I think the last time I saw my clock before I dropped off was around 1am, so when our street experienced a little power cut one of the neighbouring house alarms was triggered so that was me awake around 6.30am.
An hour later one of the boys pops into the room to say good morning so it’s time to get up. I notice as I put my slippers on that my chest doesn’t feel heavy this morning. While I still feel congested, my sinuses feel much better and I feel able to do more today.
So far I’ve baked a spider loaf with the boys and I’ve got another regular loaf rising. If feels good to be doing something normal.
As the afternoon draws to a close I’m hit with a wave of fatigue. While I’m feeling much much better, my body reminds me that I’m not over this virus just yet.
Wile the children get ready for bed, we start decorating the house with Halloween regalia. The children won’t be going out as we had planned, so we may as well enjoy the decorations for a few days. Having the decorations in the lounge is certainly setting the Autumnal scene!.
It’s the weekend, or just another day if you’re isolating because you have tested positive for corona virus. The children continue to appear well but they are bored.
With the weather taking a turn for the worse, we have to snatch time outside in between rain showers and they’re using my back doormat as a drying areas for the cars they’ve been racing in the garden.
Thankfully we visited a pumpkin patch at the very start of the half-term break so we have 2 large pumpkins to carve with the children. What we hadn’t taken into account is that the children even at the age of 6 would be happy to leave the donkey work to their daddy while they swoop in, draw their design and let daddy carve out a simplified version of their design.
One of our neighbours gets in touch to let me know they’ve left a package on the doorstep with some Halloween themed activities. We’re so lucky to have a great network of family and friends checking in on us and lending a helping hand when we’re in need.
Today I had another call from the NHS Test & Trace service. To be honest I missed their earlier call only because I was in the shower. Like previous calls they check to see how I am, check I am still at home, but I can’t help but notice that this gentleman is coughing. Sounds like he needs to step away from the phone and take some rest himself!
As the family and I settle down to watch a mid-afternoon movie, I notice that the coffee my husband has made using our new bean to cup coffee machine has no taste. This is quite alarming as not only had we recently dialled up the strength of the brew, I was able to taste the marmite on toast I had this morning.
While a few days ago I notice foods tasting bland and my sense of smell being affected, right now I have absolutely no sense of taste or smell. It’s as though someone flicked a switch in my brain and turned them off without warning.
This for me is totally devastating! I love food. Being able to smell the sweetness of a piece of fruit, savour the flavours of a freshly brewed coffee. My taste and smell were affected when I believe I previously had covid in February 2020 and I feel they never fully recovered, I worry what the long term effects will be.
Today happens to be our our 20th anniversary as a couple so we had planned a special dinner, but it was spoiled by not being able to taste anything. There was no point opening the bottle of fizz, so that’s still on ice too!
Before we go to bed, we decide to test our sense of smell. I have a range of essential oils for a room atomizer I have. Out of 8 oils, Chris could just about detect 1 of them and for me absolutely nothing.
The clocks went back last night so I’m encouraged that I enjoyed an extra hour in bed without eating away at the morning. Waiting for me was a freshly made cup of tea – my morning staple. Today it tastes like a cup of warm nothing.
Toast was slathered with extra marmite hoping to stimulate my tastebuds. All I get is a little saltiness.
With the children excited with Halloween and all that brings, the morning is at some point going to be disrupted by the arrival of groceries purchased online.
I’ve notified them of our COVID-19 status. We have a military plan in place to get the groceries in the house in a safe way for the driver, while ensuring that we don’t get drenched by the horrendous rain that has been falling all morning.
Mask on, bring the containers into the kitchen, quickly empty them, check the substitutions and send the driver on his way with the substitutions we don’t want. Simple.
What I hadn’t taken into account was how I would feel wearing a face mask for the first time since we were told to isolate. Wearing a face mask isn’t something I struggle with normally unless I’m in a situation where I need to wear it for a long time. But this time I feel like the face mask is seriously impacting on my breathing.
I’m feeling quite congested today. Its been something that I’ve been dealing with for the last couple of days and I’m feeling the need to manage with still with a decongestant. After the driver is gone I wonder how I’m going to feel about wearing a mask when I get to go out again?
As lunchtime approaches, I have no appetite. With my tastebuds returning absolutely nothing, I’m not excited at the prospect of lunch. On a Sunday I’d normally plan to make a roast dinner for early evening with lunch being a nicer sandwich than usual. But dinner thad been downgraded to toad-in-the-hole and I’d upgraded the children’s lunch to a pasta carbonara that I can rustle up quickly.
Children fed, I retreated to the bath, something I planned for the morning, but with the prospect of a grocery delivery I put it off to enable me to relax in the tub. The children move on to their next Halloween activity – decorating some pumpkin shaped gingerbread which I’d picked up before we knew anything of our COVID status.
As I go up to run the bath, I ask my husband if he’d mind bring me up one of his delicious coffees? I was desperate not to lose my love for coffee.
Tub ready, coffee set, I am go go go for my bath. As I relax in the bubbles watching a Netflix documentary I sip my coffee, fully in the knowledge that it’s probably absolutely delicious, so I try not to let the fact that I’m getting nothing from it put me off.
One of the children appears in the bathroom with a freshly decorated piece of gingerbread for me to enjoy with my coffee. Enjoy it I did, with a warm glow that my children, unprompted brought me up a biscuit to have with my coffee. They understand how much coffee means to me!
We treat the children to some family movie time on the lead-up to dinnertime. As the movie goes on, I decide to downgrade dinner further. I treat the children to fish & chips thanks to my grocery delivery. Leonardo told me earlier in the week that he loves battered fish at school so I bought in some battered fish which I was delighted that he polished off with a moderate amount of fries.
Our dinner was downgraded further to a sausage and vegetable bake. Some carrots and parsnips in the bottom of my baking dish. A tin of drained butterbeans scattered on top. A handful of washed new potatoes before adding a drizzle of olive oil, some mixed herbs and a little seasoning before baking for 30 minutes. To finish the bake, in went the sausages along with an eating apple which was cored and cut in half.
Sitting down to dinner after the children were relaxing after bath time, I took out some dijon mustard and aioli. Two condiments that I know would normally pack a punch and would accompany dinner perfectly. I’m sad to say that the highlight of the meal was the roasted apple which caused my tastebuds to flicker. Everything else was simply a texture.
No calls from NHS Test and Trace today. As I sit down in the evening with a cup of honey and lemon infused with what promised to be a zingy lemon and ginger tea bag to help combat my congestion, I reflect on how I’ve been feeling today.
Compared to a few days ago I feel so much better, but I’m still hit with fatigue which makes take things slowly. The heavy cold feeling which I know could have been much worse is something I am able to manage but after the feeling uncomfortable wearing the face mask while taking in the shopping, I am wondering how I’m going to feel when I exert myself at the gym later in the week.
Wednesday is the first day that I am legally permitted to leave isolation and the first place I’m planning to visit is the gym!
A good nights sleep, but my body woke up naturally at the old time of 6.30am, now 5.30am. Surprisingly the night wasn’t disturbed by coughing and the need to clear congestion on my throat with a lozenge so things are looking up!
I’ve sat writing this blog without the need to reach for the decongestant and I’m not feeling the need to clear my throat! The day is but early!
After the children are up and have had their breakfast, I feel energised so I start stripping beds like a woman possessed! I know that I’m not 100% yet, so I give myself a good talking to and agree upon breaks in between bursts of activity.
With Christmas around the corner I took the opportunity to speak to the children about having a toy clear-out and somehow I’ve managed to convince them to pass on some large toys to children who don’t have many toys.
I’m feel like I’ve achieved more this morning that I have in days and normally I’d start more jobs, but I draw the line and plan time slots to finish the jobs I started today.
There was only one period in the afternoon when I felt a wobble with the need to rest after breaking out into a cold sweat, but thankfully I don’t feel that way for long.
I’m feeling hungry and rather unsatisfied today. It’s not for the lack of food, because despite the lack of any action of my tastebuds I have eaten.
The problem when you can’t taste the food you’re eating, you seek out foods that you CAN taste, so I’ve experimented with sweet, salty, sour, spicy and there have been brief glimpses of something, but I’m feeling desperate for the taste of something, anything!
A commercial for a well known takeaway pizza establishment came on the TV and I said to my husband that I was tempted to order a pizza covered in anchovies, but I didn’t carry out my threat.
I don’t know if the clock change is the culprit but I’m having difficulty sleeping. I go to bed tired but in the time between getting into bed and the time when I plan to start to try to get to sleep I suddenly wake up! I’ve tried using some techniques to drop off, with mixed results.
To add insult to injury I wake up before the alarm is due to go off but before I can feel disappointed I remember that today is the last day of my COVID-19 isolation period. Today is also my husbands first day of freedom so he’s up and out before the birds and he’s off for his first run in ages!
Mid morning I get my last call from NHS Test and Trace to confirm that today was my last day of isolation, ask me if I had any further questions and wished me all the best for my first day of freedom tomorrow. The end is almost in sight!
With my eyes on the prize, the aim of today is to keep the children busy with fun learning; maths puzzles, phonics games and the occasional episode of Horrible Histories. In between setting them tasks I’m busy sewing badges onto their Beavers jumpers and after watching a YouTube video showing how to sew badges on without ugly visible stitching, it takes me 60 minutes to sew on 8 badges. I’m delighted with how they look!
My husband pops out to get rid of some rubbish at the tip and on the way home he pops into a local garden centre with a reputation for awesome bakes and he brings me a slice of Coffee & Walnut cake. It’s quite a handsome piece of cake! I’ve sat down to write this blog with a coffee and half of the massive slice, and my coffee tasted of nothing. The cake was lovely and moist and I’ve been able to pick up a salty sweetness but I wish I could have tasted more!
Dinner tonight is a stir fry and the plan is to marinade the chicken in ginger, garlic dark soy sauce. Even if I can’t actually taste what I’m eating, I’m still going to flavour it as though nothing was wrong!
At 9pm I get a notification on my phone from the NHS Covid app. It’s a very welcome message telling me that my isolation period is coming to an end!
Freedom day, after another terrible nights sleep! But there’s no time to dwell on that, as I’m doing the school run today.
We’re up, the children have breakfast and let me shower and get dressed without any drama. We slip back into our school day morning routine like there’s been no break to it.
Leaving the house to walk to school was lovely. With the boys holding my hands we walk around our neighbourhood taking in the sights and any leftover Halloween decorations that we of course missed.
Sitting here writing this blog the house is the quietest it’s been in weeks! While I have many things I could be doing, I’m taking some time for me. I’m sitting here with a tasteless cup of tea that I plan to finish before setting up the ironing board so that I can do bite sized chunks of ironing when I feel like. Before we tested positive for COVID I ordered some clothes from Next and they’re still in their bags. I should try them on and decide if I’m going to keep them.
Speaking to a friend during the school run for the first time since we came down with corona virus, it was good to talk about the fears I had at the start of this whole thing, not for me, but for my children. We’ve been living with the headlines of this virus since news first broke of the outbreak in China. It’s one thing reading headlines and it’s another knowing that your children have it and watching them like a hawk to see how their body is coping with it.
My husband and I continue to experience the after effects of this virus. Fatigue, continued cold and sinus symptoms, loss of taste and smell, but we fully appreciate that not everyone is the same. When you see someone that you’ve not spoken to while being locked away with covid, you hear about friends, family or colleagues who are dealing with symptoms long after their run-in with covid.
For us, only time will tell.