I decided that the best path forward was to document my covid experience. It feels frustrating but I know that I am not alone. I have been fortunate to do research about previous cases with others that also have strange lingering symptoms. To begin, I was vaccinated last spring. I did not receive the booster shot before we traveled to Los Angeles for the Christmas holiday. While we were there family members began to test positive for covid and our traditions were altered as we tried to stay apart. I was not worried. I did not feel concerned until Emma began to complain of fever and chills on the plane ride home. She continued to be feverish and threw up. She was feeling poorly for a few days but was then seemed fine. maiki felt ill NYE and by the time he was starting to improve I felt bad on the evening of New Year’s Day.
I felt the fatigue and discomfort one is met with when coming down with something. I got fevers (not surpassing 101.7) but the headaches stood out. I threw up only once in middle of the night, suffering with fever and headache. After the fevers I developed rashes across my chest and back. I felt so itchy and irritated. After a few days (with the help of some medicated cream) the rashes began to clear up. The days that followed I had itchiness in other places on my body. It felt random, one day it was an arm the next my eyelids and eyebrows. I also started experiencing what I call micro fevers. I will be moving around and then realize my head is HOT. Like I am suddenly burning up. I can take off a layer of clothing but then I am shivering. I have relied on the shoulder drape to feel comfortable. They usually do not last longer than ten minutes and are not detected by the forehead thermometer.
I had nasal/sinus congestion and the headaches would only temporarily pass with sudafed or tylenol. My teeth, jaw and ear hurt, my head ached. I was so fatigued and tired that I napped most days and could not do more that short bursts of activity. My body would shut down so abruptly that I refused to drive. Through all of this I was noticing my chest felt heavy. I coughed some. My body felt cold and tired. I had no appetite. Also I noticed my heart rate all the time. When I got out of bed I felt it racing. It was beating so fast that I began to worry. I was still testing positive for the virus and therefore staying home so I made a phone appointment with a doctor.
I had been taking so much medicine for the headaches and sinus congestion and it felt futile. maiki went to Wallgreens and came back with something stronger – Claritin D. The first time I took it I was frightened. I felt cold and hollow inside. My arm was numb and cold from my shoulder to to my hand, except for tingling electric sensations that left my hand in a cramped claw position. I did not really talk. My heart was beating super fast and I tried to focus on breathing. However it was the first time in weeks my head was not hurting. To me it was a great relief. It lasted 12 hours and I could feel the pain coming back and then going away as the medicine did its job. When I spoke to the doctor about this she did not seem concerned that maybe I could have a heart attack so I continue to take the Claritin D and all day long feel would be headaches going away. The doctor refilled the prescription for my abuterol inhaler and said that many patients take weeks to feel better after having covid.
When a month passed and I could not walk outside without feeling winded, coughing and in need of my inhaler I thought, I could have pneunomnia. Unfortunately I had changed doctors and the new appointment was not for a long time. I could however go to their urgent care. I went in and had a slew of tests done including an EKG and they found nothing. I went back a couple days later and did the chest x-ray and blood work and again they found nothing. I knew that I was definitely experiencing a lot of symptoms and I had hoped that their tests could point to at least one thing that they could treat. It was heart breaking. They did say that I was experiencing covid symptoms so there is that. I was afraid they would not believe me.
Two months in and now I have limitations on what I can do. I can do chores around the house and make meals but there has to be periods of rest in between. I am still homeschooling Emma but maiki and I have switched math for California Studies. It leaves me with less of a cognitive burden as there is so much abstract explanation in math that I struggled with post covid. I walk Emma down to the gardens and sit in the sun while she volunteers in the bonsai garden. When we walk back up the hill I am slow and tired and nap at home. When I attempt to go on longer outings I am so exhausted the next day that I have to rest and do very little.
I hope that medical professionals see this situation as the health crisis it is and focus on figuring something out. I am fortunate that I did not have a job because I would have been forced to quit. My family has been very supportive and I have loved ones that check on me and send me articles on long covid. I feel seen. It is already a lonely battle but it would be worse if those around me did not believe that all this was real. It is frightening at times. I feel so bombarded that I cannot remember what feeling normal was like-and its only been two months.