It was a Sunday evening in early November. I was lying on the sofa watching TV and my body was aching far more than it usually does. Shooting pains pinging against my flesh, my clothes hurt my skin and eyeballs ached. I had a gross taste in my mouth. And I was really cold. Probably a bad flare, I thought, while reluctantly pushing myself off the couch. I went into the bathroom to rummage around for the thermometer. I'd been relying heavily on that thermometer since March. Ever since covid happened, each time I felt crummy I'd take my temperature to decipher if my symptoms were a flare or if I had indeed contracted covid. Fever is not a fibro symptom for me so I figured as long as I didn't experience a temperature spike, I was dealing with fibro. For seven months my logic held steady. Flopping back down onto the sofa, I pushed the button and stuck the stick under my tongue. 99.4. Shit. I'm usually around 97.5 so this reading, given my other symptoms, registered as a low-grade fever.
Still unconvinced, I writhed around for the rest of the evening as I continued to feel worse. Advil would've helped but given the serious nature of covid, I needed to let the symptoms bloom to see if they went away (fibro) or increased (a flu but hopefully not covid). At midnight I went to bed and took my temp again. 99.9. Not going in the right direction. Seeking peace of mind that it was just the common flu, I went onto the CDC website and made an appointment for a covid test the next day. I froze in a feverish half-sleep all night and woke up feeling awful. In the morning my temp was 100.4. So I relented and took some Advil. My money was still on the old-fashioned flu because nothing had hit my lungs, which is what covid did, right? Yet I had no coughing, no congestion, no shortness of breath.
On Monday night I tested positive for covid-19. I immediately slid into a hyper-paranoid state, obsessing over every physical symptom being the beginning of the end as I waited for it to kill me. But it's a strange virus. I had a fever for like three days that easily abated with Tylenol. My doctor told me to get a pulse oximeter and my blood oxygen levels remained in the high 90s. I had a sore throat, some days but not others. And my taste and smell abated for a week but never fully went away. Mainly I slept like 18 hours a day for around three weeks. I would wake up, eat and get dressed, and fall back asleep. Toothpicks couldn't have propped open my eyelids but I was too tired to care. Everyone who depended on me for anything got ignored. Yet it was not the worst flu I've ever had. I'll admit, I was having flashbacks to when I had CFS/ME. Was this going to last forever and destroy my life too? But honestly I was too tired to care. Being awake for six hours a day doesn't leave much time for freaking out.
I would say it took over two months before I felt like covid was gone for good. Not that I was sick the whole time, but I would frequently wake up feeling crummy and figured this was it. The "deadly" part of this virus had finally gripped me. Yet it never did. I don't know if increasing my vitamin D and zinc supplements made a difference, or if the daily aspirin my doctor recommended helped, or if doubling up on my antiviral med (not remdesivir but in the same family. Also, not something my doctor told me to do) stopped it from becoming an extreme case. I'll never know. I'll never know why I didn't give it to my husband. I'll never know why it kills some people and for me was a moderate flu. And I'll never know why a mysterious virus invaded my body sixteen years ago, gave me CFS/ME and fibro, and never left. But covid was a flash in the pan for me.
If you're so inclined, drop me a comment to let me know how covid or the side effects of living in lockdown have impacted you.
Thanks for joining,