This pandemic, COVID-19, Coronavirus – has impacted us more than we would like to acknowledge. The wrath and devastation that it has caused gets worse with every story you hear. People are struggling, if not by testing positive for COVID-19, then by it’s direct impact. In July 2020, I clearly remember my dad telling me that I tested positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), the doctor had called him since I did not answer my phone. He teared up and I could see how scared he was.
Story Time (COVID-19 Positive)
At this point, I was horribly ill. I had already starting isolating days before. It started off with me thinking my tonsils are flaring up again, then on to wheezing. I had every symptom on the list and still thought ‘it’s just the flu’. Two days later, laying on the bathroom floor (I’d thrown up the last of whatever), unable to take a breath in, I realized it’s not just the flu. X-rays and further diagnoses confirmed pneumonia as well. My temperature spiked, I felt extremely cold while burning up; the shivers; the headaches and severe body pain; fatigue – unable to stay awake but not really sleeping; coughing and unable to breath; no taste or smell or appetite; congestion; vomiting and diarrhea – all at once and constant.
I had been admitted to hospital and received oxygen and steroids immediately. The pain meds followed and I slept. Days followed and I felt worse before starting to feel better. I spent 12 days in hospital, after which I returned home with a lucky packet of medications and vitamins. I still did not feel like myself, I felt weak. My thoughts and emotions were all over the place, I could not concentrate on any one thing. So my days recovering were spent alternating between sitting outside in the sunlight, and sleeping in isolation; steaming, nebulizing and binging on vitamins.
The Road Back
Eventually, I got back into the swing of things even though I feel like I am still recovering. The shortness of breath has not disappeared, nor has the fatigue or regular headaches; but I’ve learned to manage them. Here’s a few more things I’ve learned since being COVID-19 positive a year ago:
- Family is everything – I don’t think many are going to believe me (too many social media posts about dad’s side of the family like this and mum’s side of the family like that); but I have the most wonderful family; if you are family or know my family, you know! Dad’s side, mum’s side, extended, super extended and including my friends because they are family too. The constant support from everyone was immense. I was inundated and overwhelmed with messages, calls, posts, grocery deliveries, vitamin deliveries and money! It’s not that I needed it, but I’ve learned that when you physically cannot show your support, you find different ways to go out of your way for the ones you love. I’ve learned that these are my people and they will always be there for me.
- Self-care is so important – we so often neglect ourselves for “more important things”; we forget that we are important too. Taking the time to listen to your body and mind will lead you to make better choices for your wellbeing. Being conscious of how you are feeling, your emotions and thoughts will help you take better care of yourself. Personally, I do not have any self-care routine but being mostly at home, I have the time to take care of myself, be it relaxing with a cup of tea; catching up on TV series; doing a hair treatment or just taking part in conversation with family.
- This pandemic is so far from over – life as we know it has changed. The way in which we lived is now be preceded by precaution, sanitizing, wearing a mask, ensuring you are socially distant and following protocols and regulations that we never did before. We have lost lives that were taken too soon, too quickly. Just when we think things are starting to settle down, we are hit with the next wave, a new strain, more suffering and more death.
- Taking care of my mental health – this is something I do not like talking about. Stress and anxiety is real, I handle it well until I can’t handle it anymore. After being admitted, I learned that my dad had tested positive as well as my uncle who lives with us. Both were not doing great and needed to be hospitalized. They could have only gotten the virus from me, I was responsible for putting them at risk. I blamed myself for their suffering and it’s taken a lot of convincing that we did the best we could for everyone. Mental health care is no joke, if you need to speak to someone – pretty please reach out for help!
- I am so grateful – for surviving a virus that has and continues to wreak havoc worldwide. So many people have not been so lucky, so many families lost loved ones, companies and small businesses closing down, financial burdens on everyone, the list seems endless. I would have never got through this without my dear sister, words fail me here (you know my heart). I am grateful for being able to breathe again, to be able to do everything we take for granted. For having a job through this struggle and being in a position to help others. I am so grateful for this life right now.
Where to from here…Still in the COVID-19 Pandemic
There is only one place to go – home. I still have a long way to go until I am completely comfortable going out, and especially travelling, even after following all the protocols, COVID-19 is not bowing down. So until a time when this virus is not threatening, let’s take every precaution we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Check out my article – Positive Vibes Only, through COVID-19
**I have tried to write this so many times, and could never really find the words. My emotions have got the better of me on this one.