Pop. Six. Squish. I can hear Velma Kelly singing “she had it coming.”
Well folks, I finally got Covid. I had a good run. 2.5 years of evading the enemy. 18 of those months were spent in an elementary school surrounded by the germiest of the germies, grade school kids, and I still never got it.
I don’t know how I got it, but I do know that I wasn’t being that careful. I am not sure if it was an inflated sense of security or resignation to the fact that getting it was unavoidable. Either way, it happened.
DAY 0- WEDNESDAY: I had recently heard a friend say that when she tested positive for Covid she really thought she only had light allergies. I instantly thought of this when, Wednesday night, I had a cough before bed. The next morning I wasn’t coughing but I had some throat itchies. It felt like allergies. I took an at-home test, as I had chemo later in the day.
I have been having the chemo nosebleeds recently so when I did the swab, it came out totally bloody. I decided to test it anyway since there was no way of trying again and getting a non-bloody sample. It came back negative.
Day 1- THURSDAY: Chemo was regular, nothing out of the ordinary. My blood counts were no better, but no worse. Later in the evening the tickle in my throat remained, so I decided to test again. This time, it was positive. I took 2 more tests, all positive. Oh no.
I immediately messaged my oncologist. I needed her to know that, even though I was masked the whole treatment, I likely exposed my nurse. I also wanted to know what to expect for my immediate future. She wrote me back quickly and said that I needed to head in to urgent care the next morning for a PCR and further directions.
Day 2- FRIDAY: I will spare you the drama of actually getting in to urgent care. Let’s just fast forward to seeing a doc. At this point, I have a deep cough and congestion. The urgent care doc had been in touch with my oncologist and they decided that it would be best for me to get a monoclonal antibody infusion. Bad news was that it was Friday at 12:30pm and they had no space for me that day. Worse news was that they are closed on weekends.
I find this fact infuriating. I get that healthcare is spread thin, but nowhere for the severely immunocompromised to get treatment over the weekend?? I asked if I could go through the ER and they said I wasn’t sick enough. M’kay. I posted my story on social media and a sweet, sweet friend who is a nurse hooked me up with a place that could give me the monoclonies Sunday morning.
Day 3- SATURDAY: Becoming a pariah in your own home sounds upsetting, but as an overworked mother in the middle of 20 weeks of chemo, it is actually bliss. Granted, I would have rather been feeling well in a room at the Four Seasons, but being sick and alone in my room ain’t so bad either.
Symptom wise, it was around this time that my voice became gravelly and strained. The sore throat abated as the cough continued and the congestion worsened. A dull headache also joined the chat here.
Day 4- Sunday: I got up early to drive the 25 minutes to the infusion center. The nurse running the show was extremely kind and talked me through everything. She didn’t have the tools to use my port so she started an IV in my arm. The ‘infusion’ is actually just a push of a clear liquid through a small syringe. Took 30 seconds. Then the IV came out and I had to sit there for an hour to make sure there wasn’t a reaction. I played Candy Crush.
The guy sitting next to me claimed he felt significantly better after 30 minutes. I did not.
The rest of the day was spent, well, resting. Covid really zapped the life out of me. I tested my pulse ox often and I was always hovering 96-97 and when I really breathed deep, I could get up to 99 so I knew I was ok.
Days 5-6 Monday & Tuesday: These days are a blur. I watched so much TV. In fact, I may have streamed everything available. All of The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Kardashians, Married at First Sight Australia, I even found a way to pirate my way in to Love Island UK.
Monday was also the day that I lost my sense of smell and taste. I had a Chipotle burrito bowl and could taste nothing. NOTHING I tell you! It is truly wild.
Day 7- Wednesday: Cough, blow my nose, deal with a nose bleed, repeat.
Day 8- Thursday: I slept until noon today. Even then, I laid down for a solid hour and a half later in the day. The cough is better, but congestion remains. I would gauge that I can taste 30-40% of my food. It is peculiar, I can taste if something is sweet, savory, bitter, salty, but I still have a hard time with actual flavors.
I should have had chemo today, but unfortunately, my oncologist said I need to wait at least 14 days after diagnosis. This means that my end date for chemo is at least one week later than originally planned. This may not seem like much to an outsider, but it feels devastating to me. My summer is already dominated by cancer treatment and I was hoping to have 1 good month with nothing except a small surgery I need on my uterus. To have that plowed down by a week and potentially more is super sad.
Luckily, no one in my home has caught the virus. I can’t say I am surprised seeing as though no one will come near me and instead of being normal and leaving items for me at the door, they seem to have all taken to throwing things at me instead. My only source of personal comfort is the dogs who have stuck by my side throughout.
I am still testing positive though I know that can happen long after you are considered infectious. Since I still have symptoms, I am being careful to stay away from my family though I am venturing out into the kitchen and living room and have started driving the kids around to their various activities with the windows down so air can flow.
My 8 year old Enzo said to me today, ‘mom, when can I hug you again?’ It breaks me. Covid has taken so much from us as a society, but it takes the most from those of us who are most vulnerable. I am triple vaccinated and it still got me and got me good. It is a good reminder to always watch out for those of us who have the most to lose.
One Comment Add yours
Grace, you are hilarious through it all! You are my hero. I so look forward to your posts. Of course I’m always hoping that you are well however I know it will be funny. Keep fighting! You are an inspiration to so many. You are such a great writer. Hopefully next time we you can tell us you are cancer free.