I’ve had some questions about what it was like when I came down with the virus last October/November. I thought I’d go ahead and share to document what I went through and maybe it will be a help to someone that has some questions or possibly some fear in dealing with all the unknowns of it.
To begin with, if you have kept up with my journey from last year, you know that I was on the tail end of the anxiety issues that I was struggling with when the virus hit. So, my emotions were very heavy as in understanding why I was having to deal with this unknown scary virus while trying to heal my mind from the fear that had consumed me for the past several months. What a journey! Again, in a million years, I would have never thought I would have gone through what I did. I still question it and all I can come up with right now is to deal with things that I pushed down for years and then use what I learned to possibly help someone else. If you haven’t ever gone through something like that, I don’t think you can even imagine the struggle and turmoil you can suffer from it all. Okay…enough of that…let’s talk about the virus!
Last October (2020) on the 30th, we were at our get away home in the Texas Hill Country. Our daughter, son-in -law and all the cutie pies were coming over for a get together. I worked most of the day getting games together, running to the grocery for last minute items and setting up a chocolate fountain with all the treats. I was having fun, but, I had a slight headache. I brushed it off as allergies. I usually don’t struggle with allergies, but I was telling myself it was allergies. I took some Advil and moved on. The evening came and what fun it was. My headache was getting worse. I also had zero appetite….which is good sign something isn’t clicking with me. Everyone left and I cleaned up and I then had a cough. I went to bed and coughed through the night. Every time I coughed, my head felt like it was going to burst open. I would hold my head to cough to ease the pain. I was a bit worried… but, still kept saying it was allergies. I stayed in bed most of the next day. I missed the big party with the kids that night and couldn’t decide if I was more sad about that or the fear that something was up. After all, I had worked hard to get my I Love Lucy costume ready and now it was a bust….no Lucy and Ricky this year! I began taking my temperature that afternoon and I was running a low temp of 99.
I was like you, probably. I had been staying home as much as possible. I ordered my groceries 95% of the time. I can count on one hand how many times I went to the store or anywhere. I had sanitizing wipes with me 24/7. I wiped everything down. I wore my mask everywhere! I’m the queen of germ fighting!
Back to my story…
During that first day, I would have moments where I felt pretty good. I would get up and try to do something around the house, but, within a few minutes I felt horrible again. Back to bed. The next day we had some friends that were in the area and they were coming to visit for the afternoon and the guys were going to golf. I had told them how I was feeling but thought it was “allergies” or something. The guys golfed and I visited with my friend. I felt okay, but not great. I stayed far from her. We picked up lunch and I didn’t touch anything that was hers. In the back of my mind I was scared. After they left late that afternoon, back to bed I went. I began taking some immune builder supplements and I took Tylenol cold and flu to sleep.
We drove back to west Texas the next day. I kept feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was struggling with more fear. The fear that I had worked so hard on. I was trusting the Lord and at the same time, my mind was telling me that I was going down and I wasn’t going to be able to breathe. Jim knew I was scared and he would assure me I was okay. That 5 hour drive home was hard as I put the air vents on my face and concentrated on breathing. During my time of anxiety and when I got choked during a meal, which is another crazy story, the fear of not being able to breathe was one of the main things that I couldn’t shake!
We made it home and back to bed I went. My temperature would get up to 102 and then go back down. I was a wreck……mainly due to my mind. All the pictures I had seen on television constantly went through my mind. My cough wasn’t too bad, but enough to know it wasn’t normal. I also had a spot in my back that hurt terribly. This went on for the next couple of days. I began telling myself it was a cold, so I hung on not wanting to go get tested. Then Thursday afternoon came.
I got up and took my immune builder and by the way, it tastes and smells pretty bad. When I crawled back in bed I had the thought. “I didn’t taste that tablet I just took and it usually tastes terrible.” I went back to the kitchen and opened up the bottle and took a sniff of the terrible smelling and tasting tablets. I didn’t smell a thing. I had always heard that peanut butter is a smell you don’t want to lose, so I went to the pantry, opened up the jar and took a big sniff. Nothing! That’s when I thought, “okay, this is serious.” Losing taste and smell was one of the symptoms that I heard was part of the “virus.” Our doctors office was a pretty good drive away and I heard that people were going to a clinic in our neighborhood area. So I called them and they said if I came right then they could get me in before they closed at 5. Jim ran me up there. I could hardly hold my head up as I felt awful. I had to stay in the car until they came and got me. Finally, it was my turn. I was terrified. If you keep up with me, you know I have another one of those fears…doctors! I have never really gone to a doctor unless I had too and this past year, I have seen my share of doctors to make up for the 60 years of not having to go. Anyway, they were so nice and kind and they knew I was scared out of my mind. I know, I’m terrible! They did the little test. They used a long Q Tip type thing that is as long as my face. I thought they were going to just swab the nostril a bit and we’d move on. Oh, NO! She told me to lean my head back and the thing went up to my eyeballs. I was so glad when it was over. Then she said, “now for the other side!” I said, “are you serous?” She said, “Yes, lean your head back!” Lord have mercy. I was so glad when that was over. I had to wait a few minutes for the results. When she came in and said, “Positive,” my mind was going 90 miles a minute wondering what was going to happen. All I could see in my mind were those videos on the news of the over run hospitals and people on ventilators and body bags stacked in the hallways. I asked her what I was supposed to do. She said, “Well, nothing. Go home and rest and I will give you something for your cough, other than that, you might take some Vitamin C, D, Zinc and a Pro-Biotic” I said I was taking most of those and she said, “Good, you will have a head start on it all then.” She also told me that since I had my symptoms for almost a week now, I may be through the worst of it. That made me feel better. She also told me my lungs sounded good and strong. That helped a bit, too. I thought, if this is it, I can handle this. Then as I was leaving she said, “If you can’t breathe, go to the emergency room immediately.” I heard those words over and over in my head for the next three weeks. It took everything in me and with the Lord’s grace and mercy to not think the worst.
My cough was barely there after a couple of days. I didn’t take the cough medication hardly at all. I made sure I exercised and moved around a lot. I didn’t want anything to go wrong with my lungs. I took my supplements faithfully and when my nose got stuffy I would boil water and put peppermint essential oils in the water and breathe in as much as possible. If you do that, close your eyes, trust me. (it will burn your eyes) It helped tremendously. When my nose would get stuffy in both nostrils was when I had a tendency to panic, so I stayed on top of that big time. After a week and a half of dealing with that and with the fever up and down, I finally felt so much better. Just tired was my main complaint. I eventually got my energy back and all was well. I am extremely grateful!
It has been 8 months and my smell is still messed up. Most things smell normal. The strange thing is the smells that I loved before, smell terrible right now. The only perfume I’ve ever been able to wear is Pleasures by Estee Lauder. Oh me, it smells terrible. My shampoo and bath gel are hard for me to tolerate. I loved cleaning with Pine-Sol. I always joked that I would wear Pine-Sol as perfume….but….when I smell it now, I get sick to my stomach. Jim’s coffee in the morning smells horrendous. Oh, and the sad one is…Jim’s cologne that I loved….it’s a no! One more weird thing, is I loved drinking a coke every now and then….okay, more than I should. It has the weirdest taste to it that has a smell with it. I can’t even! Which is really a good thing. I did discover that Dr. Pepper doesn’t do that…..which is a bad thing! If you know what I mean!
I know you will think I’m crazy when I say this….which you may already think that but, here it goes….
With my fear and anxiety issue from last summer and into the fall…..the fear of getting the virus was a big part of it. I honestly think the Lord allowed me to get it and get it over with. For the life of me, we can’t figure out where I got it from and no one got it from me. I was around the entire family the day I got sick. Jim didn’t even get it. Very strange. That’s just my thought. He was very merciful to me and for that I am very grateful. I have had the flu a few times and this wasn’t as bad as a couple of flu bugs I’ve had. For me, it was the fear of the unknown. Towards the end, the thing that helped me mentally was talking with a friend who lives far away that was going through the same thing. Her symptoms sounded a lot like mine and it was a comfort to know as I knew I was going to make it by what all she shared. So, all this to say, the FEAR that is spread with this is worse than anything. I’ve been sick many times in my life and you deal with it and you move on. This time it was different due to the information that is out there. I believe most of it is to scare the daylights out of us and keep us in fear! The unknown is scary.
My next post, I will share my thoughts on how to win the war of fear for the “virus.” If I can do it….anyone can! At least I made it anyway. I have a few things to share that I wish I would have known when all this happened. We don’t know what any day holds for us. If we get the virus, we don’t know for sure how it will end up. From what I see and know now….you chances are 99.98 percent that you will be okay and make it through. Those are pretty good odds, don’t you think? I don’t even gamble, but, I know those are good odds! I also know that we can win the war of fear!
I was around a few people a while back and they were talking about all the horrors of the virus and who had it bad. I raised my hand and said, “I had it!” Someone then said, “Yes, but, you didn’t have it that bad!” I just smiled and thought…..”as usual, it doesn’t count if you survived.” We don’t want to hear the good, just the bad! Since I lived, that means I didn’t have it bad? I wish I would have known it wasn’t bad when I was going through it. The damage that has been done to people’s mental health through this is very scary and very sad. It has to end! We need to hear the good and how to survive all the craziness and not bow down to the fears that are being thrown at us every single day.
Well, that’s my story…..I hope it helps relieve some of the unknown fears. If I had to sum it up and if it weren’t 2020 and I had these same symptoms, I would have said, “I”m going to bed with this horrible head cold….maybe a light flu…not sure!” But, since we have been bombarded with horrible disease, death 24/7, etc. etc…..it makes it a horrible thing to go through!
Trusting you are well and will stay well and put all your care and trust in your Savior! He’s right there beside you no matter what you are going through. Put your hand in His and let Him take care of you!
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-8
Fear or Faith…..the choice is ours! Which will you choose?
Until next time,