Well, that was an interesting spring. We took a family trip to the Mall of America for homeschool days at perhaps the worst possible time, just as Covid-19 was quietly invading the country. We stayed in a hotel, went to IKEA and Trader Joe’s, took in all the sights at the MOA (Sea Life, mini golf, laser games!)…. and brought home more than the souvenirs we’d planned.
Jack got sick first, with a terrible cough, fever, fatigue, etc. Coronavirus was barely on our radar at that point even though I had joked about “going to the biggest international tourist destination in the midwest at the start of a plague.” Yeah, perhaps I shouldn’t have thumbed my nose quite so much at fate? 😉
In any case, Alex got sick for about a minute and was better. Fiona developed a high fever, stomach ache, sore throat, cough, etc. and was sick for about a week but never dangerously so. Jack got better but had lingering fatigue and muscle weakness (especially in one leg) for literally months. Rhia and Daryl didn’t really get sick at all, even though I was very worried about Daryl since he’s older and disabled.
And I… good grief did I get sick. Wowza. It pretty much leveled every system in my body. I had so many weird side effects that it felt like it was gaslighting me, since the news certainly wasn’t reporting things like numb toes, bursting blood vessels in your legs, phantom heart attacks, tingling limbs, hypothermia (my body temp dropped to 93.7 twice) or your body inexplicably forgetting to breathe when you fall asleep, just to name a few of the weirder manifestations.
I spent over two months doing breathing exercises (I cannot recommend those enough to protect your lungs, prevent pneumonia, calm anxiety, decrease blood pressure, increase lung capacity and raise your oxygen levels), drinking massive amounts of water (ditto, cannot stress this one enough), taking hot steamy baths and medicating round-the-clock with kitchen/nature remedies that I used to manage and conquer the whack-a-mole of symptoms that is coronavirus. Daryl foraged me nettles every morning for weeks to make me strong nettle tea and I also relied on fresh garlic (you must finely mince it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before taking it to activate the alicin, and then remember to take it 2-3 times a day just as you would meds), elderberry, ginger (a very potent antiviral that is also excellent for many of the parts of the body this attacks), apple cider vinegar, fermented foods and drinks like kombucha, etc.
Two months into my illness I finally was able to see my doctor and she told me to keep doing “exactly what you’re doing” because all of my levels were so high for things like iron and white blood cell counts. Now three months from our initial sickness, Jack and I are still recovering (he is still weak and tires easily, I still have some numb toes and muscle/joint pain) but we’re firmly in the post-viral phase of recovery and long past the terrifying actual illness.
I have found a lot of ways to find the blessings this gave me. I learned a lot about the honestly impressive power of affirmations, meditation and deep breathing, and the importance of finally prioritizing sleep, stress relief and real self care. I spent time every day on our roof balcony doing light yoga and stretching and getting sunshine for vitamin D. I went for walks and bike rides with the kids to make sure I got light exercise every day that I could (there’s about a month that’s pretty much a blur though). I’ve lost weight and toned my body. I gave up coffee and lost my hot flashes in the process. I gave up wine for a month or two but Daryl and Tiffany convinced me that it would be okay if I wanted to imbibe again and boy, did I want to after all that. 🙂 I spent my time doing things I enjoyed like reading and reviewing books, working in the garden, watching Netflix and Hulu with the kids, and spending quality time with Daryl. And we all made it.
It was intense and there were some really terrifying times (I’m intentionally skipping over the scariest stuff). Don’t underestimate this thing. But boy do you appreciate the little things (like being alive) when life reminds you how lucky you are.
If you or someone you love is sick with Covid-19 and you want more detailed information on the best resources I’ve found, let me know. I found that the media and most websites were really worthless for the most part, but there are a few helpful sites out there and I can round them all up if it’s helpful.
Stay well and hang in there.