When Covid Came Calling

A box of lateral flow tests.  The box is blue and white. The writing on the box says Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self Testing)

How’s 2022 been for you so far? It certainly started out a bit differently for us as a family. After almost 2 years of living in a pandemic, Covid-19 decided to come calling at our house. It wasn’t quite how we envisaged 2022 starting!

A couple of days before the New Year, I came down with some cold symptoms. I had a sore throat, a slight headache, a cough and I was sneezing a lot. To be on the safe side, I thought I’d better take a lateral flow test. The result came back negative, so I thought I was okay. Oh, how wrong I was! On 2nd January we were due to go to see the pantomime at our local theatre and decided that we’d all take a lateral flow test before we went. Unfortunately, both my and my daughter’s results were positive, so no pantomime visit for us – such a disappointment! PCR tests were duly ordered and we awaited their arrival. The following day, both my husband and son did another lateral flow test to confirm that they were alright to go to work. Whilst my son’s one came back negative, my husband’s one was now positive – another PCR test was ordered! However, unlike me and my daughter, my husband had no symptoms. The PCR tests duly arrived and we all reached for the swabs! They were then posted back and we got the results a couple of days later confirming that all three of us did indeed have Covid-19. Our son was completing daily lateral flow tests so that he could continue to go out to work. When I tested on day 6 (as per Government guidance), there was still a very strong second line, so I decided to leave it a couple of days. When I tested again on day 8 there was still a second line, although quite faint this time. The lateral flow tests finally showed negative results on days 9 and 10!

As well as the sore throat, headache, cough and sneezing Covid-19 had other effects on me. These included:

Damaged ribs

At the start of the pandemic, I had a fairly serious fall whilst out walking which resulted in a few injuries including bruised ribs. As Covid-19 caused me to cough and sneeze a lot and also quite forcefully, I managed to aggravate this old injury, so had painful ribs as well as having to cope with recovering from the virus.

Things missed

There were several things I missed whilst in isolation. This obviously included missing the pantomime. Although we’re now a family of adults, we still love going to see the pantomime each year! It was so disappointing having to request a credit voucher because we couldn’t go to the show that we had been looking forward to going to. Another thing I missed was meeting up with friends at church. I was able to access the service online, but missed having a chat over a cuppa after the service with friends. At the start of the pandemic, we started going for regular walks as a family. I missed spending time with my family on the walks as well as taking photographs of the birds, animals and plants that we used to see. Of course, following the positive tests results, we couldn’t do this and I for one really missed the walks. I had also started paying more notice to the birds and squirrels that come into our garden throughout the pandemic. Due to self-isolating in my bedroom, I actually started to miss watching them in the garden.

Boredom

Initially, self-isolating in the bedroom was alright, but after a few days, boredom began to set in. Normally when I have free time I will watch a film, do a puzzle or craft. However, with Covid-19, I found that my concentration levels dipped considerably and after about half an hour or so I would have to give up with whatever pastime I had opted to do. There was also boredom of seeing the same room day after day!

Mental Health

We’ve all heard of people’s mental health being affected by the pandemic and having Covid-19 definitely affected mine. Initially, I thought my mental health was doing alright, but when I still had a faint second line on my lateral flow test on day 8, I broke down in tears. My low mood wasn’t made any better when my husband told me that he had had a negative result – it just seemed to make it even worse!

However it wasn’t all negative during that time – there were some good things too. It was fantastic that, although testing positive for covid, my husband had no symptoms. This meant that although he had to self isolate, he was able to cook, make cups of tea and generally look after me and my daughter – a real blessing! Another blessing was that our son continued to get negative results on his daily lateral flow tests. This meant that he could continue going to work and also pick up essential groceries (bread, milk, etc.) for us from the shops on his way home when we needed them. It was also great that I was able to still go to church because our church has continued to live stream our services even though restrictions are easing. I’m so grateful to the tech team who make live streaming happen! I was also grateful to Saltmine Theatre Company who filmed ‘Hark’, one of their Christmas shows, and (for a small fee) allowed people to download it to watch. Once my concentration improved a bit, I was able to watch it and it certainly made up for the disappointment of missing the pantomime. The best blessing of all was when I finally had two negative lateral flow results and was able to see my son off to work for the first time since Christmas.

So how am I now?

I think the honest answer to that is “I’m better than I was!”. Life is returning to some sort of normal for me, but there’s still a little way to go before I get there. I now test negative for Covid-19, but I’m still not completely back to my pre-Covid self. Light exercise (e.g. walking to our local shops and back) leaves me pretty much out of breath and needing a rest. At the moment I also have to have a rest after doing any housework before embarking on the next chore. It means housework is currently organised into order of priority! I’m still coughing a bit, although that is easing more each day. I’m also finding that I’m now starting to be able to concentrate for longer, although not up to watching a film in one go yet. The lasting effect that is most annoying is that I get tired so easily at the moment. I’m often dozing in my chair by 9.30pm these days and sleep very well at night, but still wake up tired. I’m really hoping that changes with time.

As I’m discovering, Covid-19 can have long-lasting effects even after you’ve finally tested negative for it. If you don’t have Covid-19, but a friend does (or has had it recently) why not ask if there’s anything you can do to help? You might be able to get some groceries, make some meals, take their children to school, etc. Even if they don’t need any help, they will appreciate that you asked. If you do have it (or have recently had it), I pray that you will soon fully recover.

Take care

Lynnette

Image rights © Lynnette Peckett

One thought on “When Covid Came Calling

  1. Michelle Denness January 25, 2022 / 8:38 am

    Covid is a horrible virus. So glad you’re on the way back up. Be gentle with yourself 🙏💕

    Liked by 1 person

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