So this is my story,
I am now cleared to return into the unknown. I say this because after being housebound for so long I am unsure as to what I am returning to. All I know is that I am a different person than when I went into isolation.
They say events and adversity shapes your life and no truer words have been spoken. I am still scared.
My story begins like this,
Please know I am only sharing to let someone out there know that A. If you are currently sick or isolated, you are not alone, you will make it out the other side, I know this with my whole being, and B. For education purposes because I too thought I was invincible, that this will never affect me or my lifeNatalie
I knew the source of where I first got sick, for privacy reasons I will not share what that is, but I was connected to two confirmed Hamilton County cases.
I was misdiagnosed and sent home with antibiotics when I first got sick, unknowing of my connection. When I did not get better and only worse with antibiotics I knew it was something worse. but still I am naive.
“I am not scared for myself, I am strong enough to fight off the virus”.I quote myself saying
I honestly did not get scared until late one night I woke up feeling as if I was drowning…on land. I could not get whatever was clogging my airways up. I was scarred by that and started to calm my hubris down a bit, but I was soon to learn I still wasn’t that humble yet.
My 7 year old about a week to week and a half later started developing symptoms. I woke up one night to hear her gasping for air and I spent the first of many nights in her room with her up against my chest pulling her up so she can get some air in.
Nights for some odd reason were the scariest, we could go on in the day, yes feeling sick, but not sweating with chills and gasping for air as we did at night. It took her a week to recover and by the time we were all said and done with my first bout, took me 3 weeks.
I say first bout because again, my hubris came back, and the good Lord gave me another lesson on that. After a week of recovery I walked around thinking, okay I already had this, I don’t need to be scared anymore, can’t hit me twice.
Of course I stayed away from people
“I am more worried about others than I am myself”.I quote myself,
Hence, where I got my second lesson from. I know now I was not careful enough…
My 7 year old developed lesions on her toes one day, they sort of looked like these pink welts that itched her. They went away but then I developed them, mine never went away, but only got worse and then turned purple.
After a week of lesions on my toes, my cough came back and a certain familiar wheeze. My 7 year old also developed a hive like rash, from head to toe. A certain familiar wheeze developed in her as well.
Followed by this, some newer symptoms developed, a weird abdominal pain, as if someone punched you in the gut. We were not nauseous but we certainly did not want to eat. I would say it was the searing headache and then dizziness that caused me to no longer be able to even sit at my computer for long periods of time.
I had to go into my doctor’s office for a chest x-ray at one point and had felt so dizzy. I ended up having my husband drive me as I couldn’t even see road signs straight.
Sometime during this, as if I wasn’t in the dumps enough, my precious Pop-Pop was tested for the virus as well. (No he was not connected with me, he was in a nursing home and another employee had tested positive there). I remember praying at night as hard as I could that he would test negative. He did test negative, and I thought my prayers were answered.
This was short lived…
While I was recovering, (I would go on to think I was recovered to only go to bed at night and have the whole gamut of symptoms again including fever spikes). I learned that my Pop-Pop was now hospitalized with pneumonia and they were re-testing him for the virus. I knew deep in my heart he would come up positive but I didn’t want to admit that to myself. I kept thinking by golly, my family has been through enough, we already lost my grandmother ( other side of my family, my Abuela) to Alzheimer’s disease and that was BRUTAL. My Pop-Pop also had Alzheimer’s which is why he was in a memory care ward and we had already lost who he was. Excuse my French, but dammit this was ENOUGH.
The day my Pop-Pop came up positive I also found out that there was only a very slim chance he would pull through. Ironically, this was also my last day of symptoms.
My grandfather did end up passing, and to our whole family’s utter dismay, we were not able to be united for his funeral. My mom, dad, aunt, and uncle were there in person with my grandmother (my Mom-Mom), wearing masks, and the rest of my family, we were all virtual.
My cousin summed it up best as to how that felt. She said, you get on your TV, or computer for entertainment mainly, but this was far from entertaining. Imagine seeing your family break down in front of you and you cannot even touch each other for comfort.
To say that I underestimated my need for human connection would be an understatement. I get angry at these conspiracy theories floating around as it is insulting in light of what my personal experience has been.
I get angry at underestimating of the disease and carelessness now.
After a lot of reflecting and praying, I realized I shouldn’t be angry as I too was one of them. No one will ever know your own personal experience so you cannot judge them for it, nor do I ever want anyone to know this.
I was reading my Bible the other night and randomly opened up to the crucifixion story and Jesus said “Forgive them Father for they do not know” I do not believe that was a coincidence.
We all express fear in different ways. For me, I believe this hurdle taught me to live with a little less fear.
To live more boldly, and to never take anything for granted again, especially my health.
To love more deeply, forgive easier.
I write this as a survivor. My mom and dad raised a Spartan and I will continue to improve each day. My 7 year old has shown this resilience and has not let the lingering shortness of breath affect her. I asked her what her ultimate goal is and she told me “to be better than I was yesterday”.