My Date With Rona 😷
It happened... I have Coronavirus.
Thankfully, I seem to be one of the lucky ones - my breathing has been fine. Prisons are not clean places. We are CONSTANTLY exposed to an onslaught of bugs and germs. When I first started as a Prison Officer, I was ill non-stop. I would pick up every cold going from my prison, then meet up with my partner who works at a different prison and we would swap germs. Think Freshers Flu on steroids...
Since then, I like to think that I now have a pretty strong immune system. Although there was clearly no out-running COVID, I wonder if my immune system has prepared me well.
I didn't have the classic symptoms of a fever or a new continuous cough. Rewind back a week...
Friday 24th April - Day 1 - I felt absolutely fine. I was merrily getting ready to go and ride my horse after work and I went for a number 2 (sorry, TMI) but weirdly noticed that I couldn't smell it 😂 I tried to smell everything in my house - pepper, bleach, curry powder, garlic. I could not smell a thing. I called my mum (what else do you do when something is off?!) She told me to try and taste something. I tried toothpaste and couldn't taste it. Although that was my only symptom, we decided the safest bet was for me to isolate over the weekend and see what happened.
Saturday 25th April - Day 2 - I still felt fine in myself. No temperature, no cough. But I still couldn't smell or taste anything. I felt really stupid isolating at home. I was climbing the walls because the weather was beautiful and I wanted to go and ride my unicorn in the sunshine.
Sunday 26th April - Day 3 - I started to feel a bit crappy - I ached and was emotional but later that day I got my period which was over a week late. Feeling rubbish is very common for me with my period as they truly are sent by the Devil. I was getting really hot flushes but didn't have a fever and still no cough. My glucose was a little higher than normal, but again I often have this when my period starts.
Monday 27th April - Day 4 - I called in to work. As a key worker, we are eligible for COVID testing so I wanted to be safe and sure that I was okay to return to work. I was referred for a test and booked it online for Tuesday 28th. I felt absolutely horrendous with period pains - they were shooting down my legs, crippling my back and making me feel so sick. However, my chest felt 'heavy'. I was still getting hot flushes and that night my temperature went up to 37.8 degrees. My glucose was still up a bit, but nothing concerning.
Tuesday 28th April - Day 5 - I was so tired. My chest still felt heavy and I had the beginnings of a very slight dry cough. Just walking to my car felt exhausting, and the test centre was an hour away by car. When I started driving, I realised I probably shouldn't have been. I felt dizzy and disorientated but I carried on.
I arrived at the test centre and the queue of cars snaked around a huge car park. The people staffing it communicated with printed signs. We were told to remain in our cars and keep our windows shut at all times. I queued for nearly 2.5 hours and just wanted to go to sleep. I also needed a wee which wasn't an option.
The test wasn't as scary as I had imagined it to be. A nurse in full PPE stuck a swab up my nose for 10 seconds then scraped the back of my throat with another swap for 10 seconds. That was a bit grim and made me gag.
I went on my way and drove back home. I was told to expect my results within 48 hours. Once home I immediately went for a wee then crawled into bed and stayed there for the rest of the day/ night. Although I felt rubbish, I was still convinced it wasn't COVID.
Wednesday 29th April - Day 6 - I still felt tired and still had a very slight cough. Instead of hot flushes, I was really chilly all day. I spent the day on the sofa but felt a bit better than I had the day before.
I got a text from the NHS at 15:20. I assumed it was a generic message as it hadn't even been 24 hours since my test. But I was shocked when I opened the message, 'NHS COVID-19 Notification: Dear Jade Davies, your COVID-19 test has come back POSITIVE...'
Shit! Now what?! I took a screen shot and sent it to my mum and dad. Both went into auto-pilot parent mode and have been checking on me multiple times a day by phone. Their concern was managing my Diabetes and COVID when I live alone.
Thursday 30th April - Day 7 - I feel like there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. I feel brighter in myself. I've started to be able to smell the odd thing (still no taste) and I'm less weary. I spend the day resting but decide that I will go for a short walk tomorrow to really test the water and see how I feel.
Friday 1st May - Day 8 - It's almost like Rona didn't appreciate my positivity yesterday. So far, this is the worst I have felt. I am coughing a lot more, I am crying at absolutely anything and everything, I'm exhausted, achey and my head feels like it is going to split in two. I was so frustrated, I thought I was getting better. I Googled it and it seems pretty common. Mum dropped in some paracetamol and my Libre sensors. I'm taking the paracetamol religiously every 4-hours.
It's my mum's birthday and we were planning a video call that evening with my mum, brothers and our partners. I found the thought of it exhausting, but I did it nonetheless and I am so glad I did. It was fun and it cheered me up. It was nice to speak to humans without being made to feel like a leper.
Saturday 2nd May - Day 9 - I haven't really moved from bed today. I'm tired and a little bit achey but nothing on yesterday. I'm still taking paracetamol every 4-hours. I keep getting tempted to go outside and get some air. I may venture out later today if I still feel okay, just for a little walk keeping well away from people.
I'm due back to work on Monday and I am feeling pressure to be better for then. That pressure hasn't come from work - it's coming from me. Work have been very clear that I am not to return until I am well. I know I need to ease up on myself - Rona plus Diabetes could make it a little harder to shake off than a 'normal' person.
I am so surprised how much Coronavirus has taken it out of me. I don't think I have ever felt so exhausted. Luckily, mine hasn't been a bad case and I count my blessings that I haven't had any issues with my breathing. I'm also glad that my Diabetes has been easy to control. I still can't smell much and I taste very little - fingers crossed this isn't permanent damage from the virus.
I have so much gratitude for my partner, family and friends. I've had so many people messaging and calling me, offering well wishes and checking I am coping okay. I've had people offering to collect supplies for me and others to look after my horses. I'm missing the horses so much (and have done lots of quarantine shopping for them), so have been sent multiple pictures of them to help keep me sane.
Hopefully yesterday was the peak for me and now the virus will start to leave my body. But until it's gone, it's plenty of rest and Disney+ for me 😴